How we help FAQs

Assistance is available for Victorian children aged up to 17 years 6 months of age, who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs. Variety also supports schools, community groups or other organisations that help kids in need. The child must be an Australian Citizen or be a permanent resident of Australia.

To apply for assistance, you must be able to demonstrate a genuine need (including financial evidence) and information on how the assistance requested will meet this need.

In most instances, you’ll also require supporting letters from relevant professionals (e.g. Specialists, Therapists,Teachers) and quotes for the items requested.

Our program is designed to be flexible to allow you to apply for the items that best meet your individual needs. Every child is different, so every application is considered on a case by case basis.

However, there are some restrictions. For example, we don’t fund salaries, capital works (modifications to property) private vehicles, vehicle modification, research or retrospective grants. See our application form for full details.

Variety aims to ‘fill the gaps’ and prioritise requests for which there are no alternate sources of support. If the Variety Grants Committee believes that funding is already available through another agency (including SWEP or NDIS), you may be referred elsewhere, unless you can explain why you cannot access their support. Sometimes, we ‘top up’ funding where another agency cannot fund the entire cost of equipment or a project. An example would be part contribution towards a mobility aid, as long as the remaining funding has already been approved.

Variety does not give cash. Instead, we purchase tangible items, for example equipment, on behalf of the recipient.

Generally 6-8 weeks after the close of a round.

We’ll advise you in writing of the outcome, as soon as a decision has been made.

One application per child for a single piece of equipment. For a wheelchair this includes any additional supports, trays, modifications, seating systems etc. For an iPad this includes a survivor case and other necessary attachments and apps.

Applications will not be funded if prior funding has been received within an 18 months from approval, unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated.

Reference letters must be from relevant professionals for the application.

For example, an equipment application reference must be from a health care professional such as a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist or specialist doctor.

A scholarship application reference letter must come from a teacher, coach, scout leader, principal, medical professional, case worker or teachers aide, for example.
NB: In most instances a letter from a GP (General Practitioner) is not acceptable.

A minimum of two reference letters are required. There is no maximum limit to the number of references that you can supply. Please note: Letter(s) must be no more than 3 months old.

  • How long the referee has known child
  • How long the referee has been directly working with child
  • Diagnosis and/or conditions

For General Applications

  • Has the applicant trialled the equipment?
  • Why this piece of equipment or model?
  • What are the benefits to having this piece of equipment
  • What similar equipment (if any) has been utilised up until now

For Scholarships

  • Why the child should be considered for a scholarship?

Yes, but only if you have secured the remaining funding

SWEP is the statewide equipment program, this is being phased out and replaced with the NDIS. SWEP provides a subsidy towards the cost of equipment and/or modifications. This is to improve independence in your home, assist in community participation and support families and carers in their role. This is provided through a number of programs, details of which are available on their website. Reissue equipment will be provided where appropriate.

Anyone can complete an application on behalf of an applicant. You will not be able to submit the application if it is not complete.

If you have online log ins you can download from your account. Instructions can be found on the Centrelink website

Alternatively you will need to call or visit Centrelink to request it.

No, the application also asks for your estimated expenses as we understand that a child with a disability has a much higher cost of living. Some households may have a higher income, but this can reduce the amount of government support. These families still need support due to the funding required to assist their child.

Yes we fund iPads, for use as communication devices only.

Yes, we fund assistance dogs once you have been accepted as eligible by a registered provider.