Government Subsidies and Assistance for Hiring a Person with a Disability

Government Subsidies and Assistance for Hiring a Person with a Disability

If you have a disability and are keen on getting into the workforce, remaining in your job, or even looking to move on to bigger things work-wise, then there are several services and online resources available to support you.

Job Access is an excellent resource for employers since it lets them know what financial assistance is available for them were they to employ an individual with a disability. This includes funding for equipment such as access ramps or adaptive technology to support someone with a sensory impairment.

It is a common misconception that employing a person with a disability will be costly and time consuming. In reality, Job Access staff are very helpful and will assist you to find suitable tools and adaptive technology for a staff member with a disability and will fund the purchase of those tools or modifications – taking the hard work and cost out of the equation.

Here’s a list of some of the Government schemes and wage subsidies available:

Wage Subsidy Scheme

An employer can access government funding of $1,500-$10,000 if he/she hires an individual with a disability through an Employment Service Provider and that person works for at least eight hours a week. The employee must be employed for at least 13 weeks and anticipate a further 13 weeks of employment (or six weeks if the job is seasonal). Meanwhile, the job itself must be waged and not commission-only or gained via subcontracting.

Restart Wage Subsidy

Restart Wage Subsidy supports jobseekers aged 50 and over who have been unemployed for 6 months or more. As part of the recent Federal Budget, the conditions of Restart will be changing in November 2015. 

Payment schedule now and from November 2015 are as follows: 

  Now From November 2015
Payment at 6 months $2000 $10,000 paid over 12 months
Payment at 12 months $2000
Payment at 18 months $3000  
Payment at 24 months $3000

Currently a jobseeker would need to work 38 hours to attract the full subsidy. From November this will reduce to 30 hours. Pro rata subsidies are available for employment from 15 hours/wk.

Employment Assistance Fund

You and your employer can access funding to help with the cost of modifying your current work environment if it’s causing you difficulties in term of your disability (even if you haven’t encountered any difficulties with it in the past). This could include a new chair, extending your desk, altering the seating in your work vehicle etc. It could also apply to such things as specialist interpreting help (e.g. Auslan), access to services and awareness training sessions for the workplace. 

In addition the Fund will provide access to free workplace assessments.

Mobility Allowance

If you’re an individual with a disability aged 16 or over and need help to use public transport or your own vehicle to get to work – whether paid or voluntary - then you could be eligible for a government payment of $91.80 (standard rate) or even $128.40 per fortnight. The allowance is also eligible for those undertaking training, study or even looking for work. Even if you have a car you could still qualify for mobility allowance provided the vehicle has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) exemption. 

Jobs in Jeopardy Assistance

If your disability is, for some reason, putting your current job at risk, then Jobs in Jeopardy is a service provided by Employment Service Providers to advocate on your behalf and see what can be done to keep you in your job with that employer. Job in Jeopardy Assistance will not support you to find a new job. Job in Jeopardy Assistance may include: 

  • advice about redesigning your job so you can keep working 
  • having your workplace assessed to see how it can be changed to make it easier for you to work 
  • having your workplace changed so you can continue to work 
  • specialised equipment to help you do your job

Note: Please only refer to this as an indication, we suggest you enquire at the relevant bodies’ sites above to gain the most up to date information. Also please keep checking back on our site where we will aim to deliver the most recent changes

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