A range of financial assistance is available to families of children with disability as well as support that is available to all families.
Where do I start?
Every family is different and the financial support available to you will depend on your individual circumstances. It can be complex working out what assistance you and your family might be eligible for. For information and advice, start by contacting:
Centrelink Disability Sickness and Carers Line
Online Services Support Hotline
MyGov and Services Australia are the central points to access government online services such as Medicare, Centrelink and the NDIS. To access MyGov you need to register first.
Financial support for families and carers
This is a fortnightly payment for parents or carers providing extra daily care for an adult or dependent child with disability or medical condition. It is subject to an annual income test, but no assets test. It is not taxable and can be paid in addition to wages, Carer Payment, or other income support payments.
Carer Payment provides financial help to people who are unable to work in substantial paid employment because they provide full-time daily care for someone with severe disability or medical condition. This payment is income and assets tested.
This is an annual lump sum payment. It helps with the costs of caring for a person with disability or a medical condition. You will get Carer Supplement if you are receiving Carer Payment or Carer Allowance.
This is the main income support payment if you are the main carer of a young child who is under eight (if you are single), or under six (if you have a partner). This payment is income and assets tested.
Child Disability Assistance Payment
This is an annual lump sum payment that helps with the costs of caring for a child with disability.
This card is issued to people with a significant, permanent disability, who can demonstrate that they are unable to access most community activities and venues without attendant care support.
This card offers discounts from businesses, government and community organisations, free travel on public transport on Sundays and travel vouchers.
Carer Adjustment Payment
A one-off payment to assist families following a catastrophic event where a child younger than seven is diagnosed with a severe disability or severe medical condition.
Financial support to cover health costs
Medicare helps with the costs of seeing a doctor, getting medicines and accessing mental health care.
A concession card to get cheaper medicines and some discounts if you get a payment from Centrelink. You don’t need to apply for a Health Care Card, if you’re eligible a card is posted to you.
PBS Safety Net Card
When you reach the threshold you can apply for a PBS Safety Net Card. This card lets you get cheaper medicine for the rest of the year.
Continence Aids Payments Scheme (CAPS)
A yearly payment to help with the cost of continence products for children who are not eligible for the NDIS.
Essential Medical Equipment Payment
A yearly payment to help with energy costs to run medical equipment or medically required heating or cooling.
GP Management Plan
This supports people with a chronic or terminal medical condition who would benefit from a structured approach to the management of their care needs. Ask your GP for more information.
Chronic Disease Allied Health Services
A Medicare rebate is available for up to five services per patient each calendar year to people who have a chronic (or terminal) medical condition with a GP Management Plan and Team Care Arrangements. Ask your GP for more information.
Mental Health Care Plan
This is a treatment plan that lets you claim up to 10 sessions each calendar year with a mental health professional. If your health professional decides you’re eligible, you can have an extra 10 group sessions. Health professionals set their own fees – if they bulk bill, you won’t have to pay anything but if they charge a fee only some of the costs are covered. Ask your GP for more information.
Child Dental Benefit Schedule
This covers part or the full cost of some dental services for children if you get certain government payments.
Financial support for families
Family Tax Benefit
This is a two-part payment that helps with the cost of raising children:
- Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A is paid per child and the amount depends on your family’s circumstances.
- Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part B is paid if you’re a single parent or non-parent carer, a grandparent carer, or if you’re a member of a couple with one main income.
Child Care Subsidy
This payment is made to your child care service to help with the cost of child care if you are working, looking for work, or if you receive Carer Payment. It applies to children aged 13 and younger as well as children with disability aged 14 to 18 in secondary school who need supervision.
Concession Information Line
Concessions are available to eligible people on a low income who cannot pay council rates, water, gas and electricity bills.
Discounted or free vehicle registration is available to people with disability who meet the eligibility criteria.
National Debt Helpline
Social Security Rights Victoria (SSRV)
Escaping Violence Payment
This payment is available to help women who are escaping violence and experiencing financial stress. Support can include up to $1500 in financial assistance and goods and services such as removalists, bonds or basics for a new home.
Uniting – Escaping Family Violence Payment
Financial support for children and young people with disability
Disability Support Pension
This provides financial help if you are between 16 and Age Pension age and have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that stops you from working.
Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme
This provides support for students who cannot go to an appropriate government school because of geographical isolation or because they have a disability or special health needs.
Ex-Carer Allowance (Child) Health Care Card
This is for full-time students aged between 16 and 25 who had a Carer Allowance Health Care Card on the day before they turned 16. It gives you cheaper medicines, and extra discounts.