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:
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.
Support for families with children with disability
This is a payment of approximately $140 a fortnight for people who provide daily care and assistance to someone with a disability, medical condition, or who is frail aged. Children under 16 years old who are being cared for also get a Health Care Card.
To receive the Carer Allowance, you must be an Australian resident, and you and your partner’s combined income must be less than $250,000 a year. You can receive this allowance for each eligible person you care for. This means if you have more than one child with disability, you receive the allowance for each eligible child. If you have multiple children who don’t quite meet the threshold, their combined care needs may mean you are still eligible to receive the Carer Allowance.
This is a fortnightly payment of up to $1,000 (more for couples). It is for people who provide substantial daily care and assistance to someone needing constant care with a disability, a medical condition, or who is frail aged. If you qualify for the Carer Payment you will also receive the Carer Allowance.
To receive the Carer Payment, you must be an Australian resident and earn less than the cut-off point of approximately $60,000 (single) or $92,000 (couple). How much you receive will be scaled, depending on what you and your partner earn.
This is an annual lump sum payment of $600. You will automatically get the Carer Supplement if you are receiving Carer Allowance or Carer Payment.
Child Disability Assistance Payment
This is an annual lump sum payment of $1,000 on the 1st of July that helps with the costs of caring for a child with disability. You automatically get the Child Disability Assistance Payment if you are receiving the Carer Allowance or Carer Payment, and you are caring for a child younger than 16.
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. You need to apply for this.
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.
In Home Care
In Home Care (IHC) is a flexible form of early childhood education and care where an educator provides care in the child’s home. It is restricted to families who can’t access other forms of care. This can include children with complex disability who can’t access early childhood education elsewhere.
Support to cover health costs
Medicare helps with the costs of seeing a doctor, getting medicines, and accessing mental health care.
Health Care Card
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 are 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.
Complex neurodevelopmental disorder and eligible disability
This is part of Medicare and can help with the cost of getting a diagnosis. A referral from a medical practitioner is required. It helps pay for the cost of the paediatrician or specialist; it can also help pay for assessments from allied health professionals.
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. 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 Benefits Schedule
This covers part or the full cost of some dental services for children if you get certain government payments.
Financial support for families
This is the main income support payment if you are the main carer of a young child who is under 14 (if you are single), or under six (if you have a partner). This payment is income and assets tested.
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 couple with one main income
Child Care Subsidy
This payment is to help with the cost of child care, including after-school care, if you are working, looking for work, or if you receive Carer Allowance of the Carer Payment. It applies to children aged 13 and younger, as well as children with disability aged 14 to 18 who need supervision.
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 young people with disability
Disability Support Pension
This provides financial help if you are 16 and older and have a permanent physical, intellectual, or psychiatric condition that stops you from working more than 15 hours a week.
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.
Carer (we care) Card
This is in the name of the parent of the child with disability. Foster, kinship, and permanent carers are also eligible. You can use the card without your child being with you for discounts on shopping and services, and on public transport.
This is in the name of the child with disability because they require one-on-one assistance to get out and about due to their disability or condition. These cards enable parents and support workers to go with children to events and activities free of charge.
To be eligible for a Companion Card, your child must have a significant and permanent disability. You must show evidence that they need support to attend events and activities and be a permanent resident or an Australian citizen.
Concession Information Line
Concessions for Health Care Card holders on council rates, water, gas, and electricity bills.
Discounted vehicle registration is available to Health Care Card holders.