The ultimate guide to the NDIS!
Navigate your way through the NDIS with ease. Here's everything you need to know about applying, setting up your Plan and choosing quality providers.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme’s main objective is for people with disability to achieve their life goals.
It is an insurance scheme which recognises that investing in people with disability early improves individual and societal outcomes later in life. The main component of the NDIS is providing individualised packages of support to eligible people with disability.
For way too long, people with disability did not have a say in the support that they received. The NDIS radically changes this by giving choice and control to participants to make decisions about the services and supports that will help them to achieve their goals.
If you are already receiving disability support services, you do not need to apply for the NDIS.
If you do not currently receive disability supports but wish to join the scheme, you will need to contact the NDIS on 1800 800 110 and request an Access Request Form.
As part of the access request process, you will:
There are many different disabilities, and no two people with the same disability will have the same experience. The NDIS provides services and support to individuals with disabilities however you must meet the requirements first. At CareAbout, we like to think of people as being differently abled. What is right for one person may not be right for another person.
Not everyone who has a disability is eligible for assistance through the NDIS. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is responsible for determining who is eligible to access the NDIS. The NDIA requires you to meet disability or early intervention requirements.
To apply for the NDIS you must be eligible:
Because the National Disability Insurance Scheme is a government system, there are a range of factors that determine whether a person is eligible for direct support. And there are a range of different disabilities that
You need to be able to provide information about your disability, including what your disability is, whether it is permanent (how long is it expected to last), and how it impacts the way you function in your life. Also, depending on your age, for example, children under 7 years old, may need to provide evidence to meet the early intervention access requirements.
If the evidence of disability you provide is unclear, the NDIA can ask for more information, delay your request, or refuse your request.
When applying for the NDIS, we recommend you provide as clear information as possible about your disability and how it impacts on your daily functioning. Ideally, the evidence you provide should:
Examples of common treating health professionals include:
Ideally, the professional providing evidence should be the most appropriate person to provide evidence of your primary disability and have been seeing you for some time (for example, 6 months or more).
These professionals should know which assessments or reports they need to provide. The NDIA provides a list of relevant assessments that professionals can use (and which you may need to get).
The NDIS provides funding for people who have an intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive or psychosocial disability. As no two disabilities are identical, each person is assessed individually to determine their eligibility for NDIS funding.
The NDIS provides several lists of disability types and their likelihood of NDIS eligibility.
Once assessed and found eligible for NDIS funding, you will receive an individual Plan based on your needs. Your NDIS Plan has various sections: Core Supports, Capital Support and Capacity Building Supports. You may receive funding in one, two or all three of these categories.
Your Plan is developed around the goals you have decided on. The supports available to you in your Plan are aligned with your goals and are intended to help you to reach them.
NDIS Plans are reviewed on a regular basis, generally at 12, 24 or 36 month intervals. At the time of your Plan review, you can set new goals if you’ve reached your current ones, or you can continue with the same goals if you haven’t.
We recommend that you use all of the funding that has been allocated to you before your Plan Review. If you have a lot of unused funds remaining, it may suggest to the NDIA that you don’t need all of the funding they’ve allocated to you – and your next Plan may be less value.
CareAbout staff get asked all the time to explain the various parts of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). In this article, we look at Support Coordination in the NDIS, the role of Support Coordinators, what they do and who they are.
Support coordination assists NDIS Participants to implement the supports in your NDIS plan, including informal, mainstream, community and funded supports.
Support Coordination may be one of the supports specifically included in your NDIS plan, within the Capacity Building category of supports, to assist choice and control.
There are three types of Support Coordination:
The amount of hours of Support Coordination per year does vary depending on the needs and situation of the Participant. Some people may receive 50 to 100 hours of support coordination (up to 2 hours a week) while others may have larger numbers of hours. Overall spending by the NDIA on support coordination is around 3 to 4% of the total NDIS spending.
A Plan Manager looks after the budget and finances of your NDIS Plan. Good Plan Managers will offer you tailored advice on how best to use the funding in your Plan.
The main roles of a Plan Manager are:
Local Area Coordinators, often known simply as ‘LACs’, work with participants to develop their Plan, implement it and provide support to achieve their goals. This includes helping them connect with community, mainstream and funded supports. LACs support participants throughout their plan and monitor how the plan is going.
LACs also engage with local organisations and communities, including other government services, to build awareness and improve opportunities for people with disability to access and actively participate in community activities.
Who should get Support Coordination in their Plan?
Support coordination is included in a plan if it is reasonable and necessary for the individual.
A Support Coordinator is generally funded to strengthen a participant’s ability to connect to and coordinate with a range of more complex informal, mainstream and funded supports.
They coordinate services from a range of suppliers or providers, address service delivery issues and develop the capacity and resilience of their support network.
Support Coordination is usually funded for people with high needs or increased complexities. However, some Participants may also get Support Coordination funded in their plan if there is no LAC or ECIS available in the local area (for example a remote or very remote region in Australia).
Over time it is expected the NDIA will decrease its funding of Support Coordination, as people better understand how to use their control and choice in accessing supports and services.
How should I manage my NDIS Plan?
You have three Plan Management options; you can manage your Plan yourself, have the NDIA manage your Plan, or choose a Plan Manager.
Choosing to manage your Plan yourself can give you additional control and flexibility – but you should only consider this option if you have the skills and the time.
Having the NDIA manage your Plan means that you can only choose providers who are registered with the NDIS. This may limit your options and reduces the flexibility of your Plan.
A Plan Manager will look after all aspects of your Plan for you, and you are able to choose providers who are either NDIS registered or not.
What evidence do I need for my application?
The type of supporting evidence may depend on your disability. It might include medical history, reports from specialists, psychological assessments, or occupational therapist assessments.
The NDIS application process is changing, and supporting evidence will be easier to gather, with assessments undertaken free of charge and by NDIA-appointed independent assessors.
What is a functional capacity assessment?
When making a decision about your eligibility under the NDIS, the key question for the NDIA is how well you are able to function at home and in the community, as well as the overall impact your disability has on your life.
As such, you, together with your team of health professionals, will need to provide information about how long your disability will last and describe how it impacts each aspect of your day to day life, including:
What is the average amount of an NDIS Plan?
$67,000 (August 2020)