Where can young people living with disability get support in Australia?

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There are many supports and services in Australia for young people living with disability. Whether you need help finding work, accessing affordable housing or accessing mental health services in your area – service providers across Australia can help you get the support you need to succeed with your goals.

Here are some of the different support services available to young people living with disability in Australia:

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The NDIS supports Australians aged 0 to 65 years old who are living with a permanent and significant disability. Eligible participants can access funding for a range of supports and services through the NDIS, depending on their personal goals and needs.

Young people can access supports through the NDIS such as:

  • Job search and workplace support
  • Therapeutic support
  • Daily activities and self care activities
  • Home and vehicle modifications
  • Assistive technology and equipment
  • Social and community participation

The NDIS is delivered by Local Area Coordinators across Australia. NDIS Local Area Coordinators can assist everyone with information about local supports and services you might be eligible for, even if you’re not an NDIS participant.

School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES)

NDIS participants in their last years of high school may be eligible for School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) through the NDIS. This program provides individualised support to help you prepare for work after school. 

SLES can help you develop life and work skills such as:

  • Handling money
  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Work experience
  • Travel and transport

Disability Employment Services

Disability Employment Services helps people living with an injury, illness or disability find and keep a job. Providers can help you prepare for work by accessing employment training, tailoring your resume and finding workplace opportunities in your area. 

They can also help you plan your career, find suitable job opportunities and prepare for interviews. When you start your new job, your provider can help you access any workplace supports or accommodations you need to succeed in your role.

Disability Employment Services for Eligible School Leavers

If you’re in year 11 or 12, living with a disability or health condition and want to get a job when you leave school, you could be eligible for a specialised employment program for school leavers living with disability through a Disability Employment Services provider. 

Your provider will work with you to create a personalised job seeker plan, which may include services such as:

  • Career advice and planning
  • Work experience and volunteer opportunities
  • Writing resumes and job applications
  • Finding meaningful job opportunities
  • Accessing ongoing workplace support

Transition to Work

Transition to Work helps young people aged 15 to 24 years to get into work, apprenticeships, training and education. As a participant of the program, you’ll get support to build your confidence, prepare for your next steps and overcome any challenges you might be facing when it comes to work and education.

You’ll work closely with a provider to get supports and services that are right for your situation. This could include things like:

  • Developing life and employment skills
  • Career guidance
  • Searching for work, applying for jobs and preparing for interviews
  • Networking with employers in your area
  • Accessing mental health services, housing support and other local services
  • Getting support to stay in your job

Centrelink Disability Services and Payments

Young people living with a disability or health condition may be eligible for a range of payments through Centrelink such as:

    • Disability Support Pension – a payment to help people living with a permanent physical, psychiatric or intellectual condition that stops them from working or reduces how much they can work.
    • Youth Disability Supplement – an extra payment for young people with disability who are already receiving an income support payment.
    • Pharmaceutical Allowance – a regular extra payment to help cover medical costs.
  • Mobility Allowance – a payment to cover the costs of travel for work or study if you live with an injury, illness or disability that means you can’t use public transport.
  • Youth Allowance – a payment for young people who are looking for work, studying or undergoing an apprenticeship.
  • ABSTUDY – financial support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, apprentices and trainees.

Medicare

Medicare is Australia’s universal health insurance scheme, providing financial support for a wide range of healthcare services and medications. Young people can have their own Medicare card from the age of 15 years.

National Rental Affordability Scheme

The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) helps people on low to moderate incomes access new and affordable housing. Eligible participants can access rental properties for at least 20% below the market price for up to 10 years.

Reconnect

The Reconnect Program helps young people aged 12 to 18 years old who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Providers offer a range of services to help improve participant’s housing situation, help them stay at school and participate in their community. Services include things like counselling, mediation, practical support and specialised mental health services for participants and their families.

Disability Gateway

The Disability Gateway is an online hub for all people in Australia who are living with disability, as well as their families and carers. You can use the Disability Gateway to find information and resources about the supports, programs and services in your area. If you need more information or help finding services in your area, the Disability Gateway is a good place to start.

Whatever your situation, support is available to help you manage your health, improve your wellbeing and reach your goals. Contact a disability services provider near you to get started.

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