This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest
does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be
consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the
Social Security Legislation Amendment (Parenting and
Other Measures) Bill 1997
Date Introduced: 2 October 1997
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Social Security
Commencement: There are numerous different dates
of commencement for different Schedules and Parts. The commencement
dates are set out as part of the Main Provisions.
- combine the Sole Parent Pension and the Parenting Allowance
into a single payment know as the Parenting Payment.
- change the essential criteria for eligibility for the Child
Disability Allowance from the necessity that the child require
substantially more care than a child of the same age without a
disability to an assessment of the child and impact on the family
by measuring functional ability and level of disability at an age
- change the name of family payment to family allowance.
- standardise the hardship provisions applying to certain waiting
- make some minor changes to the Health Insurance Act
1973 and the Data-Matching Program (Assistance and Tax)
Parenting Allowance, Sole Parent Pension and the new Parenting
Parenting Allowance (PgA)
The parenting allowance has been available since 1 July 1995 to
a parent who is a member of a couple caring for children at
home.The payment replaced the Home Child Care Allowance (HCCA).HCCA
had its origins as the dependent spouse tax rebate.
Payments are made in respect of a PgA child who is under 16 and
dependent on the person who is in receipt of the allowance (that
child is a PgA child).The PgA child must live in Australia with the
person to whom the payment are made.
If a person is in receipt of a social security pension, a
rehabilitation allowance, an AUSTUDY allowance that includes a
dependent spouse rebate allowance or is an armed services widow or
widower, the person is entitled to a non-benefit PgA.The amount
payable in these circumstances is $65.10 per fortnight.This
allowance is subject to an income test but not an assets test.
The maximum amount payable to a person who is entitled to a
benefit PgA (i.e. where the person is not entitled to one of the
allowances referred to in the preceding paragraph) is $290.10 per
fortnight.Where couples are separated by illness or a partner is in
gaol, the maximum rate is $347.80 per fortnight.This allowance is
subject to an income and assets test.
Recipients of a benefit PgA may also be eligible for a
pharmaceutical allowance, rent assistance and a remote area
allowance if they qualify under the Social Security Act
1991 (SS Act) .
Sole Parent Pension (SPP)
SPP has its origins as the Supporting Mother's Benefit which was
introduced in 1973.Supporting Mother's Benefit was changed to the
SPP in November 1977 allowing payment to any person with a
dependent child, including, male sole parents.
A person is qualified for a SPP if:
- he or she is not a member of a couple or is living apart from
his or her partner, and
- he or she has at least one sole parent pension child, and
- he or she satisfies certain residency requirements.
The basic rate of a SPP is $347.80 per fortnight.That pension is
subject to income and assets tests.Recipients of a SPP may also be
eligible for a pharmaceutical allowance, rent assistance, guardian
allowance and a remote area allowance if they qualify under the SS
Parenting Payment (PP)
The decision to combine PgA and SPP was made as part of the
1997-98 Budget.An extract of Part 1 of Budget Paper No.2 is as
Parenting Payment simplification and rationalisation package
Function:Social Security and Welfare
Financial Implications ($m)
1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01
4.0 -1.0 -1.8 -2.1
Currently there are two payments for parents who remain at home
to care for their children. Sole Parent Pension is available to
single parents in this situation while Parenting Allowance is
available to partnered parents. Recipients of either payment have
similar requirements for government assistance, with some
recipients moving between the two payments as their situations
This measure, which takes effect from March 1998, moves towards
a common income support payment for those with child rearing
responsibilities by replacing Sole Parent Pension and Parenting
Allowance with a single Parenting Payment.In doing so it will align
a number of conditions that currently vary between the two
residency requirements - the length of time people are required
to live in Australia before qualifying for payment, will be aligned
at two years (a reduction from five years in the case of Sole
portability provisions - the length of time the payment can be
received while the recipient is overseas, will be aligned at 26
weeks (an increase from 13 weeks in the case ofParenting Allowance
and a reduction from 12 months in the case of Sole Parent
an income maintenance period (under which lump sum payments such
as accrued annual leave and long service leave are treated as
income for a period equal to the number of weeks of unused leave
received from their employer), will now be applied to Sole Parent
Pensions, in line with the current practice for Parenting Allowance
the assets test applied to Sole Parents Pensions will be aligned
with the current test for Parenting Allowance recipients (assets
over $124,000 for homeowners or $212,500 for non-homeowners will
result in a sudden-death cut-off of payment, rather than the
tapered cut-off beginning at the same limits that currently applies
to Sole Parent Pensioners).
Other differences between Sole Parent Pension and Parenting
Allowance, including rates of payment, income testing arrangements,
and access to concession cards, are being retained under the new
The creation of a single Parenting Payment will simplify and
make more consistent income support arrangements for those with
child rearing responsibilities, and ease transitions as separation
and repartnering occurs.
This proposal is historic in terms of seeing the demise of a
sole parent specific income support payment.The new proposed
payment is essentially a parent payment (single or partnered);
parents being carers of children.
The proposal aims to resolve the inherent tensions arising from
the different rules and means testing that apply between pension
based and allowance based payments.Pension based payments, which
are usually longer term than allowance payments, have traditionally
had more generous means testing, rates of payment and fringe
The main differences currently between the SPP and PgA
arrangements are in the areas of:
income and assets tests;
rates of payment - mainly arising from the means testing, but
SPP recipients also receive guardian allowance;
paydays (this is largely addressed by the proposal in this
Budget to standardise all payday regimes from July 1999);
portability rules; and
What is proposed is a new hybrid payment that has some elements
of both payments.This process together with the cost considerations
inevitably involves compromises resulting in 'winners and
losers'.The results as proposed are:
a non-tapered assets test as currently applies to allowance
payments - SPP previously having the more generous pensions tapered
test (it is estimated 900 current SPP recipients will be
the application of the Income Maintenance period (IMP) - which
commences for PgA from September 1997 - SPP currently has no
waiting period (it is estimated in full year 7300 SPP recipients
will serve an IMP averaging two weeks - hardship provision will
portability (i.e. taking the payment overseas) restricted to 26
weeks - SPP is currently portable for 12 months and PgA for 13
a residence requirement of 2 years for claimants separated
outside Australia - SPP currently requires 5 years.
The conditions to be retained for sole parents are:
the SPP income test, i.e. the pensions test which is more
generous that the PgA income test in terms of free area and taper;
access to Pensioner Concession Card, PgA recipients receive the
Health Care Card.
The benefits of rationalisation are consistency and equity of
rules and their application between like payments.This is important
given one of the main reasons sole parents relinquish SPP is
re-partnering.Other benefits include reduced administrative costs
in terms of transferring people from one payment to another and
reduced complexity resulting in less confusion and inquiries from
Child Disability Allowance (CDA)
The purpose of CDA is to provide financial assistance to parents
providing care to a disabled child in their home where the child's
care needs are substantially more than another child of the same
age without the disability.The expectation is that the allowance
will encourage care at home rather than in an institution.
A person is qualified for a child disability allowance for a
young person if:
the young person is a disabled child of the person, and
the young person receives care and attention from the person or
the person's partner (if the person is a member of a couple) in a
private home that is the residence of the person and the young
The allowance is only payable in respect of a 'young
person'.'Young person' is defined by the SS Act (in section 5(1))
as a person who has not turned 16 or a person who is between 16 and
25 and who is receiving full-time education at a school, college or
Section 952 contains the criteria which must be satisfied before
a young person will be regarded as a disabled child.Essentially the
young person must suffer a physical, intellectual or psychiatric
disability and must require substantially more care and attention
than a child of the same age who does not have the disability.
There are certain conditions which are regarded as manifest.That
list is reproduced in the Appendix to this Digest.Where a child is
diagnosed as suffering one of those manifest conditions an
assessment in accordance with section 952 test is not
Has CDA become poorly targeted?
The main concern about the rapid growth in the CDA population in
the 1990s, is that the focus and targeting of the payment has
drifted away from providing financial assistance to parents where
the child has these substantial extra care needs, to cases where
the care needs are not much more than that for a child without a
disability.This applies in the cases like mild seasonal asthma,
diabetes in older children and some Attention Deficit Disorder
Currently, the parent with a child with very severe
disability(s), and consequently substantially more care needs, gets
the same assistance as the parent with a CDA qualifying child with
very minimal extra care needs.
CDA is not paid to cover the costs of care but cost is a reason
parents claim CDA
The purpose of CDA has not been to cover the extra costs of care
and in many cases the presence of the child's disability does not
result in extra costs.Where there are extra costs it is commonly
for medication.These costs are usually covered by the Health Care
Card (HCC) that is attached to CDA qualification.Access to the HCC
is in many cases a significant impetus for parents to claim
CDA has become costly to Government
The rapid increase in numbers also presents increased cost to
Government both in terms of program outlays and in the costs
associated with the HCC.The program outlays in 1991/92 for CDA were
$103.8 million and by 1996/97 had grown to $240.2 million.
The current CDA qualification renders the payment difficult to
consistently andequitably deliver
Manifest cases are the minority of cases.
As is mentioned above, the decision as to whether the applicant
qualifies commonly relies on evidence and reports from the
claimant, the child's treating doctor and occasionally a
Commonwealth Medical Officer.It is the difficulty and
contentiousness of this decision and its associated elements and
processes that has indirectly driven the numbers upwards.
In many cases where CDA is not granted, the claimant lodges an
appeal.The high incidence of appeals reflects several elements of
CDA decision making.Some of these are:
the emotion of being assessed as not having a child with a
disability.This is in fact not what has been decided; rather the
substantive extra care requirements are not met.However, it is
commonly how the claimant sees the decision.The applicant then
asks: 'How can it be assessed that the child is not disabled when
the treating doctor has provided a contrary opinion?'
many cases are not clear cut and it is common knowledge that on
appeal the decision may be reversed.Decision makers aware of the
trends and the successes in the appeal processes, tend to give
favourable consideration to borderline cases in the belief the
claimant will probably be successful on appeal.
no two CDA cases are identical.The result is that benchmarking
and the use of precedents in decision making is very difficult
leading to significant variations in decisions.
Administrative efforts to more tightly target the payment have
had limited success
In the past few years, the Department of Social Security has
taken significant steps to more tightly target the payment
improved treating doctor's reports and claimant evidence
promotion of more holistic and sophisticated assessment
processes through use of CDA assessment teams.
increased and more comprehensive review activities.
improved policy guidelines for staff.
improved information to parents about CDA and the qualification
The continued rise in the recipient numbers reflects that these
measures have had limited success.
Proposed CDA disabled child requirements
With the amendments proposed to s952, the substantial extra care
requirements will be replaced with a criteria that focuses on the
level of disability of the child and the impact on the family.
The Child Disability Allowance Tool (CDAT) will be
introduced.The CDAT is a series of questions to be answered by both
the claimant and treating professional.The CDAT attempts to arrive
at an assessment of the child and impact on the family by measuring
functional ability and level of disability at an age appropriate
standard.It also covers special care needs, behavioural issues and
What will the CDAT scoring mean?
Where the CDAT provides a score of zero, it indicates the child
has the level of functional ability expected for their age group
and no behavioural, emotional state or special care needs.
Where the CDAT provides a negative score, it indicates the child
is functioning above the level expected for their age group and if
they have any behavioural, emotional state or special care needs
they are outweighed by their advanced functional ability.
Where the CDAT provides a positive score, it indicates the child
is functioning below the level expected for their age group and/or
they have one or more of the behavioural, emotional state or
special care needs.
A similar process currently applies where specified manifest
conditions are deemed to meet the substantial extra care
requirements of section 952 of the legislation.Under the CDAT, the
list of manifest conditions is different to the current list having
been designed to compl
ement the new disabled child qualification criteria, ie.
focussing on the level of disability and impact on the family.The
proposed manifest tables have been designed in consultation with an
expert medical group.A reproduction of those tables is set out in
the Appendix to this digest.
Waiting periods and hardship rules
One week and liquid assets test waiting periods
Currently, most allowance payments have waiting periods that are
served after qualification is met to defer the commencement of
payment.The waiting periods affected by the proposed changes are
Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Youth Allowance.Youth
Allowance is proposed to be introduced from 1 July 1998.
In addition to the universal one week waiting period, there are
targeted waiting periods for specific circumstances, e.g. the
education leaver deferment period, the liquid assets test waiting
period, the 2 year newly arrived resident waiting period.
Generally, a person must serve a waiting period of between one
and thirteen weeks before qualifying for Newstart Allowance or
Sickness Allowance, if the value of a person's liquid assets
exceeds $2,500 ($5,000 if the person is a member of a couple and
has no dependent children) on the day on which the person becomes
unemployed or incapacitated for work.
The one week waiting period and the liquid assets test waiting
period are subject to hardship provisions contained in the
legislation which allow the Secretary to consider waiving the
period in certain circumstances.The legislation empowers the
Secretary to define, as a matter of policy, what the severe
financial hardship requirements are.The proposed amendments will
now define 'severe financial hardship' in the legislation.
In arriving at an assessment of severe financial hardship,
current policy also sets out definitions of 'unavoidable and
essential expenditure' and 'reasonable costs of living'.As is
proposed for 'severe financial hardship', the amendments will place
definitions of these terms in the legislation.By placing the
definitions in the legislation, there will be far less room for
discretionary decision making on the circumstances and needs of
In terms of the definition of severe financial hardship, the
proposed amendments are the same as current policy for the one week
waiting period, i.e. hardship is met where funds are less than the
equivalent of two weeks allowance that would otherwise be paid.
In the case of the liquid assets test deferment period, the
definition is slightly tighter.Currently, hardship is met where
funds are less than the equivalent of two weeks payment plus the
equivalent Family Payment (FP) at the maximum applicable rate.The
amendments do not include the FP component and hence apply a
slightly tighter test.
The other main impact is for the liquid assets test waiting
period, which can extend from one to 13 weeks, depending on the
amount of liquid assets.Currently, where severe financial hardship
is met, all of the waiting period is waived and arrears may be
payable.Under the proposed amendments there will be the discretion
to waive all or only part of the waiting period.
Income maintenance period
Currently, there are hardship provisions for the Income
Maintenance Period (IMP) which was introduced in September
1997.During the IMP leave payments are treated as income over a
period equal to that to which the leave relates.The IMP applies to
Newstart, Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Mature Age Allowance,
Sickness Allowance and it will apply to Youth Allowance.
Like the provisions applying to the liquid assets test waiting
periods, the Secretary is empowered to define, as a matter of
policy, the severe financial hardship requirements.See discussion
about discretionary decision making above.
Current policy prescribes that part or whole of the IMP may be
waived if the delegate is satisfied the IMP would cause severe
financial hardship and the hardship was not reasonably
foreseeable.Severe financial hardship is the same as applies to the
liquid assets test waiting period, i.e. hardship is met where funds
are less than the equivalent of two weeks payment plus the
equivalent FP at the maximum applicable rate.The proposed
amendments do not include the FP component and hence apply a
slightly tighter test.
The amendments made by this Bill are incorporated in 6
Schedules.Each schedule deals with a discrete subject.The main
provisions will be summarised under those 6 headings.
Schedule 1 - The new parenting Payment (PP)
This Schedule commences on 20 March 1998.
Item 79 repeals Part 2.6 of the SS Act which
deals with the Sole Parent Pension (SPP).
Item 86 inserts new Part 2.10 dealing with the
PP.Most of the provisions of this new Part already exist in some
form or another in the respective Parts dealing with Parenting
Allowance (PgA) and SPP. Only the proposed new sections which deal
with matters which are not contained in the current provisions will
There are certain requirements for sponsorship when a person, in
certain circumstances, is applying for migration to Australia.The
person providing sponsorship must provide an assurance of support
for the first two years of the migrant's residence in
Proposed section 500B deals with the situation
where a person is a member of a couple and there is an assurance of
support in force in respect of the person.The proposed section
provides that a person who is a member of a couple is not qualified
to receive a PP if the Secretary of the Department of Social
Security is satisfied that an assurance of support is in force in
respect of the person and it would be reasonable for the assuree to
accept the support.This will allow the Secretary to effectively
determine that an assuree must accept the support of a willing
assuror in circumstances where the assuree has elected to not
accept the support.
SPP is currently portable (i.e. able to be taken overseas) for
up to 52 weeks.PgA payments will only be continued for a maximum of
13 weeks.Proposed section 500F provides for the
continuance of PP during temporary absences from Australia of up to
SPP is only payable from the date of the claim, i.e. there is no
provision for backdating.A PgA claim can be backdated up to four
weeks if the claim is made within four weeks of becoming qualified
for the payment.Proposed section 500K makes the
PgA rule the applicable rule for PP.
At present, the assets test applicable to those in receipt of
SPP is a tapered test.A person's SPP is reduced $3 per fortnight
for every $1000 of assets over a certain limit ($125,750 for
homeowners and $215,750 for non-homeowners).Under proposed
section 500Q, PP will not be payable at all to a
person who is not a member of a couple when the person's assets
exceed these amounts, i.e. the test will become non-tapered.The
non-tapered assets test applicable to recipients of PgA will
continue to members of a couple under PP (proposed section
Proposed section 514G continues the distinction
in the availability of fringe benefits.Fringe benefits refer to
Commonwealth benefits and concessions such as the Pensioner
Concession Card.PP recipients who are not a member of a couple
(i.e. former SPP recipients) qualify for fringe benefits.PP
recipients who are a member of a couple (i.e. former PgA
recipients) will not qualify unless the person is over 60 years of
New Part 3.6A contains the PP rate
calculator.The single rate calculator is in proposed
section 1068A and the partnered rate calculator is in
proposed section 1068B.The income tests applicable
to SPP and PgA are retained and applied to single rate PP and
partnered rate PP, respectively.Similarly, there is no change in
the applicable pension rates when SPP is compared to single rate PP
and PgA is compared to partnered rate PP.
Schedule 2 - Changes to the Child Disability Allowance
All amendments contained in this Schedule except those relating
to backdating claims (see below) commence on 1 July 1998.The
amendments relating to backdating claims commence on 1 January
Child Disability Allowance Tool
The significant amendment effected by this Schedule is contained
in item 9.
Item 9 of Schedule 2 replaces
the criteria, under section 952, for assessing whether a young
person is a disabled child (i.e. the test of substantially more
care and attention) with an assessment and a rating under the Child
Disability Allowance Tool (CDAT).
The proposed new section 952 contains a three
step process for assessing whether a child is a disabled child:
- Does the child have a physical, intellectual or psychiatric
disability?A process whereby a legally qualified medical
practitioner would provide a diagnosis.
- Is the child likely to have the disability permanently or for
an extended period? Again, advice would be taken from a medical
- The disability may be manifest under the CDAT; if not a
manifest condition, the application of the CDAT provides a
The contentious cases will be those non-manifest cases where the
CDAT provides a score of zero or negative score meaning the child
is not a disabled child and therefore qualification for CDA is not
The involvement of the Department of Social Security is in
applying the CDAT to the responses provided by the claimant and the
treating doctor to arrive at a score.The Bill does not address the
circumstances where the child is found to be not a disabled child
under the CDAT scoring and the claimant wishes to review or examine
their ownresponses and/or those provided by the treating doctor.It
may be that the responses are not a complete or an accurate
description of the child's disability and as a result the scoring
does not reflect an accurate assessment.It is unclear whether
judicial review of the 'decision' would be available and it may be
that a disaffected applicant's only option is to reapply for the
Item 45 is a 'grandparenting' provision which
provides that only new claimants after 1 July 1998 will be assessed
under the CDAT.The current assessment provisions will apply to
those to whom an allowance is payable on 30 June 1998 until the
allowance ceases to be payable to a person or until 30 June 2003,
whichever occurs first.
Under the current CDA criteria at least one child must meet the
substantive extra care requirements.The criteria cannot be met
where the collective care requirements for two or more children
meet the criteria.Item 11 amends subsection 954(2)
to recognise situations where the collective care requirements for
two or more disabled children are as onerous as one severely
disabled child and to allow payment of CDA as if the person has one
CDA child.This has been a long-standing issue of concern to
Sections 959 and 960deal with the backdating of claims which are
made after the day on which the person became qualified for the
CDA.Items 24 and 26 reduce the
length of time for which a claim may be backdated from 12 months to
This change follows an unsuccessful attempt in 1996 too reduce
arrears from 12 to 3 months.Arrears provisions recognise several
considerations affecting CDA claimants, the main ones being:
- it may take some time diagnose a medical condition or
disability and determine/arrive at the appropriate treatment and
care requirements, especially in a very young or newly born child,
or for conditions that are rare and/or difficult to identify.
- it gives a reasonable time for the parent to lodge the claim,
recognising the parent may be ill and unable to claim.
Schedule 3 - Change of name from 'family payment' to 'family
This Schedule commences on 1 April 1998.
The amendments contained in this Schedule effect the change of
name from 'family payment' to 'family allowance' and make the
necessary consequential changes to other legislation.There are no
amendments of substance.
Schedule 4 - Amendments to make the application of hardship
rules consistent for ordinary waiting periods, the liquid assets
test waiting periods and the income maintenance periods
Items 1 to 8 commence
immediately after the commencement of the Social Security
Legislation Amendment (Youth Allowance) Act 1997 if that Act
commences on 1 July 1998.If that Act does not commence on 1 July
1998, items 1 to 8 commence on 1
July 1998.Items 9 to 21 and
24 and 25 commence on 1 July
1999.Items 22 and 23 commence on
1 July 1998.
Item 2 inserts proposed section
19C which defines 'in severe financial hardship' as being
a situation where the value of a person's liquid assets is less
than the applicable fortnightly amount of the relevant allowance or
twice that amount if the person is a member of a couple.
Item 3 and 6 amend subsections
598(5) and 676(6) to provide that for recipients of Newstart and
Sickness Allowance respectively, the liquid assets test waiting
period may be waived if a person is in severe financial hardship
because the person has incurred unavoidable and essential
expenditure while serving the waiting period.
Items 11 and 12 amend
proposed section 19C to apply the definition of
'in severe financial hardship' to Partner Allowance, Widow
Allowance and Mature Age Allowance.
Item 13 amends proposed section
19C to apply to income maintenance periods.
Items 17 to 25 amend the
relevant rate calculators to allow the Secretary to make a
determination of financial hardship and provide a discretion to
reduce the income maintenance period.
Schedule 5 - Amendments to the Health Insurance Act
1973 as a result of changes to the Child Disability
This Schedule commences on 1 July 1998.
Item 1 amends the definition of 'disadvantaged
person' in section 4CA of the National Health Act
1953 to allow parents of a disabled child, who will not be
eligible for the Child Disability Allowance, to maintain their
eligibility for a health care card.
Items 2 to 8 extend the period
over which a person's income is assessed for the purpose of
determining whether they are eligible for a health care card from 4
weeks to 8 weeks.
Schedule 6 - Amendments to the Data-matching program
(Assistance and Tax) Act 1990
This Schedule commences on the day on which the Act receives the
Item 1 amends the definition of 'assistance
agency' to provide for the current name of the Department of Health
and Family Services, from the Department of Human Services and
Item 8 is an amendment to specifically allow
for the transfer of data between matching agencies by on-line
Current Manifest conditions for the purpose of
determining whether a young person is a disabled child:
- Down's syndrome
- Blindness in both eyes
- Cystic fibrosis
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- Haemophilia A with factor VIII deficiency (less than 1%)
- Severe or profound intellectual impairment (IQ less than
- Diabetes mellitus - child under six years
- Leukaemias and other malignancies on chemotherapy until
- Phenylketonuria (PKU) - child under ten years
- Thalassaemia major - child under ten years
- AIDS and HIV infection - irrespective of whether classified as
Group I, II, III or IV
- Terminal illness - conditions such as malignancies may have a
very poor prognosis and the doctor may mention this.If so, he or
she would meet the guidelines.
- Autism - but only where the case has been thoroughly
investigated and a firm diagnosis made by a qualified
- Proposed manifest conditions for the purpose
of determining whether a young person is a disabled child.
- Severe multiple disability or severe physical disability
(including neurological disability), such as cerebral palsy or
spina bifida, where the child is, or is likely to be, totally
dependent for mobility (e.g. stroller, wheelchair, crutches or
walking frame) indoors and outdoors from the age of three year
- Any of the following genetic and/or chromosomal disorders where
the child is under the age of six years - Down syndrome - Cri du
chat syndrome (Deletion 5) - Rett syndrome - Angelman syndrome -
Prader-Willi syndrome - Edward syndrome (Trisomy 18) - Williams
syndrome - Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13)
- Moderate, severe or profound intellectual disability, where
cause may be unknown and IQ is less than 55
- Autism, diagnosed by a specialist multidisciplinary team or
accredited professional, not including Asperger or Pervasive
Developmental Disorder N.O.S.
- Sensory Impairment: - bilateral blindness (i.e. visual acuity
less than 6/60 with corrected vision OR visual fields reduced to a
measured arc of less than 10 degrees) - bilateral hearing loss of
70 decibels or more uncorrected, i.e. child can only hear sounds
below 70 decibels with a hearing aid.
- Any of the following neurometabolic, degenerative conditions: -
metachromatic leukodystrophy mucopolysaccharidoses
- MPS 1 (Hurler syndrome)
- MPS 2 (Hunter syndrome)
- MPS 3 (San Filippo syndrome)
- MPS IVA (Morquio syndrome)
- MPS VI (Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome) Tay Sachs disease - Krabbe
disease - Pompe's disease
- Any of the following neuromuscular conditions - Duchenne (or
Becker) muscular dystrophy - Autosomal recessive muscular dystrophy
- Spinal muscular atrophy conditions (e.g. Werdnig-Hoffman) -
- Epidermolysis Bullosa Dystrophica.
- Severe multiple or physical disability (including uncontrolled
seizures) requiring constant care and attention where child is less
than 6 months of age.
- Chronic Renal Failure where the child is receiving dialysis
and/or awaiting transplant.
- End stage organ failure where the child is awaiting
- Leukaemia and other childhood malignancies where the child is
undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy or palliative care.
- HIV/AIDS Category IV.
- Immunodeficiency where the child requires regular immunoglobin
- Chronic Respiratory Disease requiring home oxygen.
- Any condition where the child is ventilator dependent.
- Haemophilia with Factor VIII deficiency (less than 1%).
- Thalassaemia Major.
- Significant burn where more than 15-20% of total body area is
affected and where the child requires skin graft and intensive
therapy for more than 12 months from the time of incurring the
Peter Yeend and Lee Jones
31 October 1997
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services
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© Commonwealth of Australia 1997
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Last updated: 4 November 1997
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