We have listed under FUNDING on this site options available to families for financial support they are entitled to to support their child with an ASD. In this section, we are listing any ideas we come across that may save you money in any way. As always, this information is for you to look into and decide whether it's something you wish to explore further.
Concession and Health Care Cards
Concession and health care cards will give you discounts that will make it less expensive when you use certain health care services, or buy prescription medicines. Your eligibility for different types of concession and health care cards will depend on your particular circumstances and whether you currently receive an income support payment. For information, see www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/support-for-chronic-medical-conditions.
· Child Disability Assistance Payment
· Chronic Disease Management Plan
· Continence Aids Payment Scheme
· Early Release of Superannuation
· Essential Medical Equipment Payment
· Health Care Card[
· Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme
· Medicare Compensation Recovery Program
· Medicare Safety Net
· Pensioner Concession Card
· Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Safety Net
· Sickness Allowance
Indexation Tables for Centrelink Payments
From 1 January 2012, payments for Carer Allowance, students and youth (like Youth Allowance and Austudy) will increase due to indexation. The increases are linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rise of 3.6 per cent for the 12 months to June 2011 and 3.5 per cent for 12 months to September 2011.
· Carer Allowance recipients will receive an extra $4 a fortnight to bring their rate to $114 a fortnight.
· Students and young jobseekers receiving Youth Allowance - increases of $7.70 to $18.30 a fortnight.
· Young long-term unemployed people starting full-time study and receiving Youth Allowance - increases of up to $17 a fortnight.
· Students receiving Austudy - increase of $14 to $18.30 a fortnight.
· People under the age of 21 years receiving the Disability Support Pension - increases of $11.70 to $18 a fortnight.
· Pharmaceutical Allowance for eligible single recipients will increase by $0.20 a fortnight to a rate of $6.20,and by$0.10 a fortnight to a rate of $3.10 for each eligible member of a couple.
· Payments like Mobility Allowance and Double Orphan Pension will also increase in line with the CPI.
· Additional child amounts (paid under some overseas agreements) and permissible child earnings limits will also be adjusted.
· Personal income limits for Youth Allowance, Austudy and Disability Support Pension (under the age of 21 years and without children), will increase in line with the CPI.
See www.jennymacklin.fahcsia.gov.au/mediareleases/2011/Pages/rates_indexation_1january2012.aspx for the full indexation tables.
Australian Government announces Essential Medical Equipment Payment (EMEP)
As part of its Household Assistance package, the Australian Government provides the EMEP to assist people who have higher than average household energy costs because they use essential medical equipment, or medically required heating/cooling to manage their disability or medical condition. The person with medical needs or their carer must be covered by a Commonwealth Government concession card issued by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and contribute to the energy costs associated with running the equipment. For information, seewww.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/essential-medical-equipment-payment.
The EMEP can be applied for online or by contacting the Department of Human Services on 13 24 68 to request a paper claim form. The Department recommends people claim online as those applications will be assessed faster than paper claims
Saving you money - Parents of Special Needs children
· 5 services per calendar year get $46.80 back from Medicare
· Care Plan and EPC Referral form needed from your GP
· All parents of Special needs children are entitled to a Carers Allowance
· You can use your Health Care Card for many services. It is always worth asking at places if there are any discounts for HCC holders. Especially at cinemas and other entertainment venues.
· You can set up a special disability trust
· Family assistance fund from ADHC can help fund up to $2000 on one single item as a one off single payment. (equipment, course etc)
· Can claim psychologist service for depressed parent. ($40 instead of $150 per session with referral from your GP).
· Medicare Safety net – record all family medical expenses for the year on form obtained from chemist , if you pass the limit there are significant discounts
· InHome Care service - you can get $7 per hour from government so if you are paying $20 per hour, it makes it more affordable.
· RESPITE CARE - there are Carelink centres all over Sydney
· Medical Expenses Tax Rebate – 20% up to first $1500.
· You can claim ANYTHING that your GP would write you a letter to say you need.
· Toy and Book libraries. These can save you a lot of money, especially with toys which can be returned when child tires of them.
Rebates on Electricity and Gas Prices for Residential Customers – last in 10 June.
The NSW Government introduced a range of financial measures to support vulnerable customers or those on a low / fixed income, to deal with price increases announced by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) from 1 July 2011. Some people may be eligible for all three.
* The Low Income Household Rebate (replacing the current Energy Rebate) - $200 annually to eligible customers with certain concession and health care cards. If already registered for the NSW Energy Rebate, you will automatically receive the more generous Low Income Household Rebate.
* The Medical Energy Rebate - $200 per year for people with a concession card who are unable to self-regulate their body temperature (for example if they have Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease).
* The Life Support Rebate - $20 to $600, depending on the type of energy intensive life supporting medical equipment used at home to sustain their life (for example dialysis machines or Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) devices).
This is not means tested, so is available to all eligible applicants. People should contact their retailer to register for these rebates, and to request the Medical Energy Rebate and Life Support Rebate application forms for their Doctor to sign. To speak to someone about any rebates or other energy information, phone the Energy Information Line on 1300 136 888 (translation services available) or visit www.energy.nsw.gov.au/customers/rebates.
Community Assist Lawn Mowing
CALM provides subsidised lawn mowing for pensioners, frail aged and people with a disability with vouchers valued at $20 per service. Clients pay the contractor the full price quoted and then return a completed voucher to CALM for reimbursement of the voucher value into their account. For information, phone 9488 8390 (Mon-Fri 10am-3.30pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See www.easycaregardening.org.au. Eligibility Centrelink pension. Serves Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai, Ryde, Willoughby, Hunters Hill, Manly, Warringah,
Pittwater, Lane Cove, Mosman, North Sydney.
Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme
Who: residents of NSW who are unable to use public transport because of a severe and permanent disability
How it works: when you travel you hand the taxi driver a completed voucher for 50% of the fare up to $30. You pay the remaining fare.
See link below for full details
Rebate for Assistive Technology for Individuals with a Disability
Every student with or without a disability is rebated by 50% by the Australian Tax Office under the "education tax rebate ".
See the conditions on the ATO website link to the "Education Tax Refund" at ww.educationtaxrefund.gov.au.
Tax RebateTaxpayers may claim a 20% rebate on their medical expenses over the first $1,500. Phone ATO on 13 28 61 for further details.
No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)
Provides individuals and familieswith low incomes an opportunity to apply for an interest free loan for the purchase of basic housegold goods and services such as White goods, Medical equipment, Computer, Furniture & Essential repairs. Loans up to $1,000. No interest, fees or charges. Flexible loan periods to suit individual circumstances. NILS do not cover re-occuring expenses such as food, travel, rent, utility bills, or debt consolidation.
For an application kit or further information, call 9639 8620 or download the kit at www.hca.org.au
Salvation Army Community Services Centres
The Salvation Army netork of community services centres nationally provides practical assistance for low-income families and individuals who are struggling to make ends meet. To access support, contact your nearest community services centre and make an appointment. You will be assessed according to need and the resources available at the centre.
Public Transport Concessions for students aged 16-18 years
You are entitled to a half-fare concession on certain transport services if you are a student aged 16, 17 or 18 and hold a NSW Senior Secondary Student Concession Card.
You are eligible for a NSW Senior Secondary Student Concession Cards if you are: