Since 2012, a streamlining of health waiver provisions for offshore Humanitarian entrants has seen an increase in people of refugee background living with a disability settling in Australia. Clinical assessment, service access and access to aids and equipment can be complex for recently arrived refugee children, adolescents and adults with disability.
The concurrent rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has increased this complexity. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The NDIS provides support to people with disability and to their families and carers. Support is goal-oriented, with a focus on community participation and accessing mainstream supports. The process of applying for and accessing the NDIS should be explained to the patient/patient’s family.
For more information about approaches to patient care for people from refugee backgrounds living with a disability please see the Refugee Health Guide.
GenU Disability Support Services
GenU services are vast and super wide-ranging including disability employment services and disability individual support.Visit
Disability Employment Services
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.
Disability Support Pension
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.Visit
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.Visit
Migrant Resource Centre-The Diversity & Disability Program
The Diversity & Disability (DnD) Program is a disability self-advocacy program delivered at our St Albans offices. We provide support to people with disabilities who are from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background, regardless of their individual or cultural identities.Visit
A variety of services on offer such as Support Coordination, Specialist Support Coordination, Direct Support, Education/Training, NDIS understanding and Pre-planning, plus important Community Support options such as the Leisure Buddies and Community Visitation services from Volunteers.Visit
Amaze builds autism understanding in the community, influences policy change for autistic people and their families/supporters, and provides independent, credible information and resources to individuals, families, professionals, government and the wider community.Visit
Flexible Support Packages
Flexible Support Packages (FSPs) provide short-term assistance (up to 10 weeks) that act as bridging, immediate support as longer-term inclusion is determined.Visit
Inclusion Support Program
The Inclusion Support Program (ISP) supports services to build their capacity and capability in providing quality inclusive practices for all children and address participation barriers to support the inclusion of children with additional needs alongside their typically developing peers. The ISP is available to give the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children a strong start, while supporting parents into work. Financial support may also be available (to the service) under the Inclusion Development Fund (IDF) to build service inclusion capacity/capability and to support the inclusion of a particular child or children.Visit
CULTURA Health and Wellbeing Programs
Cultura provides health and wellbeing programs and services to help you live a healthy and happy life, from exercise and wellbeing programs to mental health and disability support services.Visit
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.Visit
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
The NDIS provides funding to eligible people with disability to gain more time with family and friends, greater independence, access to new skills, jobs, or volunteering in their community, and an improved quality of life. The NDIS also connects anyone with disability to services in their community.Find out more
Victorian Aids and Equipment Program
The Victorian Aids and Equipment Program provides subsidised aids and equipment, home and vehicle modifications to help people live safely and independently in their own home. Re-issued items of equipment are also available at no cost to the eligible person.Find out more
Disability Inclusion Package in Schools
Increased support for students with disabilities.
Disability Inclusion involves an investment of almost $1.6 billion to ensure every student at every ability thrives at school and in life. Disability Inclusion will roll out to Victoria’s government schools between 2021 – 2025.
NDIS CALD Strategy
The NDIS is co-designing a new Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CALD) Strategy in 2022. The CALD Strategy will be a three phased approach which will be released in mid 2023.Visit
NDIS – translated information
NDIS – translated information – available in: Auslan, Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional) Filipino (Tagalog) French, Greek, Hindi , Italian, Macedonian, Samoan, Spanish, Vietnamese.Visit
Complaints Resolution and Referral Service
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.Visit
National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline
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.Visit
Better Start for Children with Disability
The Better Start for Children with Disability initiative provides funding for early intervention services. Their information brochure is available in a range of languages.Visit
National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA)
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.Visit
Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV) Multicultural Disability Hub
Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV) Multicultural Disability Hub promotes the rights and needs of people with disability from CALD backgrounds, and their families and carers, through policy and advocacy work in the disability sector. We support and participate in a range of programs, networks and deliver self-advocacy training to empower people with disability from migrant and refugee communities.Visit
NDIS Explore Data tool
The NDIS Explore Data tool Explore Data is an interactive tool to help you find information you need. The data can be filtered or sorted by participant type, reporting period, location or support class and category. You can view the data online in your preferred format as a graph or table or download the customised dataset.Visit