Page 2629 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 7 August 2013
The grants have drawn the interest of the broadest range of ACT residents with different support needs. Disability ACT has received applications from people from different cultural backgrounds and people with high needs but limited engagement with the formal support network. To date I understand that close to 600 applications have been received. I think this is evidence of the interest in DisabilityCare and the opportunities that the enhanced service offer will bring to many.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.
MR WALL: Minister, given that the number of grants depends on the types of services individuals apply for, how will the applications be prioritised?
MS BURCH: It is a very sad question. There are nearly 600 applicants already in the pipeline in round one and those that will come through in round two. We have been very much aware of the need to put a very fine filter through this and have a solid level. That is why the panel that we have convened includes experts from both Disability ACT and Health; also community providers and individuals with a disability or those caring for an individual with a disability will all form part of the assessment process, with quite clear guidelines about the weighting applied to each and every application.
I suspect that there will be more interest than even the $7.7 million can provide. I think that is good in one way, that the information is getting out, but it certainly will inform us about how we continue this journey of transition to disability care.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.
MS BERRY: Minister, what types of enhanced services will clients be able to access?
MS BURCH: I thank Ms Berry for her interest. Under the enhanced service offer three categories of grants are available. The first grants can be for aids or equipment or minor modifications to the home and possibly vehicles up to the value of $10,000. This might include wheelchairs, communications devices or equipment adaptations that will enable a person to be more independent around their home.
The second type of grant is considered a quality-of-life grant which is valued at up to $5,000. In previous years people have used quality-of-life grants to fund things such as courses for vocational or recreational purposes, play equipment or learning aids for children, support to set up small enterprises or to attend an event or activity.
The third type is for flexible supports and services up to the value of $12,000. This might include support to take part in a regular skill-building activity during the day while providing a break to the applicant’s parents or unpaid carers.
The grants are able to be used flexibly so the applicants can make the decisions about how they will best suit their own individual needs. One of the most significant changes DisabilityCare brings is the ability for individuals to plan for and participate in life as they choose. This means that, as a government, we need to be flexible in our