As permanent residents of Australia, people who arrived in Australia as refugees are eligible to receive the Disability Support Pension, and are also exempt from the 10-year waiting period that applies to other newly arrived residents. Centrelink has Multicultural Liaison Officers who can assist with completing forms (multilingual service phone 13 12 02). People who are seeking asylum in Australia are ineligible to receive this payment.
Permanent residents, including refugee and humanitarian entrants, are eligible for the Carer Allowance if they meet the usual criteria. Centrelink has Multicultural Liaison Officers who can assist with completing forms (multilingual service phone 13 12 02). People who are asylum seekers are not eligible for the Carer Allowance.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new way of providing support to people with a disability. To access services under the NDIS you must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, so people who are seeking asylum in Australia are not eligible to receive services under the NDIS. As permanent residents of Australia, people who arrived in Australia as refugees are eligible for the NDIS.
Access to Language Support under NDIS
Funding under the NDIS is allocated to individual participants based on their individual circumstances. The Network has received advice from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) that the need for interpreters and translated materials will be determined on the basis of individual needs. If a participant requires funding for interpreting or translating services to engage with their service providers, their request will be considered by their NDIA Planner during their planning process.
NDIS in Victoria
Currently, the NDIS is only operational in the Barwon region of Victoria (available to people residing in the local government areas of the City of Greater Geelong, Colac Otway Shire, Surfcoast Shire and the Borough of Queenscliff). Rollout of the scheme to the rest of Victoria will commence from July 2016 and will be fully implemented by 2019.
168-170 Little Malop St, Geelong VIC 3220
PH: 03 5273 1400
13 Connor St, Colac VIC 3250
PH: 03 5233 5100
Diversitat’s Disability Findings Report highlights barriers that culturally and linguistically diverse people face when accessing the NDIS and broader disability system in the Barwon region.
As permanent residents of Australia, people who arrived in Australia as refugees are eligible to receive a range of Disability Employment Services.
Eligible Temporary Protection Visa holders in receipt of Special Benefit can access the Disability Employment Services-Employment Support Service (DES-ESS) programme, which is for people with a permanent disability and with an assessed need for longer term, regular, ongoing support in the workplace.
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides financial assistance, accommodation options, and other supports and services for people with a disability. A person must be a permanent resident of Australia to be eligible for state-funded disability services.
Action on Disability in Ethnic Communities (ADEC) is a state-wide service for people with disabilities and their carers who are from ethnic backgrounds. Their services include Access and Support, Advocacy, Education, Group Activities, Respite Program, and Transcultural Mental Health. A person must have a valid Medicare card (green or blue) to be eligible for ADEC services.
Migrant Resource Centres – Metropolitan Victoria and Regional Victoria
Migrant Resource Centres provide disability services to members of migrant and refugee background communities. A person must be a permanent resident of Australia to be eligible for Migrant Resource Centre services in Victoria.
- The Health Translations Directory has translated information about disability services in several relevance community languages.
- National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) is the national peak organisation for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB) who have a disability. NEDA conducts systemic advocacy, offers policy advice to government, and publishes research and reports on the needs of CALD and NESB people with disabilities.
- The Better Start for Children with Disability initiative provides funding for early intervention services. Their information brochure is available in a range of languages.
- The National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline is an Australia-wide telephone hotline for reporting abuse and neglect of people with disabilities using government funded services.
- The Complaints Resolution and Referral Service assists to resolve complaints about disability employment and advocacy services that are funded under the Commonwealth Disability Services Act.