For people with a chronic health condition - especially kidney disease
Quick links: Families and Carers and Home Dialysis
Australian Home Dialysis Patient - Financial Support
Patients on home dialysis treatment may be eligible for financial assistance for costs related to, but not exclusive to, electricity and water. More at www.homedialysis.org.au
Essential Medical Equipment Payment
An annual $140 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. This payment must be claimed. This subsidy applies if you run a Home Dialysis machine in your home. Refer Clean Energy Future - Q&A> & Centrelink - Essential Medical Equipment Payment.
NEED FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE?
You may be able to claim disability benefits from your Super or Insurance. Our fact sheets below may help answer questions. Also refer Medicare - Your Health
Early access to preserved superannuation funds
You may be able to access your preserved superannuation If you have a chronic disease, especially CKD are on dialysis and are under financial stress, under some circumstances:
- if you have been on Centrelink payments for at least six months and can't pay living expenses (up to $10,000 pa)
- if you're over retirement age (55-60) and on Centrelink payments for nine months (all your super)
- if you need money to pay for palliative care, funeral expenses, modifications to your home or car, or medical and transport expenses for treatment outside the public health system, for you or a dependent
- if you need funds to cover loan repayments to prevent sale of your home (up to 3 month repayments plus 12 month interest)
- if permanently incapacitated for work (you can get all of your Super)
- if preserved amount is up to $200
- if a temporary resident and permanently leave Australia (you can get all of your Super)
Total and permanent disability benefits
To get a TPD lump sum you need to prove you can not return to your usual job, or other suitable work that fits your education, training or experience. You don't have to be unfit for any work at all e.g. if you have only ever done manual work and can't do this work now, it won't matter if doctors say you could do office work. If you lose the use of your arms, legs or eyes, you may qualify for a TPD benefit even if you can still work. There is a six month qualifying period, but this can be reduced. Many people with disability will qualify for a TPD benefit, as will many on disability support pensions.
What are superannuation disability benefits?
Most superannuation policies include disability benefits. Superannuation disability benefits are total and permanent disability (TPD) lump sums, or disability pensions, or both. They are usually insurance benefits that 'top up' the contributions in your fund if you have to stop work.
It's important to get advice from experts
Disability claims can be complicated but it's important to find out about your rights. There are time limits for appeals to the courts so you should get help from an experienced lawyer before making a claim or appeal.
Free Super and Insurance Advice Service - for people with kidney disease and others with chronic conditions. Fact Sheets below are only a general guide to legal, superannuation and financial issues and not a substitute for professional advice. Kidney Health Australia acknowledges contributions of John Berrill from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers developing this information. Call 1800 810 812 - Maurice Blackburn Lawyers www.mauriceblackburn.com.au
AUSTRALIAN FAMILY AND CARER FINANCE AND SUPPORT SERVICES
Australian Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS) state information
Isolated Patient Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS)
Patients traveling to city for treatment may be eligible for a government scheme to provide financial support for travel and accommodation. Patients may be unaware of eligibility for this support. Refer to information below for State concessions and subsidies.
Patients should be advised they may need to claim in advance in some states. In some states, support is available for family members and some states also have patient accommodation available through the cancer organisations or hospitals at reduced cost. A list of available resources can be obtained from each State and Territory cancer organisation or local hospital.
Dialysis Transport Information booklets
These transport information booklets detail the options that should be available in your State, to assist you in attending your local dialysis clinic. You may need to use a combination of services. Talk to staff at your local dialysis clinic if unable to find a transport solution.
Dialysis Transport Support - ACT
Dialysis Transport Support - New South Wales
Dialysis Transport Support - Queensland
Dialysis Transport Support - Sth Australia
Dialysis Transport Support - Tasmania
Dialysis Transport Support - Victoria
Dialysis Transport Support - Western Australia
Electricity and Water concessions
Carers Payment and Allowances
Patients on Home Dialysis treatment may be eligible for financial assistance for costs related to, but not exclusive to electricity and water. The HOME Network has put together Fact Sheets providing a guide to concessions available in each State of Australia. Refer to sister site Home Dialysis - Support: Finance page>
If your carer is helping you with the dialysis and other activities of daily living you may be eligible for the carer financial assistance. There are two different payments, administered by Centrelink:
Centrelink Carer Allowance may be paid in addition to wages
Centrelink Carer Payment provides you with an income
Current restrictions include
The person cared for must meet certain criteria and scoring, based on support for activities of daily living. The Carers Payment - which is income support for carers who cannot undertake substantial employment, is means tested and allows 63 respite days per year.
Helpful links: Centrelink administer various support and carer payments - refer to these links or call 132 717
Crisis and special help * Illness or Disability * We speak your language * Carer Adjustment Payment
Need support to retrain for a new career?
Useful financial and general resources:
Medicare Australia - 132 011 to locate a Medicare office
TTY 1800 552 152 for hearing/speech impaired - 131 450 for interpreting service
Private Health and Chronic Disease
Updated 26 November 2013