Does your child need extra therapy?
Better Start for Children with a Disability
Children aged under 6 years:
Since 1 July 2011, children who are aged under 6 years and have been diagnosed with Down syndrome have been able to register for access to the early intervention funding under Better Start.
The Better Start for Children with Disability (Better Start) initiative includes:
- up to $12,000 in funding for early intervention services and treatments for eligible children (maximum of of $6,000 per year)
- additional assistance for eligible children who live in outer-regional, rural or remote locations to help with the costs of accessing services
Children up to the age of 13-15:
- A Medicare item for the development of a treatment and management plan for eligible children up to the age of 13
- Medicare items for up to four allied health diagnostic services, the results of which contribute to the development of the treatment and management plan, and
- Medicare items for up to 20 relevant allied health services in total for each eligible child up to the age of 15 provided the treatment and management plan is in place before the age of 13.
The Better Start funding is intended to complement existing Commonwealth and State and Territory government services and to assist these children to have the best possible preparation for the transition to school. Better Start is not intended to replace or reduce disability support services that are provided in each jurisdiction.
The funding can be used to pay for early intervention services provided by a range of early intervention professionals who are members of the Better Start Early Intervention Service Provider Panel.
Up to 35% of a child’s early intervention funding can be used for the purchase of resources. This means that up to $4,200 in total out of the $12,000 can be used for resources, up to a total of $2,100 in any one financial year.
For more information see the Better Start website, fact sheets or contact the Better Start Helpline on 1800 778 581
Better Start Medicare items - In addition to the early intervention funding under Better Start, children (including those who are over the age of six) may be eligible for Medicare rebates
Medicare Allied Health Initiative
The Medicare Allied Health Initiative and dental care initiative allows access to Medicare rebates for allied health services.
See your doctor (GP) for further information about this initiative and to get a referral to an appropriate therapist.