What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing individualised support for people with a permanent and significant disability, their families and carers. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is the insurance that gives us all peace of mind. Disability could affect anyone – having the right support makes a big difference.

The NDIS provides support packages tailored to people’s individual needs. People can choose their own provider(s), ask an intermediary to assemble the best package on their behalf, cash out their funding allocation and direct the funding to areas of need (with appropriate probity controls and support), or choose a combination of these options.

Who is the NDIA?

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the independent agency responsible for implementing the NDIS.

How does the NDIS work?

Individuals will need to apply to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to ensure they are eligible for NDIS funding (to be received once they are deemed ‘eligible’ by the NDIA). ’
A planning meeting is then set up between the participant and NDIA to discuss the type of goals the participant would like to achieve.  Funding is then allocated to help the participant achieve those goals. The participant can then choose any registered NDIS service provider to facilitate their NDIS plans.

At Aftercare, an NDIS officer can help participants every step of the way with the application process.

What does this mean for you?

The NDIS will give you greater control and choice over the services you receive. It won’t mean that you have to change any of your current arrangements if they suit you, and it won’t change the supports you receive for rent, electricity etc., if you receive a government pension. While the scheme applies to eligible persons under the age of 65, the Government has said that services will still be available for those over 65 to access.

Who will be eligible for the NDIS?

When the NDIS becomes available in your area you may be eligible for the NDIS if:

  • You live in Australia and are an Australian Citizen, Permanent resident or hold a protected special category visa.
  • You are aged between 0-65
  • You have a disability that is permanent or likely to be permanent which has an impact on your functional capacity to communicate, interact socially, move safely around your home and the community or manage your personal care or affairs (banking, bill paying etc.)

You can access more information on NDIS eligibility criteria at www.ndis.gov.au/ndis-access-checklist

NDIS Rollout

It is planned that by 2020, the NDIS rollout will be complete across Australia. If the scheme hasn’t launched in your area yet, it’s just a matter of time – and in the meantime, your current government-funded disability services will continue as usual.

To find out if the NDIS is available in your area, head to www.ndis.gov.au and click on your State/Territory on the right hand side.

Will the NDIS affect my Disability Support Pension?

This along with other income supports and payments such as Carer Payment, Carer Supplement, Carer allowance and Child Disability Assistance Payment are entirely separate to the NDIS and will not be affected if you are eligible for the NDIS.

What kind of supports does the NDIS fund?

  • Development of daily living and life skills
  • Participation in community, social and civic activities
  • Assistance in coordinating or managing life stages, transitions and supports
  • Assistance with accommodation and tenancy obligations
  • Training for independence in travel and transport
  • Assistance with daily personal activities

Guidelines set out in the NDIS Act help to decide what can be funded, but generally the supports and services provided to you, if eligible, need to assist you to:

  • Achieve your goals
  • Become as independent as possible
  • Develop skills for day-to-day living
  • Participate in the community
  • Participate in education or work and earn money

This means providing support, if required, in areas including:

  • Mobility
  • Communication
  • Self-care and self-management
  • Social interactions
  • Learning
  • Building skills and Capacity for social and economic participation

Does the funding rollover if I don’t use it all in 12 months?

No, in most cases, the funding does not rollover to the next period if you have not used it. However your plan will be reviewed every 12  months and new funding will be allocated.

Can I manage my own funds?

Yes. You will need to have a separate bank account to keep the NDIS funds in and keep all your records. The NDIA also states that you must be responsible for:

  • Sourcing and arranging your supports
  • Making payments to your chosen providers
  • Managing your plan expenditure, including submitting ‘My Plan Purchases’ forms to NDIA
  • Keeping records of all your plan purchases and providing them to NDIA

If you require someone else to manage your funds, you can visit a Plan Management Provider which can be discussed at your planning meeting.

Can I use other service providers?

Absolutely. The NDIS funding means that you, as a participant, are completely in control. You have the ability to choose who you would like to use as your support service provider.
You must remember that if you choose the NDIA to manage your plan a service provider must be a registered NDIS service provider.
You can choose to receive support from a provider that is not a registered provider of support but you may need to manage that part of your plan yourself, appoint a nominee to manage it on your behalf, or have a registered plan management provider manage it for you.

At Aftercare we encourage collaboration between service providers and community/local support services.

How do I contact NDIA?

If you are currently supported by Aftercare, your support worker can help you contact the NDIA to organise an application. You can also contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110

Can my plan be reviewed and when?

Plans are reviewed annually. However if there has been a significant change in your circumstances you can request a review earlier.

What happens if I am an existing Aftercare service user but am not eligible for support from NDIA?

Aftercare is negotiating with the Government and with Primary Health Networks regarding support for its programs for people who will not receive a support package under the NDIS. Many of our programs will continue to provide services to people over 65 and to those who are not eligible for NDIS assistance. For the moment, our programs will continue to operate as usual and will continue to provide services to existing users. If you have any questions or concerns, speak to your support worker.
For more NDIS information see NDIS Factsheets