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Carers who support and look after people with disability, including parents who care for children with disability, might be able to get a Carer Payment or Carer Allowance if they meet income and assets criteria set out in the Social Security Act.
You don’t need to be a legal expert when you have a child with disability, but it does help to have a general understanding of Australia’s main disability laws. These laws ensure that your child’s rights are protected, and that you and your child get the support and services you need.

Commonwealth laws

Disability Discrimination Act 1992 
This Act upholds and protects the equality of people with disability. It makes discrimination against adults or children with disability unlawful in certain situations, particularly in employment and education.

Disability Services Act 1986 
This Act is a detailed guide to the funding and provision of Commonwealth support services for people with disability. Under this Act, the Commonwealth is largely responsible for employment services. The states and territories focus on accommodation and other support services.

Social Security Act 1991
This Act lists the conditions for getting a wide variety of social security payments, including the following:

  • Disability Support Pension (DSP): This is a payment for people who are permanently blind or whose physical, intellectual or psychiatric disabilities prevent them from working. The DSP can be paid only to people over 16 years of age. 
  • Sickness Allowance: This is a short-term payment in the form of income support to people who are temporarily unable to work because of a medical condition. It can be paid only to people over 21 years of age.

If eligible, people with disability might also be able to get pharmaceutical and other medical benefits, such as a Health Care Card.

State and territory laws

Each state and territory has disability services laws as well as specific services for people with disability, including programs especially designed for children and young people.

State/Territory Law Details

Disability Services Act 1991

  • Disability ACT outlines funding and services provided for people and children with disability in the ACT.

Disability Services Act 1993


Disability Services Act 1993


Disability Services Act 2006


Disability Services Act 1993


Disability Services Act 1992

  • Disability Services is a division of the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services and is responsible for the funding, delivery and monitoring of services to people with disability.

Disability Services Act 2006

  • Victorian Disability Services administers this new Act.
  • The Victorian Government’s DiVine website provides a wealth of information relevant to Victorians with disability, their families and carers, including information about support for parents caring for children with disability.

Disability Services Act 1993