What financial support can disabled Australians access?

Published 05 Apr 2018

People with disabilities comprise a sizeable proportion of the Australian population. In fact, nearly one-fifth of individuals claim they are disabled, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Living with a disability is often financially challenging. The ABS revealed far fewer people in this demographic are employed than non-disabled individuals – 53.4 per cent compared with 83.2 per cent of 15–64-year-olds.

As such, the Federal Government provides a number of financial support schemes to help people with disabilities who are unable to pursue a career or can only perform a limited amount of work. Here are some of the options available:

Disability Support Pension

People who have a physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition may be entitled to the Disability Support Pension if they cannot work and are between 16 years old and pension age.

The size of payments claimants receive depends on their age, level of independence and eligibility for energy supplements or other additional benefits. For example, a couple aged over 21 could receive a maximum of $1,368.80 at the time of writing.

Sickness Allowance

The Sickness Allowance is a temporary payment designed to financially support individuals who normally work or study but are too ill to do so.

Applicants must be aged 22 or over and the highest fortnightly payment is currently $590.40, which is available to single people with independent children. However, the Sickness Allowance cannot be combined with other forms of income support.

Child Disability Assistance Payments

These automatic annual payments are given to people who receive Carer Allowance for children aged under 16. They total $1,000 and guardians are eligible for two payments if they care for two children with disabilities.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) support

The NDIS is a framework that provides a number of services to help people with significant or permanent disabilities improve their quality of life.

Some participants may be eligible for funding across various areas, including assistive technology, work experience programs and other day-to-day living expenses.

Total and permanent disability insurance payouts

People who develop a disability due to an accident or illness may also be entitled to total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance through their superannuation or an insurance policy.

These lump sum payments can cover medical bills, rehabilitation costs, out-of-pocket expenses and lost income or superannuation that result from a TPD.

If you would like to know more about financial support for TPDs, please contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Superannuation Lawyers.

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