You may be able to get nutrition supports from the Australian health system or another provider.
The health system helps support everyone to eat well through a wide range of healthy eating programs and information. This means there are nutrition supports for healthy eating which are available to everyone, whether they have a disability or not. For example, you may want advice on general healthy eating to improve your diet and be healthier. You could use information from the Australian Government like Eat for Health . Or you may be able to get this support through the health system. For example, from your doctor. If another service is best to fund your nutrition supports, we can’t fund them.
We may fund nutrition supports for you if you need them because they are related to your disability. For example, if you have cerebral palsy you may struggle to maintain your weight and eat enough due to your disability.
Because the nutrition support is related to your disability, we may fund a dietitian to create a meal plan to help you maintain your weight. Learn more in Our Guideline – Disability related health supports.
What help can you get through Medicare?
Medicare helps all Australians with the costs of their health care.
If you are worried about your nutrition, you should talk to your doctor first. They can check your overall health and for any medical issues. They may refer you for tests in the health system and other health services.
Medicare funds some allied health professional services for short term nutrition supports. However, if you need ongoing nutrition supports because of your disability, we may be able to fund them. We will need evidence that you need these supports, such as reports or assessments from your doctor or dietitian.
If you need HEN, your medical team will decide this when you are in hospital or another clinical health setting. The dietitian in your medical team will work out the HEN you need. This includes the type, how much and how often. If you have a PEG, your medical team will work out the supports you need to look after it. This includes the area where the PEG enters your body. Medicare is responsible for funding nutrition supports while you are in hospital or in a clinical setting.
Medicare is also responsible for your nutrition supports if you go back into hospital. For example, if you need your PEG removed or replaced.
You can continue accessing health care supports and services from Medicare, even when you’re an NDIS participant.
What help can you get through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme?
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme funds a few nutritional supplements and HEN formulas. If you can get what you need through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, we won’t fund it.