Tube feeding can be exhausting, time-consuming and costly. Follow the links on this article for assistance within each state in Australia. Please note this list is not exhaustive, and organisations may change their criteria and types of assistance offered at any time. For a more comprehensive list, specific to your area, speak with your child’s treating medical and allied health team.
If international members or readers are aware of international links and would like to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org we will aim to add them to this page in a timely fashion.
Australian Federal Resources including Centrelink
- Carer payment is a means tested payment for those caring for somebody with a disability of between $888-1339 fortnightly depending on marital status and income.
- Carer allowance is a non-means tested allowance of $124.70 fortnightly. It also includes a HCC for the person with the disability.
- Carer supplement is a one off annual payment of $600 for those receiving carer allowance or carer payment. It is automatic – it does not require an additional application.
- Child disability assistance payment is a one-off annual payment of $1000 per disabled child. It is automatic for those receiving carer allowance or carer payment.
- A health care card is included for any application for carer payment or carer allowance. Even if you are not eligible for either carer allowance or carer payment, you may still be eligible for a HCC (this is true for almost every tube-fed child).
- Crisis payments and special help is available in extreme circumstances, such as life-changing diagnosis or extreme financial hardship
- Chronic disease plans are available from your GP. These include GP management plan or Team care arrangement plans. It provides medicare rebates towards a set number of allied health appointments. Mental health plans may also be used for medicare rebates for allied health appointments.
- Essential medical equipment payment is an annual payment of $149 if your child uses a feeding tube pump (eg nutricia infinity pump, kangaroo or joey pump etc.)
- The National Disability Insurance Scheme is in the process of being rolled out across Australia. Find out when the roll out is in your area, and which services are available through the website. It is best to get prepared early – many local organisations are running in person and online talks around NDIS preparation.
- Some home enteral nutrition (HEN) programs provide some or all of the tube feeding equipment your child will need. Your child’s dietitian, speech therapist, occupational therapist or doctor through the hospital can provide a prescription for this. Levels of cover vary between hospitals and states. If you are struggling with the financial costs of tube feeding please speak with your social worker.
- Speak with your electricity provider about possible concessions for medical equipment (feeding pump) use. It is also a good idea to provide them with your Centrelink CRN number to assess if you may be eligible for any other concessions or payments.
- Enable NSW provides enteral feeding equipment and syringes to those eligible. There is often quite a wait for funding so it is best to apply early. Enable NSW will only fund children with G or J tubes, NG or NJ will only be funded if the tube is long term and a surgical G or J is not indicated or possible at the time of application.
- NSW life support rebate is available to households where a feeding pump is used. This is in addition to the above-mentioned essential medical equipment payment. Send the form to your electricity provider.
- Isolated Patient Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme provides assistance with travel and accommodation costs to rural and remote families.
- Carers NSW can provide assistance with counselling, support groups, and links to local services or funding.
- ACT equipment team provides equipment to eligible ACT residents.
- One of our members has told us that Kids at Canberra (hospital) have an open door policy for tube replacement and supplies; this has not been verified with the hospital. Please speak to your child’s medical team for services available.
- Electricity concession may be available through the Life Support Rebate. TPN users will receive this rebate. Enteral pumps are not listed but may be considered “other apparatus, subject to approval”.
- Carers Victoria can provide assistance with counselling, support groups and links to local services or funding.
- Respite Victoria for in-home respite services.
- Aids & Equipment or “SWEP” program – currently does not provide equipment for tube feeding but can provide assistance for other conditions. Speak with your hospital HEN nurse for programs for enteral equipment.
- Life support concession available to households where a feeding pump is used – pass this form to your electricity provider.
- Victorian patient transport assistance scheme for rural and remote patients, to assist with transport and accommodation costs.
- Carers QLD can provide assistance with counselling, support groups, or no interest loan schemes.
- Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme (MASS) for subsidies for medical aids and equipment.
- Xavier Children’s support network welcomes applications for funding.
- Suncare provides in home respite, nursing, social support.
- Miriam Raju Foundation provides funding for special applications that are not covered under usual funding routes.
All home enteral nutrition equipment in the NT is now provided through hospital, contact numbers below:
- Contact Top End: Royal Darwin Hospital, HEN coordinator at Dietetics Department Phone: (08) 8922 7920
- Contact Katherine: See RDH contacts, and local dietician, Phone: (08) 8973 8946. For collection of your HEN equipment contact Katherine Hospital Stores, Phone (08) 8973 9012.
- Contact Central: Alice Springs Hospital, Nutrition and Dietetics Department Phone: (08) 8951 7789; E-mail: email@example.com
- My support advisor allows you to search for specific, local resources, services and funding.
- Novita Children’s Services provides assistance, funding, services to children with disabilities and their families. You can also apply for HEN equipment and home modifications through Novita.
- An extensive list of services available in WA can be found here
- The Life Support Equipment Electricity Subsidy Scheme may be of assitance – apply through Dept of Finance
- Disability assessment and advisory team includes an assessment with specialist nurse, psychologist, OT, speech therapist and social worker to determine assistance required.
- Community equipment team for assistance with HEN equipment.
- Tasmanian life support electricity concession does not apply to enteral feeding pumps, but may be used if your child uses CPAP or oxygen at home