As Victorians endure their fifth lockdown since the start of the pandemic last year, communities are being reminded there are options for those struggling to pay bills or make ends meet.

While the increased financial assistance provided during last year’s lockdowns aren’t available, a one-off COVID-19 Disaster Payment of $600 has been made available to workers who lose more than 20 hours work during the lockdown.

Samantha Rudolph from the Victorian Consumer Action Law Centre says there are other options for people struggling with bills.

“The first point of call would be to speak to your provider – your electricity provider or even for your phone or internet – and tell them you are going through some financial hardship and they should be able to organise a hardship plan.

If you are struggling to pay your energy, water or gas bill you can apply for something called a Utility Relief Grant…which gives you a one-off $600 that will go straight to your provider to help pay off your overdue bill.”

For more information visit or call 1800 574 457.