On Thursday 2 May 2013 the Prime Minister announced strong and stable funding for DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme. We will increase the Medicare Levy by half a percentage point from 1 July 2014 – this will take the Medicare Levy from 1.5 per cent of taxable income to 2 per cent.
For someone earning around average wages of $70,000 a year, this will be a modest contribution of around 96 cents a day.
As you know, that money will support a better life for hundreds of thousands of Australians with a significant and permanent disability, and for their families and carers. That money will also mean piece of mind for every Australian – anyone who has or might acquire a disability will have a new safety net to rely on.
This decision is a sign of this Government’s commitment to DisabilityCare Australia, and to seeing it become a reality for all Australians with disability, wherever they live.
Our priority is to ensure people with disability continue to get the support they need. So, while changes are significant they are also gradual. From 1 July 2013, the first stage of the scheme will begin to rollout in South Australia, Tasmania, the Barwon area of Victoria and the Hunter area in New South Wales, with ACT and NT commencing in July 2014.
We are currently talking to people and service providers in the launch sites and providing information about what they need to do to be prepared for the rollout of the scheme.
People with disability across NSW, SA and the ACT will be covered as a result of historic agreements reached with their governments to roll out the full scheme. And we continue to work to reach agreement with all the states and territories for a full scheme roll out.
Our announcement today ensures that we can lock in this much needed reform.
I currently receive disability support – do I need to do anything right now?
Don’t worry – you don’t have to do anything right now. Your current arrangements will stay in place until you’ve met with DisabilityCare Australia to discuss your needs and to develop an individual plan of supports after 1 July 2013. Our priority is to make sure you continue to get the support you need.
I don’t receive disability support – will I be covered?
If you don’t currently receive disability support you may be able to access the scheme once it’s available in your area. There will be more information about this over the coming weeks.
To stay up-to-date with the rollout of DisabilityCare Australia, sign up now by clicking here.