Crisis relief grants
To be eligible for help, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or have a valid working visa
- Show that you have been working professionally/in paid work in the Australian music industry for 5 years
- Provide names and details of 2 professional referees who can verify your work in the music industry
- Have household expenses which are greater than your household income
- Be experiencing a crisis that is preventing you from working in the industry e.g. ill-health, injury or mental health issues
- Musicians (e.g. artists, composers, DJs, performers, singers, songwriters)
- Managers (e.g. artist representatives, managers, personal managers)
- Crew (e.g. light technicians, roadies, sound technicians, sound engineers, tour managers)
- Music workers (e.g. A&R coordinators, record producers, music journalists, broadcasters)
Serious illness, injury, mental health (managed under a current Mental Health Care Plan), older age or another crisis, such as risk of homelessness, personal safety or issues where other community, insurance or government assistance is not available.
Support for older aged musicians, crew and music workers who cannot afford an adequate standard of living or have unexpected needs/illness. This often involves financial assistance in the form of paying unexpected expenses, with our resources targeted at those who need it most.
- Aged over 65 for non-First Nations or over 55 for First Nations music workers
- You may still be working in some capacity, but experiencing financial hardship
- You are experiencing a current crisis or unexpected issue e.g. big dental bill, car registration/repairs, vet bill, rates, optometry/glasses that are outside of budgeted day-to-day living expenses
- You have worked in the industry for a significant portion of your professional working life (10+ years). Evidence of work history may be obtained through reference checks or other clarification
- Financial hardship not related to a current crisis, such as the result of lack of employment, or without evidence to prove the crisis is currently impacting music work.
- Music equipment
- Business expenses
- Household repairs
- The purchase of vehicles
- Travel expenses
Essential household and personal expenses related to the crisis e.g. therapy and treatment, rent and bills associated with loss of music income while recovering from the crisis.
- Contact details – so we can contact you
- Income details – your current income (salary, benefits, royalties etc.) as well as the income for your household if you live with a partner or have a family. We will ask you to break this down into fortnightly payments (we have a spreadsheet that can help you do this)
- Expenses – a breakdown of your fortnightly expenses. These include things like rent/mortgage, groceries, medical costs, utilities, clothing, car, council rates, phone/internet and credit card payments. We will also ask you to list any outstanding debts or mortgage repayments
- Copy of outstanding bills – as we will pay the supplier directly
- 2 referees – we may contact your referees to verify that you have worked professionally in music. We will not disclose any details of your application to your referees
- Evidence of your work history/professional career in music
- Evidence of the current crisis/hardship from within the last 2 months – a current mental health plan, hospital or doctors letter, police report, eviction notice
- Years of experience, date you began working in the industry
- A description of the role(s) you perform
- Links to your social media pages, event pages or websites showcasing your work
You may be asked to provide evidence such as your ABN, invoices of payment for work you have done or evidence that you have declared your earnings to the tax office
- If you’re a sole trader you can apply for a Crisis Relief Grant, however it should be noted that Support Act grants are for personal necessities such as rent/mortgage, food, utilities, medical costs and other necessities only. Support Act cannot provide grants for business expenses
- Income details – Support Act recognises that as a sole trader it can be difficult to differentiate your personal income from your business income. For simplicity, when completing the income section of the application form, please include the profit you earn from operating your business as your income (ie: business income minus business expenses = sole trader profit). Please note that if you pay yourself a nominal wage from your business income, this does not form part of your business expenses. You will need to add any nominal wages that you pay to yourself back into your income calculation
- Expenses – only include your personal living expenses in the relevant section of the application form e.g. rent/mortgage, food, utilities, clothing, medical bills. Business-related expenses should have already been deducted from your business income when completing the income section of the application form
Unfortunately due to funding, we are no longer able to support those working in the live performing arts industry, just those working in the professional music industry
Yes. If you have previously applied for and received a Crisis Relief Grant, you will need to wait 12 months before you can apply again, There is a maximum of two consecutive years eligibility and the presenting issue must be different from the previous grant.
Our advice is that it will not, but if in doubt, we advise you to consult with the relevant Government entity
Yes. Support Act abides by state and federal privacy laws and all of our staff are bound by a confidentiality agreement. This means that the information you provide will be treated confidentially at all times. No personal details of your application are disclosed to anyone outside of Support Act
No. All our grants are awarded on the basis that they do not need to be repaid. However, we do require you to inform us if your circumstances change during the application process
The advice we have is that the grant payments we are providing may not be taxable income, as they could be considered a charitable gift.
If you received these funds as a cash grant lump sum, then they can be considered emergency relief and therefore not taxable income, or assessable income in terms of Centrelink payments. This is why the funds must be spent on personal essential expenses.
However, as everyone’s circumstances are different, this is general advice and does not constitute financial advice. Support Act does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information and such information is given without reference to your particular circumstances. Support Act is not a financial adviser and you should consider seeking independent legal, financial or taxation advice to check how the information relates to your unique situation.
Yes. We will consider applications from dependents and prioritise assisting with expenses related to the care of children
Yes. We recognise that many people in our industry need to take on survival jobs to supplement their income. If your income from your work in music has been affected by the crisis, and your household income (including money earned from your survival job) is lower than your household expenses, we can help
Yes. Given your previous music career, you can apply provided your household income (including money earned from your survival job) is lower than your household expenses
Apply via the application form here
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Once your application is received, it can take up to 21 days for one of our social work team to contact you to discuss your application
Your application will be assigned to a social worker who will contact you for further details. A report is compiled to address the criteria and sent to the CEO for approval. The social worker will advise you of the outcome and if approved, link you with an administration officer to help process payments.
The social worker will also link you into any other services that may be able to support with your situation.
Support Act is the only organisation that provides crisis relief in the music industry, but there are many other arts grants that can be applied for throughout the year. While these grants are competitive and ours are not, they are definitely worth researching further. Check out BandZoogle or the Australia Council for the Arts. For performing arts grants, check out the Actors Benevolent Fund (NSW).
We can also help with the cost of funeral expenses for loved ones who have worked in the music industry. We are able to contribute up to $5,000 towards the cost of a funeral. You can apply here
Mental health support and programs
We provide a range of mental health support programs for all members of the music community, from free online workshops to Mental Health First Aid Training and Workplace Wellbeing Check-Ins. You can check out our latest programs here.
We also have a fantastic range of resources on the website that cover a range of topics from depression and anxiety to managing conflict and stress. Check them out here.
Check out our events page here or follow us on social media to find out the latest events and how to register.
Yes they’re open to everyone in the music industry.
If you still have questions and require assistance, please contact us at email@example.com.