Assistance for People with Disabilities in Queensland

Group of people supporting and being supported by a person with a disability

Navigating the various supports and concessions available to people with disabilities (PWD) can be overwhelming. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the the numerous resources, financial aids, and discounts available in Queensland, particularly for residents of the Gold Coast. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive guide that helps you find the assistance you need, from concession cards to utility bill support and educational scholarships.

How to Apply for a Companion Card for Disabled Individuals in Australia

The Companion Card is a valuable  resource for PWD who require attendant care support to participate in community activities. This card is a great assistance for people with disabilities and allows a companion to attend events and venues for free.

Eligibility

To be eligible for a Companion Card in Queensland, you must:

Sample Companion Card for individuals with disabilities
A sample Companion Card illustrating its use for accessing support services for people with disabilities
  • Be a lawful Australian resident living in Queensland.
  • have a disability
  • because of the impact of the disability, be unable to participate at most community venues or activities without attendant care support
  • need, or be likely to need, lifelong attendant care support.The Companion Card is not income or asset-tested.

Application Process

  1. Complete the Application Form: Available as a PDF or Word document on the Queensland Government website. You can also request a hard copy form by emailing Card Services or calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
  2. Gather Supporting Documents: Include two passport-sized photos and medical reports from healthcare professionals confirming your need for attendant care.
  3. Submit the Application:
    • In-Person: Visit a Queensland Government Service Centre. like
    • Brisbane QGSC
      Upper Plaza (access via the corner of George & Charlotte Streets)
      33 Charlotte Street
      BRISBANE  QLD  4000
    • OR

      Post your signed application form and photos to:

      • Companion Card
        Smart Service Queensland
        PO Box 10817
        BRISBANE ADELAIDE STREET QLD 4000

        addresses are correct at time of post please check the website to confirm

Medical Professionals to Approach

For the application, you will need supporting evidence from healthcare professionals who provide assistance for people with disabilities such as:

  • General Practitioners (GPs)
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Psychologists

When approaching these professionals, ask them to provide detailed reports that confirm your need for attendant care due to your disability. Ensure these reports include:

  • A description of your disability.
  • The impact of your disability on your daily life.
  • A statement on the necessity of attendant care for community participation.

Educational Support and Scholarships

Specific Places to Look for Educational Support

  • Pensioner Education Supplement:This provides assistance for people with disabilities You may be eligible for Pensioner Education Supplement if you meet the study rules and get one of these payments:
  • Carer Payment
  • Disability Support Pension
  • JobSeeker Payment as a single principal carer
  • Parenting Payment single
  • Special Benefit as a single parent

Assists students receiving a pension with costs related to their studies, such as books and equipment. More information can be found on the Services Australia website.

  • TAFE Queensland:To be eligible for the concession fee, you must be eligible to access subsidised training, as well as meet one of the following criteria:
  • hold a valid Health Care Card or Pension Concession Card issued by either Centrelink or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, or
  • be named on the card as a partner or dependent of someone holding a valid Concession Card, or
  • be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent

Visit the TAFE Queensland website for more details.

while not specific this is a great assistance for people with disabilities and Fee Free Tafe is an awesome option, there are a lot of relevant courses for people who are supporting in this industry from support, medication, nursing and community certificates. It is an amazing government initiative.

To be eligible for Fee-Free TAFE funding, you must be:

  • an Australian or New Zealand Citizen or Australian permanent resident visa holder
  • a Queensland resident
  • no longer at school
  • not currently enrolled in a qualification.
  • Queensland Department of Education: Provides information on special education programs and scholarships SDSS.  While parents do not directly access SDSS services, they may want to speak to the schools special education coordinator :Check their official website for more resources.

Travel and Transportation Benefits

Free Public Transport Passes for Vision-Impaired Individuals in Queensland

While the Vision Impairment Travel Pass is specifically for individuals with vision impairments, the TransLink Access Pass is available for PWD with various disabilities.

TransLink Access Pass

The TransLink Access Pass provides free travel for individuals who cannot independently use a go card due to their disability.

Prerequisites for Acquiring the Pass

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a permanent Queensland resident.
  • Have a significant permanent disability that prevents you from using a go card. 

Application Process

  1. Complete the Application Form: Available on the TransLink website.
  2. Obtain a Medical Report: A report from your GP, Occupational Therapist, or another relevant healthcare provider detailing your disability and its impact on your ability to use public transport independently.
  3. Submit the Application: Follow the instructions on the TransLink website to submit your application.

For more detailed information, visit the TransLink website.

Financial and Utility Bill Assistance

Government Energy Bill Assistance for People with Disabilities

Managing utility bills can be challenging for PWD. Queensland offers several concessions to help reduce these costs.

Medical Heating and Cooling Concession: Provides financial assistance to those needing heating or cooling to manage their medical conditions. More information is available on the Queensland Government website.

Eligibility You must:

  • be a Queensland resident and have a qualifying medical condition and need cooling or heating to stop your symptoms becoming significantly worse. Qualifying medical conditions include:
  • multiple sclerosis
  • autonomic system dysfunction
  • loss of skin integrity or sweating capacity
  • severe compromise of functioning such as mobility at extremes of environmental temperature
  • hypersensitivity to extremes of environmental temperature leading to increased pain or other discomfort or an increased risk of complications and live at your principal place of residence, which has an air-conditioning or heating unit.

The applicant and/or legal guardian of a minor with a qualifying medical condition must:

  • hold a current Services Australia or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Pensioner Concession Card or a current Services Australia Health Care Card and be financially responsible for paying the electricity bill.
  • If you are already receiving the Electricity Rebate or other energy concessions, you can apply for this concession.

Utility Concessions for Low-Income Disabled Households

Various rebates are available to help low-income households manage their utility costs. These rebates include discounts on electricity and gas bills. For more information, visit the Queensland Government website.

Medical and Assistive Equipment

Financial Assistance for Medical Equipment for Disabled Individuals

PWD can receive financial assistance for essential medical equipment, ensuring they have the necessary tools to manage their health effectively.

  • Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS): Provides financial assistance for continence products. Apply through your healthcare provider. more info on the Services Australia website

How to Get Discounts on Prescription Medications for People with Disabilities

The Pensioner Concession Card and Health Care Card offer discounts on prescription medications, helping PWD manage their medical expenses more effectively. Visit the Services Australia website for more information.

Special Education Grants

Special Education Grants for Children with Disabilities

Special education grants are available to support children with disabilities, ensuring they receive the education and resources they need.

Conclusion

Queensland offers a wide range of supports and concessions to help PWD manage their daily expenses and improve their quality of life. Whether you’re looking for transportation subsidies, educational support, or utility bill assistance, there are numerous programs designed to meet your needs. Always consult with your healthcare provider or a relevant authority to get the necessary documentation and support.

For more detailed information and to access the forms and resources mentioned, please visit the official Queensland Government websites and other linked resources. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out to local disability support services or contact us directly.

While securing assistance and grants can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, it’s equally important to address the challenges they face, such as bullying. Discover more about this critical issue and how we can combat it in our detailed blog post on bullying and intellectual disabilities in Australia.”

 

Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. We are not affiliated with any government agency or department. The links provided are for informational purposes only and direct you to official government websites where you can find more detailed and up-to-date information. The content in this blog post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or legal advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, healthcare provider, or legal advisor with any questions you may have regarding medical conditions, disabilities, or legal matters. While we endeavor to ensure that the information contained in this blog post is correct, we do not warrant its completeness or accuracy; nor do we commit to ensuring that the blog remains available or that the material in the blog is kept up-to-date. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them. We are not responsible for the content of external websites.

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