The Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) Initiative
HCWA is a funding scheme for children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD).
You are eligible to access this funding through Autism Victoria if your child is between the ages of 0-6 years old. Children must be approved for this funding before their 6th birthday and the funding can be used until the child’s 7th birthday.
The funding is up to $6000 per financial year (up to a total of $12,000) and is specifically for early intervention for the eligible child. You can use this funding only with registered health providers. KidAbilities OT is registered to provide these services to eligible children.
Autism Victoria is the overseeing body for the HCWA Funding in Victoria. If your child already has a formal diagnosis of ASD or PDD you can contact Autism Victoria to apply for this funding. They will tell you the requirements (including diagnosis, paperwork etc) that you need to submit with your application. Once your funding has been approved you then bring your acceptance letter to KidAbilities OT and your therapist will give you information sheets on how your privacy is handled, as well as an information sheet explaining how money is drawn by your therapist and also telling you how to log into your account and see hat claims have been made, as well as your balance.
If your child does not yet have a formal diagnosis of ASD or PDD you will need to speak with your GP who will provide you with a referral to a Consultant Pediatrician or Consultant Psychiatrist. Once the diagnosis has been confirmed your Pediatrician or Psychiatrist will provide paperwork which you then provide to Autism Victoria as part of your application for funding.
Once your funding has been approved, Autism Victoria will provide paperwork which you bring to KidAbilities OT.
HCWA funding can be used to access Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Psychology. All services for OT used at KidAbilities OT are paid for by your HCWA funding – this means you have no out of pocket therapy expenses up to the $6000 threshold each year. If you exceed your $6000 threshold you will need to start paying via other means (see other funding options listed here for details).
You are also entitled to use a portion of your funding to purchase approved Resources - equipment or tools used as part of your child’s therapy. HCWA funding cannot be used to pay for cancelled/ missed appointments or for subsiding a gap in a Medicare-funded service.
There may be other funding options available for children who do not meet the criteria for this funding package.
Further information is available on our site or through the Department of Social Services: Helping Children with Autism site.