Government support for people with chronic conditions

4 minute read

Send your patients to CreakyJoints’ one-stop shop for information on government and community services

As patients, we understand that our appointment times are limited and you need to focus on our symptoms and treatments first.

Yet one of the common themes identified in a recent report from Arthritis Australia, What consumers want: Identifying the unmet needs of Australians living with arthritis, was that patients need help finding information about the government and community supports and benefits available to them.

The report aimed to identify unmet healthcare needs reported by those with lived experience of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The findings were based on research gathered via a desktop review of existing work focused on consumer needs, three roundtables and a consumer survey.

Some of the most common needs identified in the report were:

  1. Information about management strategies, including available drugs, drug safety assistive devices, exercise, alternative therapies, etc.
  2. Information about effective community engagement (e.g. financial management, work, activities of daily living).
  3. Knowing where to find reliable information.

As a trusted source for patients, health professionals like you are in a prime position to help guide patients toward the information they need, and CreakyJoints Australia is here to help.

Government support for people with chronic conditions

The most popular page on our website is our resource, Government Support for People with Chronic Conditions. It covers basic information about:

  • Medicare: including primary, secondary, and tertiary health services, Chronic Disease Management Plans, GP Mental Health Treatment Plans, the PBS, safety nets, prescriptions, and more.
  • The National Immunisation Program.
  • Centrelink services and benefits: including the Disability Support Pension and the Mobility Allowance.
  • The National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  • My Health Record.
  • State Government concessions and benefits.
  • Selected other resources.

Importantly, it includes links to all the relevant government website pages, so you don’t have to search any further for them.

“We know that many patients living with chronic conditions are often not aware of all the support services available to them,” says CreakyJoints Australia National Coordinator Naomi Creek.

“Finding relevant information while managing their illness can be a burdensome task. Our page helps to ease that, by having all the links and summaries on one page. It’s updated regularly and is truly helpful information.” 

Here’s what members of our community say about this resource:

“It’s great having all this information in one place. Thanks!” – Annette

“Benefits/supports for chronically ill people are spread out across multiple systems and government departments. This page is the only place that I’ve seen that brings them all together in one place and explains them clearly and from the perspective of a chronically ill person.

This page is a vital resource for anyone with a chronic illness to check that they are receiving all of the assistance they are eligible for. And gosh, when you’re chronically ill, every little bit of financial relief is a massive help for your financial and general wellbeing.”  – Charlie

Accessing this information

You can access this resource at:

Alternatively, there’s a PDF of this information on our website that you can download and give to your patients.

About CreakyJoints Australia

Founded in 2015, CreakyJoints Australia is a patient-led organisation and an important source of information for Australian arthritis patients and their families. Our mission is to empower Australians living with arthritis to put themselves at the centre of their own care by talking about their treatment preferences and working in partnership with their healthcare providers.

CJA connects arthritis patients with current and relevant disease-specific information and support across a spectrum of arthritis and related conditions, using a diverse set of digital platforms. We are part of the US-based Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF), a non-profit organisation whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people with chronic illness.

Other resources we offer

Our website is full of other helpful resources for your patients, including

Rosemary Ainley wrote this article on behalf of the CreakyJoints Australia team.

CreakyJoints Australia would like to thank Rheumatology Republic for this opportunity to share the patient voice within the Australian rheumatology community.

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