Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation

Media release: More support for people affected by domestic violence

6 March 2019

The Hon Michael Keenan MP

Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation

The Australian Government is increasing support for Australians affected by family and domestic violence.

Changes to the way emergency welfare payments are delivered by the Department of Human Services (DHS) are ensuring that people impacted by violence have faster access to the financial assistance they need.

A new real time digital payments platform is now available for those in crisis or experiencing severe hardship, which instantly delivers money to a person’s bank account as soon as their claim is processed.

This ensures there are no delays when payments are being processed late in the day, or on a Friday.

The department is also actively working with those who have used its systems at times of crisis to help identify ways to simplify and improve the services it delivers.

The consultation will help to remove any bottlenecks or unnecessary duplication, as well as assisting DHS to further enhance the work that it already does well.

Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation Michael Keenan said DHS processed about 17,000 emergency payments for customers experiencing domestic violence last year and referred 63,000 people to its network of more than 700 social workers.

“My department does an incredible job of supporting the tens of thousands of Australians experiencing crisis each year, but we don’t rest on our laurels and are always looking for ways to provide a more streamlined and seamless experience,” Minister Keenan said.

“That is why we are listening to our customers and working directly with them to ensure we are always putting their needs first.”

More than 22,000 DHS employees have now received specific training on how to support customers in family and domestic violence situations.

Help is also readily available online. The department’s dedicated Family and Domestic Violence web pages were viewed almost 190,000 times last year.

The information is available in 28 languages to assist those from culturally and linguistically diverse communities to find out about support that is available.

If you or someone you know is affected by family and domestic violence, contact the national family and domestic violence counselling service on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or go to humanservices.gov.au/enough.

Page last updated: 6 March 2019