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If you have a job, you might need extra support to manage your disability and help you succeed at work. For example, you might want to work more hours or need help getting your work done as well as your employer expects.
You might also need help when things change suddenly, for example when your job changes or you get a new boss.
In these situations there are some supports that your employer should provide to help you. A Disability Employment Service may also be able to help. Or, there may be some supports that we could fund in addition to the Disability Employment Service.
What work supports should your employer provide?
We can’t fund things at work that your employer must provide. This includes any reasonable adjustments your employer needs to make so your job suits your needs.
This means we don’t fund:
- wages, insurance or superannuation
- changes your employer needs to make to recruitment or interviews to make sure they are fair for everyone
- changes to buildings where you work, like accessible bathrooms
- equipment, computers or software to help you do your job
- travel as part of your work
- support, training and skill development that your employer needs to provide all employees
- changes your employer provides to your work to make sure you do it safely and productively, that are considered reasonable adjustment
- changes to your work to make sure you have the same opportunities and conditions as everyone else (for example reasonable adjustments).
Your employer might be able to get funding for some of these things, such as workplace modifications outside the NDIS. This is through the Employment Assistance Fund .
What work supports do Disability Employment Services (DES) provide?
If a Disability Employment Service helped you to find a job, they can provide some supports to help you keep your job. They can work with your employer to make sure your job is going well, and you have all the support you need. Your Disability Employment Service will provide this support based on your needs and eligibility.
What work supports do we fund?
We can fund the extra support you need that isn’t provided by your employer or a Disability Employment Service. For instance, we could fund:
- personal care supports while you’re at work
- occupational therapist assessments to see how your disability affects how you work
- extra on-the-job training and support with your work tasks you need because of your disability
- support to help you manage your behaviour or complex needs at work
- support with other things to help you work. For example we might fund modification of tools to suit your disability related needs.
Jasmin has a physical disability and has just started working for a bank. The bank installed a ramp and set up her work desk to meet her needs. At the moment, she works short hours and goes home for lunch so she can get support to eat. She wants to increase her hours at work.
Jasmin and her Support Coordinator work with her employer and carers to see how Jasmin could stay at work longer. Jasmin decides to use some of her Core funding to have a carer come to work at lunch time to help her with eating lunch. That way she can get the support she needs because of her disability and stay at work longer.
What if you are self-employed or want to start your own business?
We may be able to fund supports you need because of your disability to help you work in your own business. This is where you work for yourself and not a company or business. You earn your income directly from your own business, trade or profession.
There are a number of programs that can help you if you want to work in your own business. Learn more about supports to help you start your own business .
Generally, the kinds of supports we can and can’t fund if you are self-employed are similar to what is explained in the sections above. More information is available in our booklet Let’s Talk About Work or from your Support Coordinator, LAC or planner.
When do we fund ongoing supports in a job?
We’ll fund the support based on your needs. We also consider your hours of work if you need day to day on the job supports. This could be support just for you, or in a group if you work with other people with disability. For example, in an Australian Disability Enterprise .
You might need a mix of individual support for certain tasks, and group support for other types of work. This could be:
- capacity building supports to help you achieve a specific goal or overcome a problem. This is usually for a set amount of time. These funds are in your Finding and Keeping a Job budget.
- day to day supports if you need regular and ongoing help when you are at work. This is funded in your Core budget as part of your Social and Community participation supports. When you are in paid work, your provider will claim for these as “Supports in Employment”.
You might have both capacity building and core supports in your plan.
It is important to understand that you can also use your other funding in your Core budget to help achieve your work goal.
For example, you can use your community participation funding to buy supports for activities that help you practice skills to get ready for work. You might need help to volunteer. This can be a great way to start learning about work.
What if you want to change jobs?
If you are interested in changing jobs, there is help available to do that. Most people get this help through a Disability Employment Service (DES) provider.
If you need more than what the Disability Employment Service can provide, we may be able to fund capacity building supports to help with your work skills and develop a career plan.