Medical Hair Loss? You Might Be Able to Receive Financial Aid to Purchase a Wig!

People decide to purchase wigs for all sorts of reasons. If your reason is medical hair loss, we understand that purchasing a high-quality wig can be a financial burden (and that’s the last thing you want to deal with). To assist people who struggle with this situation, we’ve put together some information about the financial assistance programs and relevant organisations that are available to you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us, otherwise, we recommend you check out the Financial Assistance page on your state’s government website.

Private Health Funds

Certain private health funds provide a rebate for those experience medical hair loss; however, these vary from fund to fund and depend on the type of health care coverage you have. We recommend that you discuss your claim with your health fund provider.

Income Tax – Medical Expense Rebate

Although we recommend you check with your tax advisor, you should be able to add the cost of your wig to your medical claims under the taxation ruling TR93/34. We’ve taken the info below directly from the ATO (Income Tax: Medical Expense Rebate – Taxation Ruling TR93/34):

“Section 159P allows a rebate for net medical expenses exceeding $1,000. Net medical expenses includes: payments for a ‘medical or surgical appliance’ prescribed by a legally qualified medical practitioner. A ‘medical or surgical appliance’ for the purposes of paragraph (f) of the definition of ‘medical expenses’ in subsection 159P (4) is an instrument, apparatus or device which is:

a) Manufactured as; or

b) Distributed as; or

c) Generally recognised to be an aid to the function or capacity of a person with a disability or illness.

(m) Medical or surgical wigs for use by a person which is necessitated by loss of hair through sickness or disease (other than naturally occurring baldness) or the effects of the treatment of sickness or disease”.

See Full Info

State Subsidies

Certain state governments within Australia offer subsidies for wigs; however, the amounts and technicalities vary from state to state. Unfortunately, haven’t found wig-specific information for subsidies in QLD – we recommend you check out the QLD government’s Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme and contact them on 1300 443 570.

VIC

The Victorian government has an initiative called SWEP (State Wide Equipment Program). SWEP provides people who have a permanent or long-term disability with subsidised aids and equipment as well as vehicle and home modifications.

The benefits available are:

  • Two basic synthetic wigs (or equivalent contribution towards a human hair wig, or more expensive synthetic wig up to the subsidy cost) $240 per 2 years.
  • One human hair wig (child 16 years and under) $600 per wig per 2 years. You will need to fill in an application form and have a letter from your GP to say that you have permanent loss of hair as a result of disease or disability.

If you have previously used the A&EP, your records will be transferred to SWEP automatically and the procedure to obtain the subsidy remains the same.

For more information, contact:

Tel: 1300 747 937 or 03 5333 8100

Fax: 03 5333 8111

PO Box 577 Ballarat

Victoria 3353

NSW

The NSW government has the PADP (Program of Appliances for Disabled People). The role of the PADP is to assist eligible residents who have a permanent or long-term disability to live and participate in their community by providing appropriate equipment, aids, appliances and prosthesis human hair wigs.

For more information, contact:

Tel: 02 9391 9000

73 Miller Street

North Sydney, NSW 2060

SA

The DFC (Department for Families and Communities) Equipment program supplies wigs (or a contribution towards a wig) for eligible clients. Wigs may be provided under the following circumstances:

  • The client has a personal loss of hair as a result of treatment for a major illness (eg. alopecia or oncology).
  • Is at least 12 months since the initial issue of the wig from the acute care service provider (eg. hospital).
  • Is at least 12 months since provision of the last synthetic wig or at least five years since the provision of the last human hair wig.

The DFC Equipment Program does not provide assistance for the initial wig following the treatment of an illness – this will be supplied by the hospital or acute service provider.

For more information, contact:

You can contact the Domiciliary Equipment Service on 08 8193 1232 to discuss eligibility and/or application.

TAS

In Tasmania, some wig-purchasing financial assistance is available for patients with alopecia (who are referred by a doctor) and for patients who have cancer and possess:

  • DHS Pensioner Concession Card
  • DHS Health Care Card

NOTE:

  • Holders of a DVA Pensioner Concession Card should consult the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
  • People with private health insurance should claim from their private health insurance first. Any difference between the concession rate and the private health reimbursement will be provided.
  • People who can claim from workers compensation or any other source are not eligible to apply.

For more information, contact:

6222 8314 (Royal Hobart Hospital)

6348 7140 (Launceston General Hospital)

Or contact your medical specialist.

We Hope You Find the Financial Assistance You Need!

Please note that this information is just a guide – unfortunately, we cannot guarantee financial assistance in any circumstances. We highly recommend that you contact your local government or that you discuss your options/eligibility with your accountant or doctor.

The information in this post is adapted from the Australian Alopecia Areata Foundation and Easi Wigs.

If you have any information that we can add to this page, please let us know.

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