Get Assistance

The Defence Special Needs Support Group offers the following services:

    • Posting Plans which are designed to assist families with special needs to locate appropriate services ie therapy, early intervention, support groups, respite and much more in their new location. For more information, please email
    • Access to Grants which can assist families with special needs to obtain equipment or other particular requirements relating to the person with special needs. For more information, please email
    • Computers 4 Kids- Computers 4 Kids is a program where we can assist with the purchase of an iPad for families to use to support their child or children with special needs, with their education and everyday living skills. An iPad is the best form of assistance as it is portable, lightweight, it can be taken everywhere and takes up minimal space. Families can download great applications suitable for the individual needs of their child. There are many applications to assist with behavior, motor skills, learning, literacy, and can be essential for communication, please email
    • Drive Safe – To assist and help members of our DSNSG families with ASD, ADHD, and Asperger’s to gain confidence and self-esteem when learning to drive (16 years and above). This program was developed because we recognised that people with a disability needed specialised training and assistance to gain their driving licence. Having a licence will likely make job hunting more accessible to these young men and women and in turn help reduce the financial strain of having a special need. This program is sponsored by Aspen Medical and DSNSG. For more information please email
    • Family Events brings families together for outings and events. For more information, please email events@dsnsg,
    • FYI – For Your Information provides the opportunity for families to attend workshops or guest speakers at a greatly reduced cost. For more information, please email
    • Family and Emergency Care Plans – a specialised care plan which can assist in the event of emergencies, soon to be launched. For more information, please email
    • Special Needs Publications – DSNSG National Newsletters


For further information, please contact the National Coordinator


Defence Assistance

The ADF acknowledges that particular assistance may be required by the member with Family With Special Needs (FWSN), as a direct result of the member’s mobility and relocation. ADF support to FWSN is not to duplicate the support that families may be eligible for through other organisations eg Government Departments or Government-funded agencies.

For further information and advice as to how to undergo the Recognition of Special Needs process please give the DSNSG National Office a call on 1800 037 674.

Recognition of Special Needs
A procedure whereby members can apply to be formally recognised by Defence, as having a family with special needs in order to apply for any of the special needs assistance measures provided by Defence.  These assistance measures maybe available upon posting and include:

  • Special Needs Pre-Posting Visit
  • Therapy Assistance
  • Respite Assistance
  • Equipment Assistance
  • Personal Care Assistance
  • Housing Assistance

Application forms are available via the links below.

Application for Recognition of Special Needs

Assessment of Assistance on Posting

Application for Assistance with Respite, Therapy Services, Personal Care or Equipment Hire

Application for Special Needs Pre Posting Visit


In addition, when posting some families maybe eligible for a Valet Unpack.


Note:  Changes to the Defence  Recognition of Special Needs Application Process – Support to Families with Special Needs

As of 01 July 2010, you now do not need to see a Defence Social Worker to undergo the ‘Recognition of Special Needs Process’ or the ‘Assessment of Assistance on Posting’.  Instead, whether applying for special needs recognition, assessment of assistance on posting or therapy services, families will now send their application forms and supporting documentation directly to DCO Headquarters in Canberra for processing.

An information kit detailing the processes has been developed for families and contains:

  • An information flyer providing broad information on the Program
  • Application forms
  • A completion checklist that contains a handy list of all the documents families need to submit with their application
  • A copy of the Member with Dependants with Special Needs determination that provides families with important details regarding the program including eligibility criteria, the roles and responsibilities of DCO staff and definitions.

The information kit is available from the DCO website or by contacting the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.

Other forms of assistance that maybe available for special needs families upon posting are:

  • Education Assistance
  • Childcare Reimbursement Allowance
  • Travelling Allowance

Please refer to the Pay and Conditions Manual (PACMAN)

All assistances measures associated with being a Family With Special Needs, including Extra Tutition Allowance are Fringe Benefit Tax FREE.

Please remember that if you are being posted, then contact the DSNSG National Office and ask for a Posting Plan.  A Posting Plan helps you put in place the services and supports you need in your new location.  It is stressful enough when you move, let alone when you move and have special needs – let us help you because you don’t have to do it alone.

Ring 1800 037 674