There are a range of funding options currently available for families who have received an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Available funding and amounts will depend on your individual circumstances and particular needs.

 

Irabina can assist you with this process with an National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) pre-planning session. This session will help you to request the appropriate level of funding for services suitable to your family’s circumstances. Its best to book the NDIS pre-planning session, before you meet with your NDIS planner, so that you are adequately prepared for the meeting and get the best outcomes.

 

There are four primary funding sources available for Victorian families at this time:
– National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
– Medicare
– Centrelink

 

The following information provides a quick overview of the funding source and links to appropriate resources.

 

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

 

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers. As an insurance scheme, the NDIS takes a lifetime approach, investing early in the lives of people with disabilities to improve their outcomes later in life.

 

To access funding through NDIS you must meet the following requirements:
– have a permanent disability that significantly affects your ability to take part in everyday activities
– be aged less than 65 when you first access the scheme
– be an Australian citizen, live in Australia and hold a permanent visa or hold a protected special category visa.

 

If you meet the previous criteria, check to see where NDIS is currently being offered. This funding system is being introduced progressively across Australia.

 

Read more about applying for NDIS at www.ndis.gov.au

 

Medicare

 

Your GP will be able to assist you with accessing the following Medicare funding supports.

 

Better Access to Mental Health (also known as a Mental Health Care Plan)

Medicare rebates are available for people with a mental health condition so they can receive up to 10 individual and/or group allied mental health services per calendar year. Patients are initially allocated six sessions and can seek advice from their general practitioner (GP) to access a further four sessions (to a maximum of 10 sessions per calendar year).

 

Medicare Safety Net

The Medicare Safety Net provides families and individuals with financial assistance for out-of-pocket costs for out-of-hospital Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) services. If you meet the Medicare Safety Net threshold, you may be eligible for additional Medicare benefits for out-of-hospital MBS services for the remainder of the calendar year. The PBS Safety Net is another option if you and your family need many different medicines in any year.

 

Medical Expenses Tax Rebate

Net medical expenses are the medical expenses you have paid less any refunds of these expenses which you or any other person has received, or are entitled to receive, from Medicare or a private health insurer.

 

Chronic Disease Management Plan

Under the chronic disease management plan, patients who have a chronic condition or complex care needs (present for 6 months or longer), are entitled to claim a Medicare rebate for five professional Individual Allied Health consultations per calendar year. To be eligible, patients must have a Chronic Disease Management Plan prepared by their GP who must include details of the allied health professional on the plan.

 

Centrelink

 

Carer allowance

All families with a child with a confirmed diagnosis of ASD are entitled to the fortnightly carer allowance. This allowance is not income or assets tested. To be eligible for the carer allowance and a health care card, the child’s diagnosis must appear on a list of disabilities/conditions which result in automatic qualification or must cause the child to function below the standard for his or her age.

 

Child disability assistance payment

A child disability assistance payment is paid annually on 1 July to the person receiving the carer allowance. The payment is available for each child under 16 years of age receiving care. This is paid with the first carer allowance payment for the new financial year.

 

Carer supplement

This is an annual, non-indexed lump sum paid to recipients of the carer allowance and carer payment. If a carer receives both the carer allowance and carer payment, they will qualify for two carer supplement payments. This supplement is not income nor asset tested.

 

Carer payment

Carer payment is ongoing support available to parents who are unable to work due to the demands of their carer role. The carer payment is available to people who provide constant care for:
– a child with a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability
– a child with a severe disability or a severe medical condition
– two or more children with a disability.

 

The Australian Guide to Centrelink Payments is available from Centrelink offices or online at www.humanservices.gov.au