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Financial assistance for families with a disabled child

Your family may be eligible for the following financial assistance:

National Disability Insurance Scheme

The NDIS is the new way of funding disability services and supports in Australia. It provides individual support for people with permanent and significant disability, their families and carers. The NDIS aims to provide people with a disability with choice, control and flexibility in the management of their program of services and supports.

Assistance from the NDIS is not means tested and does not impact on income support such as the disability support pension or carers allowance.

More information:

Better Start for Children with Disability

The Better Start for Children with Disability (Better Start) initiative includes:

  • up to $12,000 in funding for early intervention services and treatments for eligible children
  • additional assistance for eligible children who live in outer-regional, rural or remote locations to help with the costs of accessing services
  • a Medicare item for the development of a treatment and management plan for eligible children up to the age of 13
  • Medicare items for up to four allied health diagnostic services, the results of which contribute to the development of the treatment and management plan, and
  • Medicare items for up to 20 relevant allied health services in total for each eligible child up to the age of 15 provided the treatment and management plan is in place before the age of 13.

More information:

Better Start Medicare items

Children with an eligible diagnosis can access the Medicare items at any time up to the age of 15, provided the new treatment and management plan is in place before the child turns 13.

Medicare items have been introduced for:

  • specialists, consultant physicians and general practitioners for the assessment, diagnosis and development of a treatment and management plan for a child under 13 years of age
  • psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, audiologists, physiotherapists, optometrists and orthoptists to provide up to four services per child, on referral from a specialist, consultant physician or general practitioner, to assist the referring practitioner in the assessment, diagnosis and development of a treatment and management plan for a child under 13 years of age
  • psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, audiologists, physiotherapists, optometrists and orthoptists to provide up to 20 early intervention treatment services per child, consistent with the treatment and management plan prepared by the referring practitioner.

More information:

Carer Allowance

Carer Allowance (child) is a supplementary payment for parents or carers who provide daily care and attention for children with a disability or severe medical condition at home. For the purposes of the Carers Allowance (Child), a young person under the age of 16 with a "45 decibels or more hearing loss in the better ear, based on a 4 frequency pure tone average (using 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 4,000Hz)", is automatically considered to be a child with a disability. As a result, their parent or carer will receive the allowance without need for further medical assessment until the child turns 16 years of age. There is no income or assets test.

If you receive a Carers Allowance (Child), your child becomes an excepted person under Australian Tax Office rulings, which may entitle you to some tax benefits. For further information consult the Australian Tax Office and/or your accountant.

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Carer Payment

Carer payment (child) is an income support payment for people who cannot support themselves through participation in the workforce while caring for a child with a profound disability who has extremely high care needs.

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Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Medicare Items

The Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Medicare items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) enable GPs to plan and coordinate the health care of patients with chronic medical conditions, including patients with conditions who require multidisciplinary, team-based care from a GP and at least two other health or care providers.

Whether a patient is eligible for CDM services is a clinical judgement for the GP, taking into account the patient's medical condition and care needs, as well as the general guidance set out in the MBS.

More information:

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26-May-2016 3:56 PM (AEST)