In Australia, the government provides funding to some people who have a disability as well as some people who are elderly and need assistance with daily living.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers.
The NDIS supports people under the age of 65 with a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to live an ordinary life.
The NDIS helps people with disability to:
- Access mainstream services and supports – services that are available for all Australians from people like doctors or teachers through the health and education systems. It also covers areas like public housing and the justice and aged care systems.
- Access community services and supports – activities and services that are available to everyone in a community, such as sports clubs, community groups, libraries or charities.
- Maintain informal support arrangements – to help people get assistance from their family and friends.
- Receive reasonable and necessary funded support – This means they are related to a person’s disability and are required for them to live an ordinary life and achieve their goals.
Assistance from the NDIS is not means tested and has no impact on income support such as the Disability Support Pension and Carers Allowance.
See the NDIS website for more details.
Aged care support is commonly referred to as home care and is available for people who are over 65 years old. There are two main home care funding streams available:
- The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). This is designed to help older Australians remain independent in their own homes and communities for longer. Funding covers services to help with daily tasks and can even help carers with planned respite.
- Home Care Packages. Home Care Packages offer choice and flexibility for recipients. Packages are tailored to meet a range of care needs and are offered at four levels depending on the amount of support required. There are four levels – Level 1: Basic care package through to Level 4: High level care package
With the introduction of Consumer Directed Care (CDC) Home Care Packages are now controlled by the recipient rather than the service provider. This means that you can compare providers to find one that best meets your individual needs. Today, it is much easier to change providers. If you make a change, the funding for your package will follow you to your new provider.
Assessments for both the CHSP and Home Care Package are facilitated by the Australian Government through MyAgedCare. For the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, you may need a home support assessment. Home Care Packages are planned by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria.
Other available funding programs include:
- Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA)
- National Respite for Carers (NRCP) or Consumer Directed Respite Care (CDRC)
Some people may be covered for services through:
- Private health insurance
- Workplace injury insurance
- Motor accident insurance
While funding is provided by the above funding programs, often people wish to spend their own money