Wigs - Financial Assistance
Hair loss affects many people and can be genetic or brought on by medical conditions. For those individuals experiencing medical hair loss, we understand that the added financial burden of purchasing a wig can be difficult. The expense is often just one of the many challenges you have to deal with.
Finding the relevant information regarding these financial assistance programs can be difficult, so we have listed some information and the relevant organisations to help assist.
Private Health Funds
Some Health Funds provide a rebate for those experiencing medical hair loss, however they vary from fund to fund as well as to the type of health care coverage undertaken. It is best to discuss your particular claim with your Heath Fund provider.
Income Tax - Medical Expense Rebate
Please check with your Tax Advisor but you should be able to add the cost of your wig to your medical claims under the Taxation Ruling TR93/34.
Below are some sections quoted from the ATO website relating to the 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.
Examples of a 'medical or surgical appliance' include:
(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
Does the government give subsidies for wigs? The answer is YES they do! But it's different from State to State and some States do not offer this service.
VICTORIA - Wig Subsidy
SWEP is a program of grants funded by the Department of Human Services and administered by Ballarat Health Services. Ballarat Health Services was appointed as the State-wide administrator of the aids and equipment program in August 2010 following a competitive selection process. The State-wide equipment program provides people who have a permanent or long-term disability with subsidised aids, equipment and 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.
You can download an application form from the SWEP website
Contact Information for SWEP:
Tel: 1300 747 937 or 03 5333 8100
Fax: 03 5333 8111
PO Box 577 Ballarat
NEW SOUTH WALES - Wig Subsidy
The government department you need to speak to is the Program of Appliances for Disabled People (PADP), a NSW Government program for people with disabilities.
The role of the PADP is to assist eligible residents of NSW 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 ONLY.
Our advice is that you contact the NSW Department of Health directly as the website doesn't seem to provide specific information.
Contact Information for PADP:
Tel: 02 9391 9000
73 Miller Street
North Sydney, NSW 2060
SOUTH AUSTRALIA - Wig Subsidy
The Department for Families and Communities (DFC) Equipment program supplies wigs or a contribution towards a wig for eligible clients.
Wigs may be provided in 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.
DFC Equipment Program does not provide the issue of the initial wig following the treatment of an illness. This will be supplied by the hospital or acute service provider.
You can contact the Domiciliary Equipment Service on 08 8193 1232 to discuss whether you may be eligible and to obtain an application form.
TASMANIA - Wig Subsidy
Some financial assistance to buy wigs is available for patients with alopecia who are referred by a doctor and for patients who have cancer and who have:
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 Further Information:
6222 8314 (Royal Hobart Hospital)
6348 7140 (Launceston General Hospital)
Or contact your medical specialist.