The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is run by the Australian Federal government. It provides individualised funding to people living with severe or profound disability. The scheme is designed to give participants greater choice and controlover their lives.
The NDIS is being rolled out over four years to 460 000 people and will cost more than $22 billion. Australian taxpayers have been contributing to a 0.5% increase to their Medicare Levy since it was introduced in 2013 to fund the scheme.
You can check your eligibilityto find out if you are able to receive assistance from the NDIS website at www.ndis.gov.au/ndis-access-checklist, and what the next steps are.
Those people that live outside an NDIS rollout site, will continue to use their existing funding and supports arrangements until the transition. These will remain in place until the NDIS is introduced to your area or is extended to your age group.
The NDIS checklist will check a range of criteria, including the following:
Age – If you are currently under 65 years of age.
Residency – If you live in Australia, are an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
Disability – If your disability is likely to be with you for life and substantially impact how you manage everyday activities. For example, if you need help from other people, or special equipment, to do certain things.
Early Intervention – This is designed to help people with a disability to access services now so that they require fewer supports and services in the future and can live a more independent life. You can find more information on early intervention on the NDIS website.
If you are eligible for the NDIS funding, it will replace any funding or supports that you currently receive from your state or territory. Most government-funded programs are in the process of transitioning to the NDIS, and will have their own specific arrangements.
The NDIS is designed for people under 65years of age. Anyone over 65 will receive funding for their car or supports through www.myagedcare.gov.au
The NDIS offers many opportunities for you to take more control. But you don't have to wait around for the NDIS to come to your area.
If you already receive a government-funding package, you may be able to take control of that now through self-direction or self-management. This can include choosing, hiring, and managing your own support workers or purchasing the services of a Plan Manager to do this for you as well as the reporting requirements back to the relevant government department.
The administration fees and operational expenses of disability support providers can significantly reduce the number of hours of support you receive from government funding but under the NDIS if you incorporate Plan Management into your plan then this is an addition in funds to your plan and will not come out of your funding allocation for any other supports.
By being well informed, and exercising your right to choice and control, you can make the most of your funds. This means getting more hours of support to do the things you want to do.
Categories of Support that you may be funded for under the NDIS, depending on your needs and goals, are;
Assistance with daily life at home, in the community, education and work.This includes personal care, community access, interpreting, continence and home enteral nutrition products.
Transport to access daily activities. This is so you can access the community for educational, recreational and vocational purposes.
Supported independent living. This includes personal care, support and assistance to enable you to live in more independent secure environment in the community.
Improved daily living skills. To assist you to increase independent living skills and community participation. These supports can be provided either in a group or individually.
Improved relationships. To further social skill development and for behavioural supports where necessary.
Improved living arrangements. For assistance to improve your living arrangements to function in a way that improves your daily living.
Improved health and wellbeing. Personal training, exercise, fitness, diet to support you to improve and maintain your health.
Improved learning. Assistance to continue your education from school.
Finding and keeping a job. Assistance to support you to find and retain employment in the supported market or the open employment market.
Increased social and community participation.Support to develop and increase capability for community participation either individually or in groups and through mentoring and peer support.
Improved life choices. Support to strengthen your ability to be able to have control in the management and choice of your providers including the hiring of support workers and the payment of providers.
Assistive technology. All items and equipment required for daily living.
Vehicle modifications. All vehicle modification necessary fro driving and transportation of a person with a disability.
Home modifications. Modifications required to live in your home.
Support coordination is to assist you to reinforce and increase your ability to fully access the community and manage and implement your own supports. These services may include linking to providers, building on current informal supports, coordinating all other supports. There are 3 levels of support coordination that the NDIS has identified and is funding.
Support Coordination. This is time-limited assistance to strengthen a participants ability to connect with informal, mainstream funded supports, and to increase capacity to maintain support relationships, resolve service delivery issues, and participate independently in the NDIA processes.
Coordination of Supports. This is for assistance to strengthen a participant’s ability to connect to and coordinate mainstream and funded supports in a complex service delivery environment. This includes resolving points of crisis, developing capacity and resilience in a participants network and coordinating supports from a range of sources.
Specialist Support Coordination. The provision of Support Coordination within a specialist framework necessitated by specific high risks in the participants situation. This support is time limited and focuses on addressing barriers and reducing complexity in the support environment, while assisting the participant to connect with supports and build capacity and resilience. It may also involve development of an intervention plan which will be put in place by disability support workers