Grants & Payment Plans

Grants

As Industry leaders, we often get asked for advising and guidance in receiving Government Assistance. There are several different Government Grants and Schemes that can be accessed. There are quite a few different options, and it can be quite tricky to determine what you may be eligible for. To try and make it a little bit easier, we have provided some information on the larger schemes. Please keep in mind that these change frequently and that the information on the page may not be up-to-date.

NDIS

Motobility is Registered Provider of the NDIS

There has been a lot of media attention on the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme), and it has been referred to as the most significant health reform since MediBank. Whether you love it or hate it the NDIS is here to stay and is making substantial changes that could be affecting you.

One of the main questions we get asked is in terms of eligibility and what is covered under the scheme.

Eligibility

If you are currently receiving services or supports from the government through organisations such as SilverChain, Bethanie, Amana Living, Brightwater, MercyCare etc., it is a good idea to speak to your current OT (Occupational Therapist), Case Manager or Case Coordinator.

To determine if you are eligible for the NDIS is based on the below criteria. If you answer Yes to them, you are most likely eligible to receive services and should get in touch with the NDIS on 1800 800 110.

  1. Are you over 7 and under 65 years old? If you are over 65 years, please see Home Care Packages below
  2. Do you live in Australia and an Australian Citizen or resident or permanent visa holder?
  3. Do you usually require help or support from a person, due to a permanent and significant disability? This could be a Physical, Intellectual, Sensory, Cognitive or Psychological impairment.
  4. Do you use specialised aids or equipment because of a permanent and significant disability?
  5. Do you believe supports now will reduce your future needs in the future?

If based on the above you have come to the conclusion that you are eligible for the NDIS and would benefit from having a personalized NDIS Plan, you will need to submit an application, known as an Access-Request, to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), who is the government body responsible for assessing each application. This can be done by calling 1800 800 110. For assistance in filling in the form or making the phone call, you can contact your Local Area Coordinator or local NDIA office. To find the nearest office click here

Please note: The NDIS is being rolled out in WA. As of the 1st of July 2019, all of WA should be covered by the NDIS.

As part of your Access Request, you will be asked to provide information about yourself, such as age, residency as well as information on consent and privacy. You will also be asked to provide additional information on your disability via email or mail. For more in-depth information on the application process, please visit https://www.ndis.gov.au/applying-access-ndis/how-apply

Frequently Asked Questions

We often get asked many questions regarding the NDIS. Apart from Eligibility the below sum up some of the most common questions.

  • How long does the NDIS application process take?
    The NDIS website states that once all supporting documents for the Access Request have been received, each application should be processed within 21 days. However speaking to the NDIA, we have been informed that due to the backlog and the on-boarding process of different states and territories in Australia, the application process can currently take up to 3 months.

  • How long does it take to get funding approved for Assistive Technology (AT)?
    This is one of the harder to determine timeframes as there is the case by case scenario’s based on urgency. As a general rule, this process is currently taking longer than desired due to the large amount of back-log in the Assistive Technology area. At the beginning of August 2019, we have been informed by the NDIA that it can take up to 6 months for AT applications to get processed and approved. Some recent improvements include the reduction of quotes required for the application process (now two quotes), and replacement technology has a simplified application process. 

  • What services and supports can I ask for as part of my NDIS Plan?
    Everyone has different abilities and different needs. The aim o the NDIS Plan is to determine the best ways to meet your short, medium and long-term goals. Funding is always based on “reasonable and necessary” to assess services and supports to achieve your goals in addition to supports you are receiving from friends and family.

    The three “budgets” that may be included in your Plan are

    1. Core supports budget
    This is the most flexible part of your funding. The amount of flexibility will depend on how you have chosen to manage each of the categories in your budget. You may have selected to Self-manage your services, asked the NDIA to manage services or engaged a third party to manage your services

    This budget includes four categories of support

    a. Consumables,eg. Continence aids, low-risk assistive technology and equipment
    b. Daily Activities,eg. Assistance with self-care activities during the days, such as meal preparation
    c. Assistance with Social and Community Participation,eg. Services to help you engage in social or recreational activities
    d. Transport,eg. If public transport is not a viable option

    2. Capacity Building budget
    This focuses on building your longer-term independence and skills, such as undertaking development and training to obtain employment or build up new skills, for everyday, such as learning to use public transport independently. 

    This budged is also where Assistive Technology and equipment funding is located. This can be used for Mobility Equipment, Vehicle Modifications, Home Modifications or funding to access specialist disability accommodation.

    3. Capital Support budget
    Funds within the capital support budget can only be used for the specific purpose in the participant plan and can not be used for anything else. You will require quotes or specialist reports before funding will be made available.

  • My application has been declined; what are my options?
    If you feel like a decision made is incorrect, you can request an application for an internal review of an outcome. It’s best to speak with your OT and discuss the outcome before moving forward. To find out more about how to lodge an internal review click here

Home Care Packages

Home Care Packages (HCP) are a way that older Australian can access affordable services to get assistance around the home. These are designed to cater for more complex needs and can include allowances for Assistive Technology (AT) at higher levels.

The HCP’s have been divided into four levels. Based on an assessment, it will be determined what level care is applicable, and services and funds will be allocated accordingly. The table below will give you an overview of the different Levels and their inclusions

Package Level

High care needs – around $50,750 a year

Level 1 Primary care needs – around $8,750 a year
Level 2 Low care needs – around $15,250 a year
Level 3 Intermediate care needs – around $33,500 a year
Level 4 High care needs – around $50,750 a year

Eligibility

Eligibility is determined through a two-step assessment process, which assists in creating an understanding of your needs and what services will help you on a day to day basis to stay living independently in your home. The first step is a phone call, which is then followed by an in-person assessment.

To start the process, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. Ensure you have your Medicare card ready and allow 10 minutes for the call. You will be asked a few questions about your needs and circumstances, such as questions on 

  • Your health,
  • How you are managing at home
  • Any support you are currently receiving, including help from family and friends

If you feel nervous about the call, you can have a family member or friend assist you during the call if they have your consent, they can also talk on your behalf. You can also appoint a representative on an ongoing basis to speak with My Aged Care on your behalf.

After the call has been concluded the information that you have supplied will be used to assess if you are eligible for a face-to-face assessment. The in-person assessment will assist in determining precisely what you need and inform you about the different services that are currently available. If you have immediate/urgent needs, you may be directly referred to services before your assessment takes place.

If it has been determined that you are eligible for an in-home assessment, you will receive. There are two assessments

  1. In-home support assessment with Regional Assessment Service (RAS)
    If it sounds like you are in need o low-level support to assist you in staying independent in your home, you may be recommended to receive a RAS assessment. This will lead you down the Commonwealth Home Support Programme pathway. 

  2. A comprehensive assessment with an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)
    This assessment is more in-depth and is used to provide you access to
  • Home Care Packages
  • Short-term care options
  • Aged care homes

Regardless of which assessment you have been recommended, it is a good idea to be prepared for the assessment to allow it to run smoothly and be less stressful. You can have a support person present during the evaluation; this can be an excellent idea as they may think of different questions to ask and may have a different perspective. Also, try and have the below information ready at hand

  • Your Medicare card plus one other form of ID such as a DVA card, healthcare card, passport or current drivers license
  • Have a copy of any doctor referrals
  • Contact details of your GP and any other healthcare professionals that you see regularly
  • Think about all the support you currently receive, making a list is an excellent idea
  • Think about any questions that you may have and note them down, to ensure none get missed

During the Assessment, you may be required to complete some paperform as well as provide some information about yourself and your circumstances. If you have an ACAT assessment, you will be required to fill out a form, which is an Application for Care form. Regardless of which assessment you are having the Assessor will have a copy of the information that you have supplied during the phone call making it easier to get started and eliminating the need for you to repeat yourself. They will ask you questions about

  • Any supports you are currently receiving and if these can continue
  • Your concerns, lifestyle and current health
  • Which daily task you enjoy and complete and which are becoming too difficult
  • If you have problems remembering things
  • Any issues relating to your home and personal safety
  • Any family and community activities that you are attending or would like to be attending and issues that may currently stop you from attending these
  • Contact your GP or health professionals

The Assessor may also supply you with the possible costs of your services.

You will work with your Assessor to develop a support plan, which records what you have discussed and agreed upon during the meeting. This will include items such as 

  • Your strengths
  • Your main struggles
  • What your goals are and what you want to achieve
  • What your service preferences are

Ensure you ask the assessor any question you may have to ensure you are very clear on what is available and to be able to communicate your preferences. Some of these questions maybe

  • Are there any supports available for my current carer/carers?
  • Are there service providers that speak particular languages or have specific religious or cultural beliefs?
  • How to get in touch after the assessment

Costs

If you can afford to contribute, you are expected to do so. Your contribution is made up of three types of fees:

  1. Basic daily fee (up to 10.54 per day)
    You may be required to pay a basic daily fee based on the HCP level you are currently receiving

  2. Income-tested care fee (up to $30.25 per day)
    You may also be subject to a means-tested fee. If you have to pay it and how much you have to pay, will depend on a formal income assessment that will be conducted by the Department of Human Services. If you are asked to pay this fee, it’s good to know that there are annual limits as well as lifetime limits on how much you can be asked to contribute.

  3. Additional fees
    These are any other fees that you have agreed you would pay for services that aren’t covered by your HCP.

To find out more about the fees or try to home-care fee calculator you can visit the My Aged Care website here 

Waiting Periods

Standard processing/waiting times apply to get the HCP approved. Packages are allocated, based on the approval date shown in the letter sent to you by the Aged Care Assessment Team ( ACAT). You will also be assigned a priority level, based on the urgency of your needs. Standard current waiting times (based on the latest revision, 31May 2019) are outlined in the table below.

Home Care Package Level that has been approved

Waiting time from letter of approval

Level 1 3-6 months
Level 2 12+ months
Level 3 12+ months
Level 4 12+ months

If there are urgent care needs will be flagged as a high priority, This ensures they get access to care quicker. You can check on your place in the queue my locking into your client records using MyGov or calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

If you need to get care sooner, there are a few different options that you can explore.

  1. Apply for an Interim package
    This is an HCP of a lower level than the one you’re approved to receive. Waiting periods can be shorter for lower levels. Agreeing to receive an Interim package will let you keep your place in the queue, but will allow you access to some services while you wait. 

    Expected waiting periods for Interim package are as below

Approved Package Level

Minimum interim package level available

Expected wait time for a transitional package

Level 1 No lower package level available N/A
Level 2 Level 1 3-6 months
Level 3 Level 1 3-6 months
Level 4 Level 2 12+ months

2. The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
The CHSP assists senior Australians in accessing entry-level support services to live independently and safely in their homes. To find out more about the CHSP click here

3. Private services

This may be an option if you need care while waiting for your application to be processed, these services aren’t subsidised or regulated by the Australian Government, and you will have to pay the full cost to access these services, regardless of your care needs or financial situation. To find out more about Private Services click here

Disability Equipment Grants Program (DEG)

The DEG is administered by the Independent Living Centre WA (ILC); this program aims to assist West Australians with permanent disabilities to obtain equipment.

Eligibility

This scheme is income assessed. To be deemed eligible, you have to fulfil the below conditions.

  • Be a holder of a current Centrelink Pension Concession Card (PCC)
    or
  • If you are over six years, you need to hold a current Centrelink PCC
    or
  • If you are earning another income, you will be assessed on gross annual income according to the below table

Status

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Single Up to $30,000 Up to $60,000 Over $60,000
Couple (combined) no children Up to $44,000 Up to $85,000 Over $85,000
Combined family with dependent children Up to $48,000 Up to $95,000 Over $95,000

Incomes within level 1 and level 2 are eligible for the DEG, where incomes over level 2 aren’t eligible.

If you are level 2 or higher, but more than one person in the family has a disability or recent changes of family circumstances, such as loss of employment have occurred, please contact the ILC Grants Team to discuss your case.

Please note if you are a participant of the NDIS scheme you are not eligible for this grant, except applicants applying for an air conditioner. For more information on the DEG and the application forms click here

What Is available under this grant

1. Assistive Technology (AT) for people with vision impairment – maximum grant value: $5,000

VisAbility (formerly Association for the Blind WA) manages the grants for AT for individuals with vision impairment; please contact http://www.visability.com.au for more information and to apply for this Grant. Exceptional circumstances may be considered where the cost of Assistive Technology exceeds $5000. The ILC manages all other categories.

2. Air Conditioners – maximum grant value: $ 1,500 for low income only

Please note only low-income pension concession cardholders will be considered for this grant. The application form can be downloaded from the ILC website https://ilc.com.au/disability-equipment-grants/ or contact the ILC on 1300 885 886. Please note that there is a specialised application form for this grant.

3. Vehicle Modifications – maximum grant value of $12,000

Items that may be covered include: 

  • Converting vehicles for wheelchair accessibility
  • Modification of driving controls
  • Specialisedhoists, carriers or trailers for wheelchairs or mobility-scooters
  • New or second-hand wheelchair accessible vehicles conditions apply
  • Dedicated wheelchair restraints or ramps

Grants will not be provided for occupant car seats and/or restraints or vehicle air-conditioning. 

Major car modifications, including accessible cars: Generally, applicants are eligible for one grant per seven-year period. Exceptional cases may be considered.

4. AT for people with Physical or communication Impairment – maximum grant value of $5,000

5. Modification of driving controls

If you are an adjult who suffers from a disability you will be given priority for grants in this category. Exceptional cases may be considered.

6. Essential Independence Assistive Technology – Maximum grant value: $10,000

Assistance may be granted toward necessary AT, which is currently not available through any other funding programs. The AT needs to improve independence, wellbeing and /or support their unpaid carers. 

If you are an adult and live on your own, you will be given priority.

If you live in a residential aged care facility,you won’t be eligible for this grant. However, there may be exceptional cases where it can be demonstrated that Mobility equipment will significantly increase independence and community access you may be considered even if you are residing in an aged care facility.

Exceptional cases may be considered where the cost exceeds $10,000.

You won't be eligible if:

  • Youqualify for the Community Aids & Equipment Program (CAEP), this is now being replaced by the HCP.
  • The AT is related to safe hospital discharge
  • You are currently receiving services or equipment through HCP, and the AT is expected to be provided as part of the package, e.g. lift and recline chairs and electric beds.
  • You currently live in an aged care facility

Equipment requested needs to be supported and prescribed by an appropriate allied health professional (e.g. occupational therapist) and include client-specific, written quotes. 

You may apply for equipment such as

  • Wheeled mobility devices, e.g. manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs and power chairs.
  • Alternative seating for people with complex needs, e.g. Lift and recline chairs
  • Personal hygiene equipment
  • Minor home modifications

These are examples of Assistive Technology which may be funded. Enquiries regarding these and other assistive technology can be directed to the ILC grants team.

Application Process

Every application must include written supporting information from an appropriate health professional (for example, an Occupational Therapist). The role of the health professional is to

  • Confirm the person’s disability /diagnosis, and how this impacts them
  • Assess and verify the need for assistive technology/equipment
  • Prescribe the mobility equipment and justify how it will assist in overcoming current challenges

In remote and rural Western Australia, where an allied health professional (AHP) is not available a community nurse (for example) is allowed to provide the supporting information. Non-complex Assistive Technology (e.g. personal alarm) may be supported by a doctor.

You can apply for this grant at any time using the form available here or by contacting the Independent Living Centre WA. 

Processing time

As a norm, all applications are processed in the order in which they are received. Assessments usually take four to six weeks, providing all required information has been submitted with the application. Urgent assessments may be considered based on circumstances.

Equipment for Living Grants (EFL)

This grant is funded by the Department of Communities (formerly DSC) and aims to assist people in obtaining vital equipment not currently available through other funding channels. These need to be essential items that will support the user in everyday tasks around their homes and the community. 

Eligibility

If you are currently a participant of the NDIS, you are not eligible for the EFL.

To be eligible, you must meet all of the below criteria

  • Have a disability which is permanent or likely to be permanent
  • Are not currently a hospital in-patient, out-patient or day patient. You have not been one of these within the last three months
  • You are a holder of one of the following
  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Health Care Card
  • Can demonstrate financial hardship
  • You live in a residential setting that is structured to promote and encourage independent living (not a Commonwealth-funded aged care facility)
  • Have not received any compensation settlement
  • Are not a recipient of any Commonwealth funding packages such as Home Care Package.
  • Are not a participant of the NDIS

What is funded

This grant is designed to fund items that an individual needs and that are reasonable and necessary. Only Items that will be used regularly will be considered. Some examples of things that can be funded under the EFL are

  • Mobility aids or Wheelchairs to access the community or as an alternative to a primary mobility device
  • Electric adjustable beds
  • Alternative seating such as lift and recline chairs
  • Assistive communication technology such as personal alarms
  • AT for alternative living arrangements, e.g. shared custody
  • Items to support an individual’s safety
  • Minor home modifications
  • Specialised AT to assist in taking part in recreation and leisure options/activities

Scooter applications: If you have alternative transport options and /or supports available, it is doubtful that scooter applications will be approved

The grant will usually only fund one item or package per person, up to a maximum amount of $6,000 per year and items under $250 will not be considered.

Application Process

Every application for AT must be specified and supported by an Allied Health Professional (AHP) such as an Occupational Therapist. The AHP must ensure that the equipment or aid requested meets the essential needs of the individual and that costs are not inflated by non-essential features.

The completed form and documentation needs to be sent through for assessment. This can be done at any given time. For more information on the application process and to access the application forms, please click here

Processing times

All applications will be processed in the order they are received, to ensure fair processing. If all required information has been submitted, the application process usually takes between four to six weeks. If there are special circumstances, applications may be fast-tracked.

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