Disability Entitlements & Subsidies for Australians
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
This week, I put forward a simple roadmap of three questions to help you understand whether disability entitlements and subsidies are available to you.
The complex domain of disability support was greatly simplified with the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Established in March 2013 and then rolled out across Australia from 2016, the NDIS channels all disability support requests to a central agency, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). Previously State, Territory and Commonwealth government departments provided a complex web of supports.
To further simplify the process of understanding whether you're eligible for disability support, I pose three questions:
Q1: What is the age of the person living with a disability?
If you're looking for disability support for yourself or a family member, the first question to answer is: What is the age of the person living with the disability?
As discussed in a prior blog on the differences between NDIS and My Aged Care, if the person is over 65 years, they fall within the Commonwealth Government's My Aged Care world of supports. If the person is under 65 years, the request for support falls within the realm of the NDIS. So...
Under 65 years - NDIS
Sixty-five years or more - My Aged Care
Today, we're focussing on Australians living with a disability who are under 65 years of age. For information on entitlements and subsidies for Australians over 65 years, take a look at last week's blog on discounts and subsidies available to seniors.
Q2: What is the severity of the disability?
The next step is to assess the severity of the disability to understand your eligibility for entitlements and subsidies.
As a first port of call, I recommend seeking guidance from your GP as your GP will need to provide evidence of your disability for any application for support, whether that is for NDIS support and/or the Commonwealth's Disability Support Pension (DSP).
The NDIS provides support for a disability that is permanent and significant. You can run through the NDIS eligibility checklist questions to make an initial eligibility assessment.
Vital assistance on eligibility is available through your NDIA Local Area Co-ordinator (LAC). Make an appointment with your LAC as they will help you access NDIS support or, if you're ineligible, they will help you understand what other supports are available.
If you're eligible for NDIS support, you'll be eligible for the Commonwealth Disability Support Pension and, in turn, the benefits of the Commonwealth Pension Concession Card. You'll find an outline of those benefits also in last week's blog.
Q3: While not a permanent and significant disability, does it stop you from working?
If the disability is not permanent and significant, but it stops you from working, then you may be eligible for the Commonwealth Government Disability Support Pension.
Not everyone with a disability or a medical condition is eligible for this pension. Applicants need to meet certain medical and non-medical rules. To understand whether you meet those rules, complete this simple eligibility test.
If you're eligible for the Disability Support Pension you'll automatically be eligible for the Commonwealth Pension Concession Card and all of its benefits (see last week's blog).
If you're not eligible for the Disability Support Pension, there are other supports available, including: the JobSeeker Payment; Carer Payment; Carer Allowance; Youth Allowance; and Youth Disability Supplement.
While the Australian Government through its Services Australia Department and the NDIA works hard to streamline the process of claiming disability support and subsidies, making sure you're receiving the support you need does require some research and effort.
If you want some additional help to make sure you're getting what you're entitled to, DR Care Solutions works very closely with Pensioner Solutions, a company that assists Australians to get the most from Centrelink. Head over to their website or give them a call and let them know where you found their details.
If you're seeking advice on disability support solutions and the subsidies available, please feel free to contact me, Danielle Robertson at DR Care Solutions, for an initial discussion.
At DR Care Solutions we specialise in making sure you have the right care, support and assistance at the right time and in the right place.