The Helping Children with Autism Package

What is the helping Children With Autism Package?

The Helping Children with Autism Package is a package of funding which helps with the diagnosis, early intervention and treatment costs of having a child with autism.
The package also provides additional information and community resources

What’s available?
The Helping Children with Autism initiative provides a package of funding to families of a child with autism aged 0-6 to gain the early intervention support and resources they require.
The package consists of $12,000 which must be used by the time the child is aged 7.
The package can be used on approved early intervention services and equipment.
Also included in the Helping children with autism initiative
• Autism advisors – The funding has paid for Autism advisors to be employed by autism service providers which can provide information and support to families.
• Autism information website –Raising children with ASD website
• Training for parents – Early Days autism workshops
• Play connect – playgroups for children with autism

Other supports available through Medicare rebates
Enhanced primary care plan (referral needed from a GP or Paediatrician)
• 5 sessions with an allied health professional
• $4,250 work of dental care of the child has dental issues related to their ASD
• 20 sessions with an OT, speech, or psychology ( not each in total – once in a lifetime rebate)
• Older children can receive some support for visits to occupational therapy, psychology speech and dental services if the referral is written by the time the child is 13 and the visits are used by the time the child is 15.

Mental health care plan
With a referral from a GP a person with autism or any of their family members can access
• Free sessions with a psychologist, psychiatrist or counselling service
• Children with autism can access 4 sessions with a psychologist for diagnosis

Further information –

N.B. If you live in Geelong or Colac, this service is funded through NDIS

Individual Support Packages

What is an individual support package?

Individuals with autism in victoria between the age of 5 and 65 are entitled to apply to the Department of Human Services for an Individual Support Package (ISP.) Children under the age of 5 can access a flexible support package which provides case management.
The ISP is to pay for the supports the person has in the community or in their home.

An ISP can be used to pay for
• Respite
• In home support
• Post school options such as ‘day services’
• Equipment needs
• Case management

ISP’s are reviewed regularly and a person may have to re-apply for ongoing support
• Funding for an ISP can be paid directly to an agency or to the person but must be managed within the program guidelines and approved/audited.
• The process for gaining an ISP can be difficult for most families and individuals to negotiate.

To apply for an ISP the DHS first needs to confirm
• Eligibility- that the person has a confirmed diagnosis of a disability and is eligible under the Disability Act for services
• Needs- that the person has genuine needs that cannot be met by any other existing services or funding packages.
• The family/individual and either their case worker, representative from a service provider or person from the DHS will need to complete an application for the ISP which specifically lists the persons care needs, length of time supports are required and the anticipated cost of the needs.
• The application is then sent to a review panel which will allocate funding based on needs to individuals.
For further information regarding and ISP or to apply for an ISP please see Phone intake and response on 1800 783 783
Or talk to your autism service provider.

N.B. If you live in Geelong or Colac, this service is funded through NDIS

Centrelink Assistance

Centrelink  Assisstance Payments

There are a variety of Centrelink assistance payments are available for carers of a person with autism/disability.

Eligibility for payment varies and it is best to make an appointment with Centrelink to discuss your individual circumstances.

Some of the payments are means tested and will require you to supply information about your income and assets and supporting documentation from your child’s paediatrician or GP may be required.

Payments available include:
Carer Payment (children under 16 years with a disability)
Carers Payment (caring for someone over 16 years)
Carers Allowance (child under 16)
Carers Allowance (person over 16)
Carers Supplement
Disability Support Pension
Child Disability Assistance Payment
Concession cards

For further information about disability and carer payments please contact Cetrelink

Centrelink carers line 13 27 17

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

This scheme supports people with permanent and significant disability, their families and carers.
The scheme is a new way of funding personalised support for people with disability that involves more choice and control and a lifetime approach to a person’s support needs.
Support for people with disability participating in the scheme will be based on their individual needs, goals and aspirations.
NDIS will work with every person who participates in the scheme by:
• discussing individual goals and support needs
• helping develop a personalised plan
• considering the supports needed to strengthen family and informal caring arrangements and
• connecting the participants to mainstream services and community supports.
If you have a disability that means you require some assistance, we may also be able to help by telling you about relevant government and community services in your area.

You may be able to access the scheme if you have a permanent disability and:
• you can’t join in activities or do things without assistive technology, equipment or home modifications or
• you usually need support from other people to join in activities or do things at home or in the community.

You may meet the early intervention requirements if:
• you or your child have a permanent disability or
• your child has a developmental delay and
• there is evidence that shows getting early supports will reduce how much help you or your child need to do things in the future.

You will also need to be aged under 65 when you first become a participant with NDIS. Depending on where you live, there may be other age and residence requirements during the first stage of NDIS .

NDIS  will be rolled out in stages. The first stage will be launched from July 2013 in four locations.

Locations that start from July 2013 are:
• Hunter area, New South Wales (including Newcastle)
• Barwon area, Victoria (including Geelong)
• South Australia (for children)
• Tasmania (for young people).
Locations that start from July 2014 are:
• Australian Capital Territory
• Barkly area, Northern Territory.(including Tennant Creek)
For the latest news and information.

Call us 1800 800 110 Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm EST
National Relay Service Call 1800 555 677 and ask for 1800 800 110
Translating and Interpreting Services Call 131 450 and ask for 1800 800 110