The Reserve Bank of Australia announced on its website that bushfire victims can submit damaged banknote claims to redeem their lost money.
Fires have destroyed over 11 million hectares of bush since the fire season began in September, destroying thousands of homes and killing 28 people and more than a billion animals.
The RBA posted a notice on its website along with claim forms, specifying the steps required to get reimbursements.
There are only two things you need to do to make a claim for reimbursement:
- Collect all the banknote debris, place it into a plastic bag and label the bag ‘bushfire’.
- Take the bag to your local bank who can assist you making the claim.
The Reserve Bank recommends that people take damaged banknotes to their bank or another authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI). These institutions are encouraged by the Reserve Bank to accept all claims. Incomplete banknotes may be assessed on the spot using grids provided by the Reserve Bank to calculate the value. Badly damaged and contaminated banknotes need to be forwarded to the Reserve Bank’s National Banknote Site (NBS) for assessment. All ADIs will ensure the claim is securely delivered to the NBS on behalf of the claimant.
“If you have banknotes that have been damaged in the bushfires, you can submit a damaged banknote claim,” the RBA said. “The Reserve Bank will determine the value of the damaged banknotes and reimburse you the assessed amount.”
It takes the RBA anywhere between 2 weeks and 2 months to assess mutilated notes, depending upon the severity of the damage. In 2019 alone, the RBA paid out A$4.2 million (US$2.90 million) in damaged note claims.