The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new way of providing disability support and care to people in Australia and is delivered by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
The NDIS provides people with disability the opportunity to be part of the decision-making process for their personalised care, allowing them to drive and make many of the important decisions about how they want to live their life and who they would like to deliver their support. The NDIS supports people by building skills and capability so they can participate in the community and employment.
Funding is applied directly to the person with the disability, allowing them the flexibility to choose the services they need. This replaces the old system of funding being directly applied to the service providers.
The NDIS is now centrally managed by the Federal Government and funded by the current safety net. Providing national uniformity and a greater commitment to life-long support for Australians with disability.
Being operated federally means that each individual state and territory will no longer manage their disability support services themselves, helping to avoid under funding and inefficiencies. Working to provide greater choice to people living with a disability.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is an independent agency that has been set up by the Australian Government to deliver and run the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new, national approach to providing support to people with disability as well as their families and carers. The NDIS is being progressively rolled out around Australia from July 2016.
For up-to-date information on whether the NDIS is available in your area, visit the official NDIS website by selecting the relevant state or territory link below.
Eligibility to access the NDIS is dependent on your age, residency and disability.
Participants must also live in an area where the NDIS is currently available or have been granted an Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI).
Participants who already receive supports from a government disability program, will receive a letter or a phone call from a NDIA representative when it is time to transition to the NDIS. The NDIA representative will provide more information on next steps when they make contact.
For all others, to see if you meet the access requirements for the NDIS, please visit the NDIS Access Checklist [insert link https://www.ndis.gov.au/ndis-access-checklist.html]. If you are deemed eligible to apply, you will then need to call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 to ask for an Access Request Form.
Being eligible means, you will develop a plan with the NDIA to help you gain access to the supports you need. Each person’s plan is unique and will be reviewed over time to ensure the right support is provided.
*Additional age requirements apply in South Australia and Tasmania.
A Participant is a person living with disability who is eligible and has been accepted into the National Disabilities Insurance Scheme by the NDIA.
The NDIA may need to determine disability or Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) access requirements by requesting evidence of your disability.
This includes information on what your disability is, if your disability is permanent (lifelong), and if your disability stops you from doing everyday things by yourself.
For some people who are already receiving support from state or territory disability programs, evidence of your disability may not be needed. This is due to many state and territory organisations having the same eligibility criteria as the NDIS.
ECEI helps children aged 0-6 years with a disability that is likely to be with them for life but could be improved by getting some additional support earlier in life. This support emphases on providing more support now with the goal of needing fewer support services in the future. Helping Participants to live a more independent life.
To meet the NDIA Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) requirements, a child needs to:
If you already receive supports from a government disability program, you will receive a letter or a phone call from a NDIA representative when it is time to transition to the NDIS. The NDIA representative will also provide you more information on next steps when they contact you.
Until you transition to the NDIS and have a NDIS plan, your current supports and services should continue as normal.
By now you have used the NDIS Access Checklist and it indicates you are eligible for the scheme, you will need to call the NDIA on 1800 800 110 to ask for an Access Request Form.
You can apply to enter the NDIS six months prior to the scheme rolling out in your area. From here, we recommend starting to prepare for your Planning Meeting.
Your Planning Meeting is a scheduled meeting with the NDIA to help build your personalised First Plan. An NDIS Planner will contact you and/or your Nominee to arrange a meeting to prepare your plan. This meeting will occur at a time that is suitable to you, with some people’s first plans being completed over the phone. During this meeting, your NDIS Planner will talk with you about what support and services you currently receive and what additional services you can access.
Make sure that during your Planning Meeting you take down your NDIS Planner’s name and number. If for any reason you are not happy with your finalised First Plan you will then be able to contact them directly and discuss your concerns.
Yes, you can bring support to your Planning Meeting. It may be a friend, family member or Carer. If you don’t have anyone to support you during this meeting you can seek the assistance of a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or a Support Coordinator from a registered partner. Upon request, United Disability have Support Coordinators that can attend your NDIS Planning Meeting with you. Please ensure that you contact United Disability on 1300 454 850 as soon as you have your Planning Meeting date, this will provide us time to make a Support Coordinator available.
Your first NDIS First Plan is the start of a lifelong relationship with the NDIA. Your NDIS Planner will be initially focused on continuity of your existing support when transitioning to the scheme.
With thousands of people with disability transitioning to the NDIS, the First Plan aids in the simplification of the transition and has been designed to allow swift entry into the scheme. Your First Plan will be finalised after your Planning Meeting.
The implementation of the First Plan, allows Participants adequate time to assess their needs, develop goals and explore available options for their next plan. Your next plan may include additional supports that provide you opportunity to explore options to get involved in your local community such as sports clubs and community groups.
The NDIS offers a range of support to people with disability. These can include:
Assistive Technology can vary. As an approved NDIS Participant you may be eligible to receive funding for some of the below items:
Assistive Technology does not include items for treatment or rehabilitation, ramps or pathways, motor vehicles or something that does not include a device (i.e. medicine or training).
Auslan is short for Australian sign language, a language developed by and for Australians who are deaf or hearing
impaired. The NDIS provides some funding for Participants with hearing loss or users of Auslan. Providing access to interpreting and translating services for assistance with everyday life.
Housing is an important issue for the NDIA. Affordable, stable housing is needed to support people with disability in achieving their goals. The NDIS will provide ongoing support for daily living but has not been designed to take responsibility for the housing needs of Participants, unless the Participant has very high needs and requires special accommodation to enable them to receive the supports they need.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) refers to this as Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). Participants who are assessed as needing SDA as part of their reasonable and necessary supports will receive funding to cover the costs of SDA.
Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is housing that enables people with very high needs to receive the supports they need. SDA will provide funding towards the cost of the physical environment for eligible NDIS Participants to live and receive their daily supports. For more information on SDA please find the following link to the NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation PDF.
At the end of your Planning Meeting with the NDIS Planner, they will talk to you about your next steps. They will then contact you when your First Plan is finalised and discuss how to put it into action. This contact will happen within several days of you receiving your plan.
For Participants who have a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) to support them to implement their plan: A Local Area Coordinator from an NDIS partner organisation will be in contact with you to further discuss your plan, help you access supports and discuss your long terms goals under the NDIS.
For Participants who receive help from a Support Coordinator to implement their plan: Your plan will include funding for a Support Coordinator to help you implement your plan. Once your plan is approved, this person will contact you to discuss your plan, help you access supports and discuss your longer-term goals under the NDIS.
For Participants who are Self-Managing: You will be contacted by the NDIA once your plan is approved and they will talk to you or your Nominee about the opportunities and responsibilities of self-managing your plan.
It is important to think about how your First Plan is working for you – what is good and what is not. This will help you prepare for your Plan Review at the end of 12 months.
Local Area Coordination services are an important part of the NDIS, as they will work with Participants on the ground to help enter and make the most of the NDIS – while supporting individuals to build strong, inclusive relationships in their communities.
An LAC may be the person you meet with during your first planning meeting, and then perhaps afterwards. Due to the large numbers of people coming into the NDIS, LAC’s have been tasked with gathering data and information from people in their planning meetings, and will pass this information onto the NDIA so that can convert this into a Participant plan.
It is important to note that the LAC’s do not work for the NDIA, however they have taken on a planning role for developing Participants plans to assist the NDIA with the NDIS rollout.
As an NDIS Participant, you (or your Nominee) will need to understand your plan, its budgets and how you can find and connect with supports and services in your community to achieve the goals in your plan.
Your Support Coordinator can provide initial assistance with linking Participants with the right providers, assistance in sourcing providers, coordinating a range of supports, resolving points of crisis, providing parental training and developing Participant resilience in their own network and community.
A Support Coordinator is someone who could be funded separately in your NDIS plan to help you do this. Your Support Coordinator will need to be a person or provider who is registered by the NDIA to provide this service.
Depending on your situation there are a range of people who can help you implement your plan and support you to start receiving supports. You can start your plan on your own if you are self-managed or with the support of a Local Area Coordinator, Support Coordinator or Nominee.
The NDIA provides a Getting Started Checklist to help you start accessing your community, mainstream and funded supports and get the most out of your NDIS plan. [insert link to PDF https://ndis.gov.au/medias/documents/h3c/he0/8799397969950/Factsheet-Starting-Your-Plan-PDF-11KB-.pdf ].
Areas that the checklist includes:
Once your plan is approved and you receive your funding, all previous funding for your disability supports will be stopped effective immediately. Therefore, to ensure your existing services continue as per normal, it’s important to let your provider know that your plan has been approved as soon as you receive it.
Once your plan is active you can access your plan on the Participant Portal, an online tool available through the myGov website that keeps all your documents together in the one place. You will receive Participant Portal access instructions once your plan is ready and your plan management will be discussed in detail during your Planning Meeting.
As part of the NDIS framework you decide how you want to manage your plan and if you need support.
To get more information about your Plan Management, contact your NDIS representative and they will provide more information to help you make these choices.
The NDIS is a new government scheme that is designed to provide you with choice and support. It gives you the option to stay with your current providers (such as United Disability) if you want to, or you have the option to look for other providers if you believe another service or provider will better suit your needs. At United Disability, we believe that you should only use service providers that provide you the best support – and we hope that you continue to choose us.
You will continue to receive support if your NDIS plan is in place. Your First Plan will be in place for approximately 12 months. However, there are some plans that may have a slightly shorter or longer term.
Having a First Plan that covers approximately 12 months will provide you as a Participant the opportunity to think about how your NDIS support is working for you. You can then assess what else you might need to help you achieve your goals before your next plan review.
If you think that the NDIA has made a decision about you, or your plan that is incorrect, you can apply for internal review of a decision.
If your circumstances or needs change you can also ask for your plan to be reviewed and potentially changed. Contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110 for further information.
If you feel a support or service provider is not helping you as much as they could, you can change providers. You don’t need to wait until your plan review. Visit the NDIS website www.ndis.gov.au and see ‘choosing a provider’ for more information.
The NDIS aims to ensure that all Participants are not disadvantaged. This means that if you were receiving support or funding prior to transitioning to the NDIS you should be able to achieve the same level of support or outcomes under the new scheme.
No. The NDIS is a new, more synchronised federal scheme that will replace other sources of disability funding previously made by individual states and territories. When your local area transitions to the scheme you can remain with your current provider/s if you wish. This will all be discussed during your Planning Meeting with the NDIA.
The NDIS is an insurance scheme funded through tax contributions, like Medicare. The NDIS does not require means testing for eligible Participants and does not influence the Disability Support Pension payments you might receive. The NDIS is designed to complement the current health and education services in Australia.
Any funds that remain at the time of your review will be returned to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
If you are already on an NDIS plan when you turn 65 years of age, you can either choose to remain on the NDIS under Continuity of Support rules, or you can transition to the Aged Care System.
Should you already be over the age of 65 years when the NDIS becomes available in your area, you will transition to the Aged Care System.
Before you start your Plan Review, it can be helpful for you to explore options to get involved in your local community through activities such as sporting clubs, local theatres, special interest groups and community gardening. The below steps should be considered when reviewing your NDIS plan:
Write the above points down in anticipation of your review as this may help with your preparation.
As a Participant of the NDIS you have the option to have a support during your Plan Review. Support may be a friend, family member or carer. If you don’t have anyone to support you during your review you can seek the assistance of a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or a Support Coordinator from a registered partner. United Disability have Support Coordinators and are happy to help.
Visit the National Disability Insurance Scheme website – www.ndis.giv.au or call 1800 800 110.