Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) - claims

The New Claims Management System is now live. 

Read more about the new system.

DRFA Toolbox 

Find links to all our forms and guidelines in one place.

For information regarding the February 2024 Victorian Bushfires and Storms event (AGRN 1108), please read the frequently asked questions section.

For information regarding the October 2022 Victorian Flood event (AGRN 1037), please read the frequently asked questions section.

For information regarding the June 2021 Storm and Flood event (AGRN 969), please read the frequently asked questions section

On this page

  • Step 1: Report the event
  • Step 2: Confirmation of a DRFA event
  • Step 3: Submit a compliant DRFA claim
  • Step 4: Finalising the DRFA claim

 

Step 1: Report the event

The Delivery Agency is required to fill out and lodge a ‘Notification of an event’ form within five (5) working days following the disaster.

Step 2: Confirmation of a DRFA event

  • The Delivery Agency will receive a letter advising of the Australian Government Reference Number (AGRN) for the disaster and terms of funding support to be provided. 

  • An Assessor will be assigned to the Delivery Agency.

  • Early estimates are captured in the Claims Management System (CMS).

The Administering Authority (NDFA team) will notify the Commonwealth of the eligible disaster. The Commonwealth will approve the eligible disaster and assign an Australian Government Reference Number (AGRN) for the event. The eligible disaster is set up in the CMS by the Administering Authority.

The Delivery Agency will be notified via a letter to the CEO providing the established AGRN and next steps. 

Estimates of damage captured by the Delivery Agency in the Notification of event form will be automatically entered into the CMS estimates module when an AGRN is assigned by the Administering Authority. The Delivery Agency is required to review and update these estimates on a regular basis.

The Assessing Authority is also notified of the disaster and will make contact with the impacted Delivery Agency.

A Delivery Agency will be able to view information about notified natural disasters and key allowable time limits including dates in the CMS

A Delivery Agency will be able to view information about their event notification in the CMS including the allowable time limit. A Delivery Agency will need to keep track of their  allowable time limits to complete works/activities, incur expenditure and lodgement timeframes for claims and/or certified reconstruction works estimate packages. 

Any costs incurred after these deadlines will be deemed ineligible for reimbursement. Please note that these timelines allow the Victorian Government to comply with Commonwealth Government timelines for acquittal and audit requirements.

Step 3: Submit a compliant DRFA claim

  • The Delivery Agency is required to submit claims in accordance with the guidelines and timelines.

  • The Delivery Agency is required to work with the Assessing Authority throughout the claims journey.

The Delivery Agency will need to work with their assigned Assessor to establish the claim type, process to follow and documentation required to submit a fully compliant claim.

The CMS is a system for a Delivery Agency to complete all activities relating to the DRFA, from a notification of an event to the submission of estimates and claims for natural disaster financial assistance. For access, please contact ndfa@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)

The Victorian DRFA Guidelines and Fact Sheets provide detail information about eligibility, claim types and supporting documentation required for a fully compliant claim. The guideline documents developed by Victoria are consistent with the requirements of the DRFA published by the Commonwealth Government. 

Any queries on the claim process should be directed to the Delivery Agency Assessor.  

The four categories of assistance measures under the DRFA are:

 

Category A: Emergency assistance to individuals

Assistance to alleviate personal hardship or distress arising as a direct result of a disaster.

This includes:

  • Early relief and recovery activities including the establishment and operation of a Municipal Emergency Coordination Centre, and/or a Relief and Recovery Centre.
  • Counter disaster operations undertaken to provide direct assistance to individuals, immediately before, during and in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, for example, sandbagging or the establishment of bushfire control lines. 
  • Personal hardship assistance programs administered by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH).

    Fact Sheet 3 and Guideline 3 provide an outline of the eligibility framework and claims process when seeking reimbursement associated with the provision of relief and recovery activities for impacted Delivery Agencies within Victoria. They also include information on: 

    • eligible and ineligible costs that can be claimed under relief and recovery activities or counter disaster operations
    • supporting documentation required for a fully compliant claim

    Fact Sheet 3

    Guideline 3

    Forms

    Delivery Agencies are required to complete the relevant following claim forms:

    Claim lodgement declaration form

    A claim lodgement declaration form is to be completed and submitted for completed claims relating to:

    • Early Relief and Recovery expenditure; and
    • Counter Disaster Operations

    A PDF of V form-D-DEC (2) is to be signed the by the Chief Executive Officer from the Delivery Agency and submitted with required supporting documentation and lodged in the CMS, as per Fact Sheet 3.

    Drop down boxes have been included in each of the relevant claim forms for eligible activities. 

    Completed forms and supporting documentation to be lodged as per Fact Sheet 3.

    Request for an additional position 

    If a Delivery Agency employs additional positions in response to an event and wish to claim eligible salary costs through the DRFA, the Delivery Agency will need to complete a request for a DRFA funded resource in the CMS and upload a copy of the position description.  

    If a Delivery Agency needs to make amendments to a previously approved DRFA funded position , they will need to complete a variation request for a DRFA funded position in the CMS and upload a copy of the position description. 

    Request extension to the Allowable Time Limit 

    To request an extension of time to the allowable time limit for emergency and immediate reconstruction works under the DRFA  log into the CMS to complete a request for an extension of time two weeks prior to the allowable time period ending. Refer to Guideline 1 for further information.

     

     

    Category B:  Repair of damaged essential public assets

    Category B assistance can be divided into four broad areas of assistance designed to support the community to recover from an eligible disaster. 

    These include:

    1. Counter Disaster Operations for the protection of the general public
    2. Emergency Works to urgently restore an essential public asset to an acceptable level of service to support the local community.
    3. Immediate Reconstruction Works
    4. Reconstruction Works including approval of a Certified Estimate

    Subject to the severity or significance of a disaster, concessional loans may also be provided to assist impacted small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations.

    Claims and Eligibility for essential public assets  

    Fact Sheet 1 and Guideline 1 provide information on: 

    • emergency works for essential public assets    
    • immediate reconstruction works for essential public assets
    • essential public asset reconstruction works 
    • the collection of evidence of damage following an eligible disaster event 
    • the timeframes that apply to the presentation of suitable evidence under the DRFA

    The Fact Sheet and Guideline provide an outline of the eligibility framework and the claims process for impacted Delivery Agencies within Victoria, in seeking reimbursement associated with the reconstruction of essential public assets under Category B. 

    Guideline 1 also includes information on damage assessment for essential public assets including information about the collection and assessment of evidence (in particular requirements for photo evidence) to demonstrate post-disaster and pre-disaster asset condition for compliance under the DRFA. 

    The Delivery Agency is required to lodge a certified estimate for the essential public asset reconstruction works for approval before commencing works and making a claim.

    Fact Sheet 1 

    Guideline 1 

    Forms

    Delivery Agencies are required to complete the relevant following claim forms:

    Claim lodgement declaration form

    A claim lodgement declaration form is to be completed and lodged with completed claims relating to:

    • Emergency works 
    • Immediate Reconstruction works 
    • Essential Public Asset Reconstruction works

    A PDF of the completed V Form D DEC claim form is to be signed by Chief Executive Officer from the Delivery Agency. The completed claim form and all relevant supporting documentation is to be lodged in the CMS as per Fact Sheet 1.

    Photo report templates

    A photo report template is to be completed for each essential public asset relating to:

    • emergency works
    • immediate reconstruction works
    • essential public asset reconstruction – estimate
    • essential public asset reconstruction – closeout.

    Completed photo reports are to be uploaded to the CMS on the file upload page.

    Photo report templates

    Quarterly report form

    Delivery Agencies are to update the Assessing Authority on a quarterly basis on the progress of works for each asset following the approval of a certified estimate for essential public asset reconstruction works.

    QTR essential public asset reconstruction works quarterly report V Form-D-QTR

    Completed forms are required to be lodged In the CMS under submit quarterly reports.  

    Request for an additional position 

    If a Delivery Agency employs additional positions in response to an event and wish to claim salary costs through the DRFA, the Delivery Agency will need to complete a request for a DRFA funded resource in the CMS and upload a copy of the position description.  

    If a Delivery Agency needs to make amendments to a previously approved DRFA funded position , they will need to complete a variation request for a DRFA funded position in the CMS and upload a copy of the position description. 

    Request extension to the Allowable Time Limit form

    To request an extension of time to the allowable time limit for emergency and immediate reconstruction works under the DRFA,  log into the CMS to complete a request for an extension of time two weeks prior to the allowable time period ending. Refer to Guideline 1 for further information.

    Pre-disaster asset condition assessment report

    A pre-disaster asset condition report to confirm that the damage was caused by the eligible disaster event if pre and post disaster photos are not available. 

    Pre-disaster asset condition assessment report (V Form-E-CA) 

    The Delivery Agency is to complete the report for each applicable essential public asset. A photo dated no more than 4 years before the disaster can be provided and signed off by the Assessor. 

    Submit the completed report to the CMS on the file upload page.

     

    Example of completed forms

    Essential Public Asset Restoration Works Certified Estimate Example

    Declaration Form (V Form D-DEC) and Claim Form (V Form B-RW)

     

     

    Certified Estimates including cost estimation for essential public assets

    If a certified estimate is required, the Delivery Agency enters the required supporting documentation for a certified estimate in the CMS under submit certified estimate. Essential Public Assets Reconstruction works are not to commence until the estimated reconstruction cost has been endorsed by the Administering Agency as a certified estimate works package.  

    This guideline documents the process adopted by Victoria for developing an estimated reconstruction cost following an eligible disaster and is consistent with the requirements of the DRFA published by the Commonwealth Government. 

    Fact Sheet 2 

    Guideline 2 

    Forms

    Delivery Agencies are required to complete the relevant following claim forms:

    Certified estimate

    A certified estimate for the reconstruction of essential public works only. The completed Reconstruction Works Estimates Package form is to be submitted to the CMS under submit certified estimates. 

    A cost estimation tool is to be completed for reconstruction works only, not Emergency or Immediate Reconstruction works. The completed form is to be submitted to the CMS on the file upload page.  

    Cost Estimation Tool (VT-CE) 

    Standard treatment guidelines

    Guideline 2 supports the Cost Estimation process by describing the twenty-four (24) standard treatments, work activities and scope of works included in each of these treatments. 

    Appendix B Standard treatment guidelines 

     

    Example of completed forms

    Cost Estimation Tool (Ballan Egerton Road)

    Example of Pre-condition and Damage by Essential Public Asset (Ballan Egerton Road)

    Example of Supporting documentation

     

     

     

    Category C: Clean Up and Restoration Grants and/or Community Recovery Packages

    Assistance for severely affected communities, regions or sectors can include clean-up and restoration grants for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations and/or the establishment of a Community Recovery Fund. Category C assistance is only made available when the impact of a disaster is severe or significant, following approval from the Prime Minister. It is intended to be in addition to assistance available under Categories A and B and is usually considered once the impacts of the disaster on affected communities have been assessed.

    For more information see the Commonwealth’s Disaster Assist website (External link).

     

    Category D: Exceptional Circumstances

    Exceptional circumstances assistance beyond Categories A, B and C. Category D assistance is generally considered once the impact of the disaster has been assessed and specific recovery gaps identified. Approval is required by the Prime Minister

    For more information see the Commonwealth’s Disaster Assist website (External link).

    You can access all the above documents in one place, by visiting our DRFA - Guidelines and forms page.

    Step 4: Finalising the DRFA claim

    • The assigned Assessor to review the claim and make a recommendation to the Administering Authority. 

    • The Delivery Agency will receive a letter advising of claim outcome.

    Claims are to be lodged on the CMS for eligible expenditure within designated timeframes using the correct claim form and with the supporting documents as outlined in step 3 above. A claim is not considered as being lodged unless it is fully compliant with the DRFA guidelines. 

    Fully compliant claims are required to be lodged on a regular basis throughout the financial year and within one month from the end of the financial year in which the expenditure was incurred (by 31 July).

    Claims are assessed in accordance with the DRFA guidelines, by the relevant Assessor. Assessment of the claim includes a review of supporting documentation and site inspections undertaken.  A well-structured fully compliant claim enables assessments to be undertaken in a timely manner.

    Read more about the validation process used by the Assessing Authority and the DRFA assurance framework.

    Once a claim has been assessed by an Assessor, a recommendation is then made to the Administering Authority.

    The Administering Authority will undertake an assurance check of the claim. During this stage the Administering Authority will work with the Assessing Authority and the Delivery Agency as required. 

    Once a claim has been assessed as fully compliant, the Administering Agency will process the recommended claim amount reimbursement.

    The Delivery Agency will receive a letter from the Administering Authority advising of the claim outcome.

    The state appointed auditor and the Commonwealth appointed auditors will undertake their respective audits and select samples of claims. The dual audit process can take up to two years after the financial year that the claim was lodged.

    When requested by appointed auditors, the Delivery Agency will need to provide all requested information to the Administering Authority within 14 days.