Around one in six Australians is currently living with a disability. This equates to approximately 4.4 million people nationally. When a disability is significant enough to interfere with a person’s ability to undertake personal care activities or participate in their larger community, the right support is essential. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) ensures that all Australians with a significant and permanent disability can access community services and appropriate support. The NDIS is implemented nationally by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme?
The NDIS is a government-funded initiative that provides support to all Australian citizens living with significant and permanent disabilities. This national scheme provides ongoing access to early intervention supports, assistive technology, and other beneficial NDIS supports. Implemented in March 2013 alongside the NDIS act, this scheme is now active nationwide. If you’re living with a disability, you may be wondering how the NDIS can help you?
If accepted onto the NDIS, participants work with a representative from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to create a support plan tailored to their individual needs. When deciding which supports should be included in this NDIS plan, the NDIA representative may also consult with family members and will always keep the personal goals of the participant front of mind.
One of the key benefits of the NDIS is that participants have a high amount of control over where and how their NDIS funds are used. The funded supports approved in the NDIS plan can also evolve with the participant as their needs and goals change throughout their life.
How Does the NDIS Support Individuals with a Disability?
The NDIS supports individuals participating in the scheme by allowing them to access reasonable and necessary supports without financial barriers. In addition to helping participants access the programs and supports they need, the NDIS makes it easy for participants to find thoroughly vetted support providers through their online Provider Finder tool.
Who is eligible for NDIS funding?
To ensure sufficient support is available for those in genuine need, the NDIS has strict access requirements. To be eligible for the NDIS you must:
Be aged 65 years or younger at the time you first access the scheme
Be an Australian citizen, hold a permanent visa or hold a Protected Special Category visa
Have a disability that is permanent and significant
Be unable to perform tasks without the support of a person or some form of assistive technology.
What is considered a permanent and significant disability?
There are many conditions and impairments which could be considered permanent and significant disabilities. These include but are not limited to:
The amount of NDIS funding each participant receives varies depending on individual needs. Participants work with their plan manager to agree on which formal or informal supports are necessary for their particular goals. The NDIS covers the cost of approved supports including any required support workers. The supports funded will be different for every participant accepted into the scheme.
Does NDIS Funding Affect Centrelink Payments?
For participants and carers who also receive payments from the Australian welfare system, the impact on their current payments is a common concern. Fortunately, NDIS funding is not means tested and does not affect existing disability or carers payments. The only payment that is affected by NDIS participation is the mobility allowance payment. People with disabilities use this payment to assist with transportation needs. The NDIS plan will consider any specialised transport requirements, so the mobility allowance payment is redundant for NDIS participants.
What Support does the NDIS Provide?
With the participant’s support, an NDIS plan manager will approve any reasonable and necessary supports to improve the quality of life of a person with a disability. This could mean in-home care for support with daily personal care activities, support in allowing individuals to access programs in their community or any specialised equipment a person may require. Supports and services funded by the NDIS may include but are not limited to:
Specialised living arrangements
Personal care support services.
The NDIS provides life-changing support for Australians living with a disability. If you think you may be eligible for NDIS support, apply for scheme access online via the NDIS website today.