If you have a disability, mental health condition or injury, there are a range of financial assistance schemes offered by the Australian Government to support you in different ways.
The Government offers a range of financial assistance schemes outside of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to support people with disability to cover the cost of living including rent or mortgage repayments, groceries, utilities, transport and other miscellaneous costs.
If you have a disability that leaves you unable to work, you may be able to receive financial assistance. This is also the case if you have a disability but are actively looking for employment. If you are caring for someone with a disability and this affects your ability to work or study, there are a number of financial assistance initiatives that can make your life easier.
Disability Support Pension (Centrelink)
What is the disability support pension?
The Disability Support Pension (DSP) from Centrelink provides financial help for people with a permanent physical, intellectual or psychosocial disability that prevents them from working.
How to qualify for Disability Support Pension
To be eligible for the DSP you must meet both non-medical and medical rules.
Non-medical rules include your age, residency and income and assets.
There are two types of medical rules, called 'manifest' and 'general'. If you don’t meet either the general or manifest medical rules, you will not be medically eligible.
General medical rules include:
Your condition will last more than 2 years
Your condition is fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised
Your have an impairment rating of 20 points or more
Your condition will stop you from working at least 15 hours a week over the next two years
Manifest medical rules include:
- You are permanently blind
- You need nursing home level care
- You have a terminal illness with average life expectancy of less than two years
- You have an intellectual disability with an IQ of less than 70
- You have category 4 HIV/AIDS
- You get a Department of Veterans’ Affairs special rate disability pension (totally and permanently incapacitated)
How much is the Disability Support Pension per fortnight?
How much DSP you can get depends on your situation.
Services Australia updates the payment rates for DSP on 20th March and 20th September each year if you’re either:
- 21 and older, with or without children
- younger than 21 with a child in your care
On 1st January each year, they update the rates for those younger than 21 without children.
You can find the current DSP rates here.
It is important to note that not everyone with disability or a medical condition is eligible for the DSP. If you can’t get DSP, you may be able to get other payments. You can still access services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) if you’re claiming DSP.
To find out if you are eligible for the DSP and how you can apply visit the Services Australia website or call 132 717.
Who is eligible for JobSeeker payments?
If you are unemployed but actively looking for work, you may be able to receive the JobSeeker payment.
This financial support is available to people who are 22 years old or older - but under the Aged Pension age of 65 years old - looking for paid work, earn under the income and assets test limits and prepared to meet mutual obligation requirements.
You will no longer receive payments if you stop looking for work without a good reason and you may not receive payments until you attend your first appointment with an Employment Services Provider (ESP).
To find out if you are eligible for the JobSeeker Allowance and how you can apply, visit the Services Australia website or call 132 850.
Child Disability Assistance Payment
Who is eligible for the Child Disability Assistance Payment?
If you care for a child with a disability or serious injury who is under 16 years old and are paid the Carer Allowance, you will also automatically receive Childhood Disability Assistance Payment. Under this scheme, you will receive $1,000 in your bank account, annually. If you care for two children, you can expect two payments.
You will not be eligible for the annual carer supplement payment if you only have a Carer Allowance Health Care Card and are not paid the Carer Allowance.
To find out more, visit the Services Australia website or call 132 717.
Youth Disability Supplement
If you’re under 21 years old and on a Disability Support Pension, you may be eligible for extra assistance through the Youth Disability Supplement. You may also be eligible to receive the supplement if you're under 22 years old and get Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY.
You don’t need to apply for Youth Disability Supplement, but you’ll need to tell the Department of Human Services if you don’t want to get it.
To find out more visit Services Australia website or call 132 717
How has Government financial support benefited you or your family? Tell us in the comments below.