Entitlements, Benefits and Other Supports

You may be eligible for services and supports, financial assistance or other benefits if you have MND or are caring for a person with MND. The services listed below may or may not apply to your individual situation, so please refer to the websites and phone numbers listed for more detailed information about eligibility. This list is by no means exhaustive. Your MND Queensland Regional Advisor can provide you with further information and advice.
Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT):
The role of the Aged Care Assessment Team is to provide information, advice and guidance around suitable care options for people over 65 years. Importantly, the Aged Care Assessment Team also facilitate access to community care packages (CACP/EACH), residential respite care and permanent placement in aged care facilities. These teams are based in the community and may be accessed throughout Queensland.

Carers Queensland:
Carers QLD support carers through the provision of information, education, training, advocacy, counselling and other support services that may assist them in their caring role. They also raise awareness about the role of carers amongst the wider community. Services which may be of interest include the Carer Advisory Service, which provides information and referral and the National Carer Counselling Service.
Phone:                 1800 242 636
Website:              http://carersqld.asn.au/
 
Carer Business Discount Card:
Provides discounts on goods and services from participating businesses for carers who receive the carers payment or carers allowance from Centrelink.
Phone: 13 74 68
Website: http://www.qld.gov.au/community/support-for-carers/applying-carer-card/
 
 
Centrelink:        
Centrelink delivers a range of payments and services to the Australian public during times of change. Payments which may be of relevance to people with MND and/or their carer include;
Disability Support Pension:
Provides Income support for people who have an intellectual, physical or psychiatric condition that prevents them from working. This payment is income and assets tested. In most cases your doctor will need to complete a section of the application form in order to establish medical history and the limitations caused by your illness.
Carer Payment
Provides income support for individuals who are unable to work as a result of the care they provide to someone with a disability, who is frail aged or suffers from a chronic medical condition. This payment is income and asset tested and subject to an assessment of care needs. 
Carer Allowance:  
A smaller, supplementary payment for carers which is not income tested and may be paid either as a single supplement or in addition to other payments including Carer Payment and the Aged Pension. 
Bereavement Allowance:
This payment is provided to an individual whose partner has died. It is income and assets tested.
Low Income Health Care Card & Pensioner Concession Card:
Enables the card holder to access subsidised prescription medications and other concessions in the community such as transport. This benefit is Income but not asset tested.
Mobility Allowance:
For those able to continue employment or volunteer work, mobility allowance may be able to assist with the cost of transport. To be eligible, the individual must work for more than 8 hours a week and have a level of disability that precludes the use of public transport. The allowance is not subject to income and asset tests.
Essential Medical Equipment Payment:
An annual payment to people who are experiencing increased home energy costs associated with the use of essential medical equipment such as an electric wheelchair or airbed vibrator. Those who require additional heating or cooling as a direct result of their medical condition may also qualify for this payment. To be eligible, applicants must be a Centrelink or DVA concession card holder and be able to provide evidence of the equipment or condition being claimed.
Phone:                                 132 717
Website:              http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/dhs/centrelink
 
Commonwealth Carelink and Respite Centres (CCRC):
A national service, CCRC provides information about aged care, disability and community services available in your local area and advice about how to access these services. The Centres can also facilitate access to in home or residential respite care by arranging and managing respite packages for carers. The website contains an online search facility which enables you to locate services in your city or state.
Phone:                                 1800 052 222 (Business Hours)
                                1800 059 059 (For emergency respite and support outside business hours)
Website:              http://www9.health.gov.au/ccsd/index.cfm
 
Companion Card:
Supports people with a disability who require the significant assistance of a companion to participate in community activities and events by allowing their companion to attend free of charge. To be eligible for the card, the individual with a disability must require significant assistance with mobility, self-care, communication or learning, whereby the use of aid or equipment do not allow the individual to complete these tasks independently. Application forms are available via the website or your MND Regional Advisor.
Website:              http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/communityservices/community-support/queensland-companion-card/about-the-companion-card-program
 
Department of Veteran’s Affairs:
Provides a range of services, specialised equipment and benefits to eligible veterans, current and former serving members and their families.
Ph:                         133 254
Website:              http://www.dva.gov.au/Pages/home.aspx
 
Disability Services Queensland (DSQ)
Disability Services Queensland assist people with a disability to access specialist disability services and supports. DSQ may also be able to assist with vehicle modifications via the Vehicle Options Subsidy Scheme (VOSS). All services are subject to certain eligibility criteria and involves an assessment process.
 
Life circle:
Life circle can provide telephone counselling by qualified counsellors and also match you with a volunteer mentor who has had personal experience caring for a loved one at end of life.
Phone:                                 1300 364 673
 
Website:              http://www.lifecircle.org.au/
 
My Aged Care:
An Australian Government initiative which provides telephone and web based information and referral in order to help people navigate the aged care system.  Includes information about government, non-government and private aged care services available in the community and how to access these supports.
Phone:                1800 200 422
Website:              http://www.myagedcare.gov.au/
 
Palliative Care Helpline:
A telephone based service that provides information about palliative care, how to access palliative care services in your local community and specialist counselling around issues of grief, loss and bereavement. The service is available Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.
Phone:                1800 772 273
Website:              http://www.palliativecarehelpline.org.au/index
 
Taxi Subsidy Scheme:
Provides half price taxi travel for people who are unable to use public transport because of a qualifying severe and permanent disability such as motor neurone disease. The application form needs to be completed by the person with motor neurone disease or carer as well as your GP or specialist medical practitioner. The scheme operates in all areas throughout Queensland.
Phone:                                 1300 134 755
Website:              http://www.qld.gov.au/disability/out-and-about/taxi-subsidy/
 
 
Telstra Disability Equipment Program:
Can assist with a range of equipment and communication devices to enable people with communication challenges to access the standard telephone service To be eligible, you must be a Telstra customer, have a disability which prevents the use of a standard telephone handset and have an application form signed off by a medical practitioner or relevant allied health professional. 
Phone:                                 1800 068 424
Website: http://www.telstra.com.au/abouttelstra/commitments/disability-services/index.htm
 
Correct as of August 2013.