Healthcare is essential to life but can be especially difficult for those with disabilities. If you’re living with a disability or you live with someone with a disability, chances are you’ve experienced firsthand the challenges that come with finding accessible options.
Luckily in Australia, various measures are in place to ensure that people with disabilities can access the healthcare they need. In this article, you’ll learn about some of these benefits and how disability-friendly healthcare can benefit you and your family. So, if you want to know the benefits for people with disabilities, here is a good start.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme
Australians with a disability are entitled to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This is a government-funded insurance program that provides support for Australians with permanent and significant disabilities, including access to necessary healthcare services. The NDIS covers a range of services for eligible participants, including but not limited to funding for the following:
- Equipment and aids, such as wheelchairs, communication devices, or prosthetics.
- Home modifications, such as ramps.
- Medical costs, such as prescriptions and specialist fees.
- Transportation services, such as those associated with attending medical appointments.
The NDIS also includes funding for therapy sessions like physical therapy, speech therapy, psychological therapies, and other supports to help people with disabilities reach their goals. You can get in touch with your NDIS provider to discuss the options that would best suit your needs.
Disability Support Pension
The Disability Support Pension (DSP) is a form of financial assistance provided to Australians who cannot work or participate in education or training programs due to a physical, intellectual, or psychiatric condition.
You need to meet specific criteria to be eligible, and the amount of the pension you receive will depend on your level of disability and your financial situation. It’s important to note that the DSP is a means-tested payment, which means that the amount of payment a person receives will depend on their income, assets, and other circumstances.
The Carer Allowance is a payment provided by the Australian Government to individuals who provide daily care for a child or an adult with a medical condition or disability or an elderly who is frail.
To qualify for the Carer Allowance, the individual must meet certain criteria, including caring for someone whose care needs are assessed to be sufficiently high according to the adult or child assessment tools, providing care for someone who requires special healthcare needs for a minimum of 12 months, and satisfying the income test.
The Carer Allowance is AUD$ 144.80 each fortnight. If you’re providing care for a child under 16, the Carer Allowance is the same amount, plus the child may be eligible for a Health Care Card.
Private Insurance For People With Disabilities
There’s private health insurance available for people with disabilities, too. Depending on your plan and needs, you can get cover for healthcare needs like therapy and equipment.
Private health insurers offer a range of benefits for people with disabilities, including:
- Coverage of medical and hospital services that are not eligible under Medicare
- Specialized services that are tailored to the individual’s disability
- Access to providers who specialize in treating people with specific disabilities
- Reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses associated with treatment by a specialist
- Access to cutting-edge treatments and therapies not available through the public system
- Fast access to private hospitals that may not be available through the public system
It’s best to shop around and compare policies before choosing a private health insurance provider to ensure you find the best policy that meets your needs and budget. It’s also worth noting that private health insurance is not mandatory in Australia, but it can provide additional benefits and coverage beyond what is available through the public healthcare system.
Support Networks For People With Disabilities Seeking Healthcare
When you have a disability, finding the right healthcare provider can be challenging. Fortunately, there are support networks available for people with disabilities. These support networks can help you find the right doctor and other healthcare professionals. They can also provide useful information on various benefits you may be eligible for. Here are some organizations you can reach out to:
- Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA): The primary aim of DANA is to provide advocacy and support services to people with disabilities. These services are designed to help people with disabilities to assert their rights, make their own decisions, and participate fully in all aspects of society.
- Carers Australia: The organization is focused on providing information, education, and support services for carers, as well as advocating for policy changes and reforms that benefit carers and the people they care for.
- National Disability Services (NDS): The goal of NDS is to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities and to provide leadership in the development of quality disability services. NDS works to improve the lives of people with disabilities by providing information, support, and advocacy to its members.
By accessing the support of organizations, people with disabilities can receive the care they need and ensure that their healthcare experiences are positive and empowering.
With the proper support, people with disabilities can benefit so much. By understanding the healthcare options available, you can ensure you’re getting the care and help you need to have the best quality of life possible.