Variety – the Children’s Charity helps children and their families with financial support for things like wheelchairs, specialist equipment and medical supplies, when they can’t afford it, and when government assistance isn’t available. Our work allows children to gain mobility and freedom, to get out and about in the community, to communicate, achieve independence and increase self-esteem, and where possible, assistance to help them integrate into mainstream school and activities.
We believe all Australian children have the right to reach their full potential regardless of ability or background.
Variety provides individual and community funding to support children with a chronic illness, disability or financial disadvantage.
To apply for an individual grant, click here.
Variety Victoria provides assistance towards the purchase of mobility equipment, communication devices, essential medical and health equipment to support children that have a medically diagnosed chronic illness or disability.
- Applicants must live in Victoria
- Applicants must be aged between 0 to 17 years old
- Applicants must be medically diagnosed with a chronic illness or disability
- Previous recipients must wait until 18 months after the date listed on their successful outcome letter
Variety Victoria recommends applicants consult their NDIS planner, GP, Specialist or Social/Support Worker before staring an application so they can best support them through the process.
Applicants must first determine if government funding is available. This includes but is not limited to NDIS, SWEP, ECDS and Better Start.
Should government funding be available an applicant must first apply to the relevant body. Should the government body decline funding a copy of the decline letter must be included with the application.
Variety will fund the SWEP gap even if the family are eligible for SWEP top up funding.
The applicant must only apply for one item as part of their request. These must be directly related to the child’s diagnosis and supported by a GP & relevant Allied Health Professional (see Attachments/Evidence’ below). The following will form the basis of the grant and if successful, cannot be amended after the approval date.
- Auditory – hearing aids, cochlea implants etc
- Bedroom Items – specialised beds & mattresses
- Bike – including modified bikes, trikes and scooters
- Car Seats – including position systems
- Cough Assist Machine
- CPAP Machine
- Dog – Assistance or companion dog
- Electric Stimulation Systems – medical devices that stimulate nerves and muscles
- Epilepsy Monitor
- Gait trainer
- Helmets – cranial helmets used for shaping skulls or safety helmets for seizures
- Hoists/Lifts – Portable only, including electric and manual hoists, slings etc.
- In home mobility therapeutic items – including trampolines etc.
- Insulin Pump
- Nebulizer or Humidifier
- Orthotics – Dynamic Movement Orthoses, second skin, dynamic splits or compression stockings
- Oxygen Pumps
- Positioning Systems – including hi-lo chairs, side layers etc.
- Sensory Equipment – Items promoting the stimulation of the senses (sight, tough, smell and emotion)
- Seizure Alarms and Mats
- Shower Chairs
- Standers – standing frames and standing assistive equipment
- Strollers – medical needs only
- Suction Pumps
- Toilet Chairs
- Wheelchairs – Powered/Electric, manual
- Wheelchair – Sports
- Walk Assistance items – including postural splints, theratogs
- Vision Care – corrective equipment
Requests not eligible
The following falls outside of Variety Victoria’s funding guidelines
- Retrospective funding – only items purchased after the approval date will be eligible to claim as part of the grant
- Servicing or maintenance
- Installation costs
- Capital works
- Car purchase or modifications
- Medical Fees
- Household bills
- Travel costs – parking, petrol, accommodation, taxi’s etc.
- Training & Seminars
- Applications can only be submitted during a funding round. There are 2 – 3 funding rounds a year determined when the budget is being set. Once confirmed dates should be listed on the website
- Applications must be submitted via the online application form
- Applications are made on behalf of the child by a Parent/Carer or another identified support person (Medical professional, caseworker, teacher etc) aged 18 years and over
- Applicants will be expected to submit a truthful and factual application & attach relevant documentation as evidence, address but not limited to the following points;
- Name and contact details of applicant
- Details directly related to the child’s diagnosis including Doctor’s information
- Details directly related to the child’s allied health care professional
- Details directly related to the requested items(S) including supplier information
- Financial documents will need to be uploaded to the application related to the household income.
Applicants need to ensure the application address all criteria and addresses all the information required or risk the application being delayed or in some cases, declined.
The following attachments must be included as part of the application.
- A GP or Paediatrician on letterhead outlining the child’s diagnosis/condition. This document must be dated within 12 months at the time of submission
- An Allied Health Professional (such as an occupational, speech or Physiotherapist relevant to the request) on letterhead referring to the child’s diagnosis and referencing the following
- How the recommended equipment is beneficial to the child
- Evidence of a trial of the equipment and if not able or appropriate, why wasn’t a trial possible
- An indication of the urgency of the grantThis document must be dated within 3 months of the application. Letters to not need to be addressed to Variety. Letters need to contain the information required and be within the specified time period stated above. This is the minimum evidence, should you have additional information to support your application please include this in your application. Additional documentation does not have any date requirements.
- Household Income A or B must be attached to the application
- Health Care Card
If one of the Parent/Carers has a health care card they need to attach a copy of the card. Variety only require one parent to attach their card. The health care card must be in date and in the Parent/Carers name (not the child’s)OR
For each Parent/Carer that selects option B, the must provide copies of the most recent documents related to
- Payslip if currently employed (if self-employed tax return from the last tax year)
- Centrelink Statement if currently receiving any benefits
- Health Care Card
Directly related to the requested item(s) from your preferred supplier. This must be no older than 3 months at the time of submission to ensure it remains valid through the assessment process.
Please keep in mind that the assessment process may take up to 12 weeks before you receive an outcome from Variety once you submit an application
Where an applicant is not requesting the full amount for an item, they must identify in their application how much money they are able to contribute (either personally or through another means of support) to the total cost so that It reconciles with both the grant amount requested and the quote supplied. (i.e. total quote for item is $1000, applicant selects to contribute $150 so the amount requested from Variety equals $850). Where the contribution is coming from a 3rd party, confirmation of the amount they are contributing is required. This can be on their letterhead or other official notice they provide to you.
Post-Submission and Assessment
- Submissions are assessed by the Kids Support Team
- Eligible submissions are presented to the Kids Support Committee for decision
- Kids Support Committees are to be scheduled between the end of the round and the relevant Board Meeting.
Outcome letters are emailed to applicants approximately 12 weeks after their initial submission
- Reasons pertaining to unsuccessful applications are at the discretion of the Kids Support Committee.
- Successful Applicants have 3 months from the date of approval on their outcome letter to use their funding
- No retrospective funding is eligible
- Successful applicants are directed to provide their outcome letter to the supplier associated with their approved funded item
- The supplier must provide a tax invoice to Variety Victoria directly for the approved item and with the approved amount (please note Variety Victoria will not provide money directly to applicants and/or parent/carers; money is paid directly to suppliers)
- It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to action all appropriate steps after receiving the outcome letter (as directed)
- Any unused and/or unspent funds will be forfeited after the expiry date of the funding
Got a question about grants? Give us a call on 03 8698 3900 or email [email protected]!
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