Disability Support Pension: Disability Support Pension provides financial support to people whose FA stops them from working.
You may be able to get Disability Support Pension if your FA stops you from working or being retrained for work within the next two years. You also have to be an Australian resident and meet other eligibility criteria. The Disability Support Pension is income and assets tested, unless you receive a Disability Support Pension because you are permanently blind.
If you are eligible, you may receive a fortnightly Disability Support Pension, along with other benefits, including a Pensioner Concession Card. If you start working again, you may still receive Disability Support Pension, depending on the hours you work for and how much you earn.
Chronic Disease Management Plan: If you have FA and ask, your doctor should develop a GP Management Plan. A GP Management Plan is a plan of action agreed between you and your GP. It identifies your health care needs, sets out the services to be provided by your GP and lists the actions that you need to take.
If you ask further, your doctor may also put a Team Care Arrangements plan in place for you. A Team Care Arrangements plan lets your doctor work with, and refer you to, at least two other health professionals who will provide treatment or services to you.
You may be eligible for Medicare benefits for specific allied health services if your doctor prepares both types of plans for you (commonly referred to as an EPC or “enhanced primary care” plan). This could cover the cost of a total of five visits divided between at least two other health professionals (i.e. chiropractor, physiotherapist etc.)
Mobility Allowance: Mobility Allowance helps with transport costs for FAers who cannot use public transport without substantial assistance.
You may be eligible for Mobility Allowance if your FA prevents you from using public transport without substantial help and are:
- looking for work under an agreement with an Employment Services Provider
- participating in a Disability Employment Services Program
- involved in a combination of paid employment, voluntary work, vocational training and independent-living or life-skills training
There are two rates of Mobility Allowance. The rate you receive depends on whether you meet certain eligibility criteria.
Medicare Card: Every Australian resident should be enrolled in Medicare and will receive a Medicare card: Having a valid Medicare card is important for claiming a Medicare benefit, visiting a doctor who bulk bills, seeking treatment as a public patient in a public hospital or having a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme prescription filled.
If you are aged 15 or older, you can get your own Medicare card. Children under 15 can be listed on their parents’ card.
You use your Medicare card when:
- making a Medicare claim for a paid or unpaid doctor’s account
- visiting a doctor who bulk bills
- getting treatment as a public patient in a public hospital
- filling a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme prescription at a pharmacy
Health Care Card/Concession Card:
Essential Medical Equipment Payment: The Essential Medical Equipment Payment is an annual $140 (fy 12-13, indexed to increase in future years) payment to people who experience additional increases in home energy costs from the use of essential medical equipment to manage their disability or medical condition. Payments will start from 1 July 2012.
There are eligibility criteria but the payment is not means tested. “Neurodegenerative disorder” is listed among eligible conditions (your GP would need to verify that your FA means your body has difficulty with temperature control if you’ll claim to help with heating/cooling bills) and “electric wheelchair” is among the eligible appliances. Application for this payment must be made online. NB: once you’ve submitted your claim online, you’ll be required to take this form to your GP to be filled so it might be smart to bring it with you and have it filled before you make your claim.