What does the Better Start initiative include?
The Better Start for Children with Disability (Better Start) initiative includes:
- up to $12,000 in funding for early intervention services and treatments for eligible children
- additional assistance for eligible children who live in outer-regional, rural or remote locations to help with the costs of accessing services
- a Medicare rebate for the development of a treatment and management plan for eligible children up to the age of 13
- Medicare rebates for up to four allied health diagnostic/assessment services for eligible children under the age of 13, the results of which contribute to the development of the treatment and management plan, and
- Medicare rebates for up to 20 relevant allied health services in total for each eligible child under the age of 15 provided the treatment and management plan is in place before the age of 13.
Who is eligible to receive support under Better Start?
Eligible children who are aged under six years and have been diagnosed with:
- Down syndrome
- cerebral palsy
- Fragile X syndrome, or
- a moderate or greater vision or hearing impairment, including deafblindness.
From 1 January 2013, Better Start has been expanded to include children diagnosed with:
- Prader Willi syndrome
- Williams syndrome
- Angelman syndrome
- Kabuki syndrome
- Smith-Magenis syndrome
- CHARGE syndrome
- Cornelia de Lange syndrome
- ‘Cri du Chat syndrome or microcephaly.
Children in this group who are under six (or turn six) on 1 January 2013 are eligible to register for Better Start.
Children with one of the listed disabilities are also able to access Medicare rebates under Better Start .