Doctor presents senior couple with information using tablet

How can you Access NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (also known as the NDIS) replaced a disability system with a national system that provides Australians with the peace of mind, that if their child or loved one is born with or acquires a significant disability that they will get the support they need when they need it.

For many people, it will be the first time they receive the disability support they need and it is hoped to include independence, community involvement, education, employment and health and wellbeing. It will also provide information for family and carers about services in their communities such as doctors, sporting clubs, support groups, libraries and schools, and what support is provided by each state and territory government.

Under the age of 65? What happens to those currently receiving assistance or worse still, become disabled after the age of 65?

The NDIS help-line explains that provision has been made for this demographic – they will be referred to My Aged Care. My Aged Care, will assist participants through the assessment, plan and provider process but with more specialised attention to aged-related issues.

And for those needing to know whether the NDIS is linked to the Disability Support Pension (DSP)? It is not, the DSP is separate to the NDIS. If you are receiving the DSP, this does not mean that you are automatically eligible for the NDIS, and you will still need to check your eligibility and apply for the NDIS. Similarly, if you receive NDIS funding, it will not impact any income support you receive, such as the DSP or Carers Allowance.

If one is receiving a mobility allowance however, when an NDIS plan is approved, the eligibility for the mobility allowance payment will cease.

NDIS information sheet
NDIS information sheet

How does one Access NDIS Support?

The NDIS provides funding to eligible people based on their individual needs, so every NDIS participant has to have an individual plan, established at a planning meeting that details their goals and the funding they are to receive. NDIS participants control the support they receive, when they receive it, and who provides it.

In order to be considered, a support or service

  • must be related to a participant’s disability
  • must not include day-to-day living costs not related to your disability support needs, such as groceries
  • should represent value for money
  • must be likely to be effective and work for the participant

To get ready for the planning meeting, the ‘participant’ is required to identify their current supports and who provides them, as well as what additional supports and services they may need to achieve their goals. They will also need to provide copies of any relevant medical reports or assessments.Once the NDIS plan has been approved, the coordinator or planner will discuss it with the participant to ensure that it is understood and implemented. And while regular contact with the coordinator is encouraged, every participant will also be contacted six weeks before their plan ends to discuss a review and this can be done in person or over the phone.

Reference: NDIS.Gov.au; PWC: Disability in Australia
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