Australia has a history and heritage in looking after our most vulnerable, and for people living with disabilities, this means there are a range of allowances available for those who qualify. Unfortunately, it can be confusing to determine what allowances are available to a person living with a disability, but with a little research you will be able to work out what support you’re entitled to.
Some key allowances available to people living with disabilities:
1. Carer allowance
This is a big one. If you’re in the position of a carer, meaning that you need to spend additional time each day to look after someone who has a disability, serious illness, or is of a frail age, then you might qualify for a fortnightly supplement to your income, to help you properly provide for the person with a disability.
2. Disability support pension
If your disability prevents you from working, then you might qualify for the disability support pension. This is a provision for people with a mental or physical disability that prevents them from being able to work.
3. Companion card
For people who are unable to access most community activities and venues without the support of another person, there is a companion card system, whereby participating organisations will provide a second ticket to the companion to enter the venue at no additional charge.
4. Essential medical equipment payment
If the nature of your disability is such that you need essential medial equipment to manage your condition, then you might qualify for an allowance of $140 per year to offset the additional power that the equipment uses.
5. Medical cooling concession
If someone in your household has a condition that affects their ability to regulate temperature, then the household can receive a 17.5 per cent discount on summer electricity costs.
6. Mobility allowance
For people living with a disability that need to travel for work or study, but can’t use public transport without a lot of help, there’s a mobility allowance which is designed to help you cover whatever travel arrangements and costs that you might need to.
7. Veteran’s allowances
For military veterans that has been left with a disability after their service, there are a range of support allowances available for their rehabilitation, recovery, and life back in the community.
8. Sickness allowance
If you do have work or study, but are for a period of time unable to continue that work due to a medical condition, then you might qualify for a temporary sickness allowance, which will help to cover costs while you recover.
9. Telephone and rent assistance
There are a number of “cost of living” allowances that are provided under certain circumstances to people receiving other benefits or allowances. These are designed to help pay for essentials that changes in circumstances might make unmanageable.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a major nation-building initiative designed to provide funding direct to those with disabilities, in such a way that it is tailored to their needs and lifestyles. Each person on NDIS receives a different set of benefits based on their circumstances. Receiving NDIS payments generally disqualifies you from other allowances, as the NDIS is designed to be a comprehensive payment that addresses all of your circumstances.
How to check that you qualify for these allowances, and how to access them
If you qualify for allowances, you’ll need to make an application to receive them. This can be done online through the MyGov portal, or alternatively you can make use of the service centres to request the help of the department in filling them in. It’s important to get help if any of the application process confuses you, as the last thing you want is for your application to be denied.
With the support allowances, Australians living with a disability can continue to enjoy their standard of life, secure in the knowledge that they’re getting the support in both living costs and medical expenses so they don’t need to struggle or go without.