If you have a disability, getting the right support at the right time is important, no matter what age.
You may or may not be receiving support, or your needs may have changed. Whether you need help at home, or you care for someone who does, there are services that offer care and support.
What support is available?
The support you can access depends on your age and situation.
Australia’s aged care services are designed to support the needs of older people It is not meant for people younger than 65. Aged care should be a last resort for people younger than 65 and in limited, special circumstances.
We are working with younger people, their families and carers, to stop the flow into residential aged care. Supports are available to help younger people find the accommodation they need.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
If you are under 65 years old, live with a permanent disability and need support, you may be eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The NDIS exists to support Australians between the age of 7 and 65 with disability. It aims to support people to live in the community or other settings that are suitable for their age.
Ability First Australia (AFA)
If you are under the age of 65 and not eligible – or yet to test your eligibility for the NDIS, and seeking access to permanent residential aged care, AFA can support you to explore other options.
Younger people in aged care
There are people younger than 65 that currently access aged care services for a variety of reasons. If you or someone you care for is in this situation and would like to explore alternative options for accommodation and support the NDIA or AFA can assist you.
If you are an NDIS participant, contact your MyNDIS contact, planner or support coordinator to discuss your home and living goals.
If you are not an NDIS participant, you can contact AFA on 1800 771 663.
After you turn 65, the options available to you depend on your situation.
- If you started receiving NDIS services before turning 65, you can continue to receive services through them once you cross 65.
- If you were over 65 years of age when the NDIS was rolled out in your area, you may have been accepted into the Continuity of Support (CoS) Programme.
Note: The CoS Programme was replaced by the Disability Support for Older Australians (DSOA) Program on 1 July 2021. DSOA is not open to new clients.
- If you are beginning to look for disability services and support, you can apply for an assessment through My Aged Care. Your assessment will identify what government-funded services you may be eligible for.
My Aged Care
My Aged Care provides access to a range of government-funded services that are designed to help you live independently. These include:
- home modifications, to make it easier and safer for you to move around
- aids to make everyday tasks easier
- personal care at home to help with grooming, hygiene and self-care
- physio, podiatry and other therapies to keep you healthy
- transportation, so that you can attend appointments and keep social
- nursing, so that medical needs and other healthcare is supported in your home.
Whether it’s for temporary help at home or permanent residential care, My Aged Care provides access to different types of care suited to your needs.
You can use our Find a provider tool to find services in your area that specialise in disabilities. Filter your results by using the Specialisations menu on the left hand side of the tool.
If you would prefer to talk to someone, you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
What other services can help?
Outside of the NDIS and My Aged Care, there are other services which you may find useful.
- Independent Living Centres offer a range of products and equipment and you can decide which one best suits your needs.
- The Disability Gateway assists people with a disability, their families and carers, to find and access trusted information and services. You can visit the Disability Gateway website or call 1800 643 787 for more information.
- Seeing an occupational therapist or physiotherapist can also be useful. They can offer advice on equipment and modifications to make living easier. They can also help you work out the safest way to lift or move the person you care for. Ask your doctor for a referral.
- Local councils often run home maintenance schemes to help make your home safer and easier to manage. You can contact your local council for more information. Visit the Australian Government website, then scroll to the bottom to find links to each state or territory's website.
The NDIS provides a list of government and community support services for people with disability who aren’t eligible for NDIS.