There is a number of avenues for financial assistance for persons diagnosed with ASD. The cost of accessing services can be quite burdensome, Autism NT encourages its members to investigate these avenues as a high priority to reduce financial stress. All information is current as of February 2015. Please check the links provided to ensure the data is current.

Autism Advisor Program – Northern Territory

Autism Advisors provide advice and information about early intervention services that can help families address their child’s specific needs, and on all aspects of the Helping Children with Autism package including assisting families to access the Early Intervention Funding package and the Early Intervention Service Provider Panel.

In the Northern Territory, eligible children may be able to access the Early Intervention Funding of up to $12,000 (up to $6,000 per financial year) to be used for specific multidisciplinary, evidence-based early intervention.

What can an Autism Advisor do? An Autism Advisor can assist you with accessing (but is not limited to):

  • Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) funding
  • Parent support groups
  • Parent and carer workshops, including Early Days workshops
  • Playgroups
  • Medicare options for therapy, diagnosis and assessment
  • Resources and other support options
  • Planning for transition to NDIS (for the Barkley area)

The Autism Advisor Program NT provides support to families who have a child aged between 0-7 years with a suspected or formal diagnosis under DSM-IV or DSM-5 criteria including;

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Autism
  • Asperger syndrome
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
  • Rett’s Disorder
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Contact details for Autism SA (NT):

ph: (08) 8947 4800
e: twachtel@autismsa.org.au
www.autismsa.org.au/autism-advisor-program

For further information: www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/disability-and-carers/program-services/for-people-with-disability/helping-children-with-autism#1

Centrelink

Centrelink provides a number of financial assistance options including:

  • Carer Payment provides financial support to people who are unable to work in substantial paid employment because they provide full time daily care to someone with a severe disability or medical condition, or to someone who is frail aged.
  • Carer Allowance is a supplementary payment for parents or carers providing additional daily care to an adult or dependent child with a disability or medical condition, or to someone who is frail aged. Carer Allowance is free of the income and assets test, is not taxable and can be paid in addition to wages, Carer Payment or any other Centrelink payment.
  • If you are already receiving the Carer Payment or Carer Allowance, the Carer Supplement is an annual lump sum payment to assist carers with the costs of caring for a person with a disability or medical condition.
  • Carer Adjustment Payment is a one off payment to help families deal with the increased costs of caring for a child aged 6 years or younger who has had a sudden and severe illness or accident.
  • Child Disability Assistance Payment is an annual payment to assist parents with the costs of caring for a child with a disability.
  • The Pensioner Education Supplement helps students with the ongoing costs of full time or part time study in a secondary or tertiary course.
  • The Health Care Card provides help with the cost of prescription medicine under PBS, Australian government funded medical services, and access to state, territory and local government concessions
  • The Disability Support Pension provides financial support for people who have a physical, intellectual, or psychiatric condition that stops them from working.
  • Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres provide carers with information and organising, purchasing, or managing respite care assistance packages for carers. Examples of respite care assistance include in-home respite care; support workers to assist you when you are taking a break away from home; and residential respite care.

Sourced www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/payments-for-carers (correct as at 8.2.15)

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres: www9.health.gov.au/ccsd/

Medicare

  • Chronic Disease Management Plan – The Plan provides 5 sessions with an allied health professional per calendar year. The CDM Plan can be written by your GP and people with ASDs are eligible for 5 sessions every calendar year. Once the initial plan has been made, the GP will not need to write a new plan each year, but may review the plan.
  • The Better Access to Mental Health Plan – This plan provides:
    • 6 sessions of individual therapy with a psychologist, occupational therapist or social worker. An additional 4 sessions are available following a review with the GP (a maximum of 10 sessions per calendar year).
    • 10 group sessions of therapy with a psychologist, occupational therapist, or social worker.
    • A GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician can also write this referral.
  • The Helping Children with Autism Access to Diagnosis and Treatment – Sometimes called “Medicare Item 135”, this provides the following:
    • 4 appointments for private diagnosis referred by a paediatrician or psychiatrist to a psychologist, speech pathologists, occupational therapist, audiologist, optometrist, orthoptist or physiotherapist.
    • 20 sessions with a psychologist, speech pathologists, occupational therapist, audiologist, optometrist, orthoptist or physiotherapist.

Sourced: www.amaze.org.au/uploads/2014/03/Fact-Sheet-Medicare-Benefits-Information-March-2014.pdf

NT Government Funding Support

The Northern Territory Pensioner and Carer Concession Scheme (NTPCCS) provides financial subsidies to eligible members for electricity, water, sewerage, council rates, garbage rates, travel, spectacles, motor vehicle registration, urban public bus travel and drivers licence renewals.

Concession scheme eligibility groups:

  • Permanent residents of the NT who hold a valid concession card, issued by the Commonwealth Department of Human Services (Centrelink), or Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
  • Carers who are permanent residents of the NT and are in receipt of the Commonwealth Carer’s Allowance from Centrelink.

Members can receive concessions on the following items:

  • Electricity/Alternate Energy
  • Local Council Property rates
  • Water Rates
  • Sewerage Rates
  • Garbage Charges
  • Motor Vehicle Registration
  • Drivers Licence
  • Spectacles
  • Public Transport
  • Stamp Duty

Please go to the link below to apply for the scheme:
https://health.nt.gov.au/professionals/office-of-disability

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The NDIS will replace the early intervention scheme in areas that it is operational. Currently the NDIS is being trialled in the Barkley Region of the NT. According to the NDIS website:

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is the new way of providing individualised support for eligible people with permanent and significant disability, their families and carers. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is the insurance that gives us all peace of mind. Disability could affect anyone – having the right support makes a big difference.

We understand that everyone’s needs, preferences and aspirations are different. That’s why we provide to eligible people a flexible, whole-of-life approach to the support needed to pursue their goals and aspirations and participate in daily life.

  • We provide information and referrals, links to services and activities, individualised plans and where necessary, supports over a lifetime.
  • We raise community awareness and encourage greater inclusion and access to mainstream services, community activities and other government initiatives.
  • We support service providers to build capacity and be part of the scheme.
  • Over time, we will find new and better ways of providing support, by building on what works well and learning from the lived experience of people with disability.

To find out more about the Barkley Region trial: www.ndis.gov.au/about-usour-trial-sitesndis-northern-territory/story-so-far-barkly

Sourced: www.ndis.gov.au/