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Single mums need to safeguard important documents – here’s how

by | Jan 30, 2024 | 0 comments

When Fatima and her children fled a domestic violence situation in the middle of the night they had only the clothes they were wearing. In the days following, she discovered she was unable to apply for Centrelink payments or even set up a bank account because she had no proof of identification. Going back to the house to find her birth certificate would have meant certain danger.

Katrina’s ex-partner destroyed all her important documents, so she was in the same boat. Rowena, a single mother living in Gippsland, had to evacuate her home due to flooding, but was unable to return to her house to retrieve documents required to apply for disaster payments.

What would you do if you couldn’t prove your identity?

There are many times we might need to prove our identity or provide organisations with identifiying documents, such as birth certificates, Centrelink client information, passports, or banking information. At times of crisis, we need them now.

Yet, having our important documents easily and remotely accessible is important for every single mother, regardless of our circumstances. With many apps and agencies requiring two-factor verification, have you stopped and thought about how you’d access vital information if you lost your phone?

Community legal organisation, Justice Connect, has created an app to help you store your important documents on the cloud or a device. Get ePrepared walks you through all the steps and lets you know where you can go for help. Learn more about Get ePrepared here.

We know that natural disasters such as floods and bushfires are on the increase, so if you live in rural Victoria or areas considered at risk, it’s worth also thinking about what other measures you can take to make sure you have the information and documents you may need should the worst happen. Social Security Rights Victoria has prepared this disaster preparedness checklist, which also contains information particular to bushfires.

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