Financial Assistance

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs or direct to helping children with Autism

The Australian Government has committed $190 million for the four years up to June 2012 to deliver the Helping Children with Autism package. The package will help address the need for support and services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).

Early intervention assistance funding package

The early intervention funding under the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) package is aimed at providing increased access to early intervention for children aged zero to six with an ASD. The funding supports the delivery of multidisciplinary evidence based early intervention to facilitate improved cognitive, emotional and social development prior to a child starting school.

Early Intervention Service Providers and Eligibility

Eligible families can access service providers from the panel of Early Intervention Service Providers. To apply to be on the panel of service providers see New Applications for Membership of the Early Intervention Service Provider Panel.
The Australian Government has revised the eligibility criteria for children accessing the early intervention funding via the Early Intervention Service Provider Panel. This change is effective from 19 October 2009.
The eligibility criterion for children accessing the early intervention funding through the HCWA package is as follows:

  • To be eligible for the early intervention funding package a child must have been seen by an Autism Advisor and deemed eligible to access the program before their sixth birthday. The $12,000 in funding under the early intervention component can be used until the child’s seventh birthday to a maximum of $6,000 per financial year.
  • Up to 35 per cent of a child’s early intervention funding may be used to purchase resources, to a maximum of $2,100 per financial year, or $4,200 in total. Resources must have been assessed by an Early Intervention Panel Provider as being integral to the child’s therapy. The following link provides some questions and answers on purchasing resources with early intervention funding.

Private Health Fund & HICAPS

Speech Pathology is covered under many health fund plans, however it is important to check your level of cover and entitlements prior to making an appointment.

The item number for Speech Pathology Assessment is 320 and 340 for Therapy consultation. We are registered with all known health funds, however, we are not always informed of requirement changes or new health funds. Please let us know if you find we are not registered with your specific fund so we can register to ensure you receive the rebate you are entitled to.

HICAPS is an electronic health claims and payments system, which offers members of participating health funds the convenience of automatic claims processing, on the spot in the practice.

HICAPS saves time and money and offers real benefits to patients! No more queuing at health fund branches and filling in claim forms.

For more information about the HICAPS system, go to to find a list of participating health funds for Speech Pathology.

Autism Initiative

The Autism Initiative (Helping Children with Autism) is a scheme funded by the federal government for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) allowing access to early intervention services. It is currently provided in the form of a medicare rebate for assessment and treatment of ASD & PDD through the private allied health sector.

Click More Information to visit the ‘programs’ page @ The Australian Government Department of Health & Ageing.

Carer Allowance

Carer Allowance is a supplementary payment that may be available through centrelink for parents or carers of children under 16 years of age with a disability or medical condition.

Click More Information to visit the relevant page at Centrelink.

Enhanced Primary Care Plan

You may be able to claim Medicare rebates for allied health services if you have a chronic medical condition that is being managed by your GP under an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan.

A chronic medical condition is one that has been (or is likely to be) present for six months or longer. It includes conditions such as asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions and stroke.

Click More Information to visit the Enhanced Primary Care Program page @ The Australian Government Department of Health & Ageing.