Accessibility Tools

Skip to main content

Get Assistance

The Defence Special Needs Support Group offers the following services:


It is important to realise the benefits the Defence Special Needs Support Group can have for you as Defence families with special needs and to remember that every family joins the group for different reasons. Your special need may seem less than other families or you may have everything organised on a day to day level and are wondering what the group can do for you.

You probably don’t realise how much more to our group there is. We not only provide support, information and assistance we also do the following: Wide range of Programs, please head on over to our website to see what Programs DSNSG can offer to our families.

Please email Membership Forms to

APSBS Grants

Grants can assist families with Special Needs to obtain equipment or other particular requirements relating to the person with special needs. APS Benefits Group (APSBG) commenced operations in 1905 and is a member-owned cooperative whose members include employees from all public service sectors and their families. APSBG will consider applications from families with Special Needs to assist with the purchase of equipment and other requirements relating to the applicant’s needs.

However, please note that at least one member of the family must be a current member of the APS Benefits Group (for at least 12 months) to be eligible for consideration.

These approved funds are grants and do not need to be repaid. Applications must be submitted on the APS Benefits Group’s forms which are available from the General Manager. Proudly Sponsored by APSBS

To find out more about this grant facility, and application forms, please email us.

Computer4Kids Program
Proudly Sponsored by Defence Health

Computer 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 are able to download great applications suitable for the individual needs of their child. There are many applications to assist with behaviour, motor skills, learning, literacy, and can be essential for communication.

More Information:

Drive Safe Program
This program is sponsored by the Defence Member and Family Support Branch and DSNSG and Australian Military Bank.

Drive Safe Program, sponsered by Australia Military Bank, helps 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.


Dependent needs to be over the age of 16 years and hold a current learner's permit. Other ages will be considered under “Exceptional Circumstances” as deemed by and at the discretion of the appointed National Executive Committee

Supply supporting documentation of diagnoses.

Membership details are up to date.

Dependent needs to be over the age of 16 years and hold a current learner's permit. Other ages will be considered under “Exceptional Circumstances” as deemed by and at the discretion of the appointed National Executive Committee.

More Information:

Family Events

Our local area Coordinator will have the responsibility of organising these events. Details will be forwarded to you through local newsletters, emails and in the DSNSG Facebook group. Coordinators and local families are able to suggest an event and if the National Committee approves, then details and Expressions of Interests are sent out to families. If sufficient expressions of interest are received, then families will be notified that the event will go ahead. Some examples of Family Events are:

  • Locally Based Special Needs Information Sessions
  • Family Fun Days
  • Movie Nights etc.!

If you know of any events that would benefit your local DSNSG group can you please make contact with your local Area Coordinator?


The program provides financial support for families to attend workshops, Webinars and order resources books.

FYI is a program that provides the opportunity for families to attend workshops or guest speakers/webinars. Workshops include behaviour support, additional information for parents and carers about the Special Need the dependant has, and other workshops/webinars that help meet the needs of the dependant. A different way of thinking, learning and managing emotions. Content will include:

  • Cognitive Abilities: A different way of thinking and learning
  • Managing Challenging Behaviour
  • Managing Feelings: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and its role in providing greater strategies to manage emotions and behaviour
  • The Emotional Tool Box, what it is and how to use
  • Strategies to Improve Social Understanding and Friendship Skills
  • Special Interests: Origins and constructive strategies
  • Girls with ASD
  • Sensory Sensitivity.

The DSNSG Board try to gather information in relation to various workshops/webinars that may be happening around Australia but sometimes it is hard to keep up to date. Information from families is appreciated in regards to education sessions, seminars, and workshops that may be happening in your area. Please provide as much notice as possible to ensure that information can be sent to families with enough time to purchase tickets. Details can be sent to families via E-mail, along with information on how to book and pay for the workshop.

More Information:

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

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.

Recognition of Special Needs

Below is the information on the Defence Policy in PACMAN (Pay and Conditions Manual) in relation to Special Needs. The Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS) administer the policy and for more information contact the Defence Member and Family Helpline on 1800 624 608

8.6 – Resident Family Who Have Special Needs
Some Defence families have a resident family member with special needs. A person with special needs might have a physical, intellectual or sensory disability. They might have a learning or behavioural disability. It can also include being gifted or talented.

If you have a resident family member with special needs you might qualify for extra services and assistance.

These Could include therapy assistance, a pre-posting visit to arrange services or to have your special housing needs considered.

How do I apply?

In order to receive any of the assistance and support services available, you will firstly need to have your dependant with special needs formally recognised by Defence.
To have your dependant recognised you will need to complete Form AC 832.

You can phone the Defence Family Helpline for assistance or contact your nearest Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS) Office and ask to speak to a social worker.

They will give you information and support to begin the recognition process.

Application to Reservists: No, except for Reservists on continuous full-time service.


  • ADF Pay and Conditions Manual, Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 2
  • ADF Pay and Conditions Manual, Chapter 8 Part 6


  • AC832 – Application for special needs assistance, can be used to apply for recognition and/or special needs assistance measures including special needs pre-posting visit, assistance with respite, personal care, therapy services or equipment hire and valet unpacking assistance.

Other forms of Assistance for Special Needs Families include:

  • AD301 – Application for Education Assistance – School students at the gaining location
  • AF170 - Application for help with the cost of special needs education assistance

For further information on Application forms and processes to the above applications, please call Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 or email

Important Contacts for Families