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About the NDIS in easy English:


Frequently asked questions

What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?

The NDIS is a national no fault insurance scheme designed to change the way that disability services are delivered in Australia. It aims to do this by:

  • recognising that disability related support is an entitlement
  • acknowledging the right of all people to an ‘ordinary life’
  • matching funding to the support needed and placing control over the funding with the person and their support network
  • ensuring that providers discuss the service they will deliver with the person who will receive it through negotiation of individual service agreements
  • supporting a social model of disability support where the community sector contributes to support as they do for all community members, and
  • facilitating choice of provider in an open market.

What is the NDIA?

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will be responsible for the running of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. This is a national body that is part of the federal government, funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS).

Who is eligible for NDIS?

To access the NDIS you must:

  • Live in an area where NDIS is active
  • Have a permanent disability that:
    • Without support your ability to participate effectively in activities, or perform tasks or actions is reduced
    • your capacity for social and economic participation is affected
    • you are likely to require lifelong support under the NDI

You must also:

    • be an Australian citizen, or
    • hold a permanent visa, or Protected Special Category Visa, and
    • be aged under 65.

Check out the NDIS Access Checklist https://www.ndis.gov.au/ndis-access-checklist

When is the NDIS coming to my area?

There will be a progressive rollout of the NDIS in Melbourne’s east from November 2017. Some people in this region will be contacted earlier than this for early completion of their plan due to the nature of their needs. This is known as early rollout. By 1 July 2019 all eligible residents across Australia will be covered.

Do I have to be registered on the DSR to be included in NDIS?

No, but being registered and having a plan with DRS is beneficial as the DSR planning process will help to prepare you for your NDIS plan.

What supports are covered under NDIS?

The NDIS covers a wide range of disability supports, services and equipment. These can include therapies, behaviour support, transport assistance, support in the home, education, living arrangements, home and vehicle modifications, communication assistive technology, mobility equipment, community participation activities, daily personal care assistance, funding to attend training and events, and support in gaining and maintaining employment.

Supports that can be covered by the NDIS go hand-in-hand with what has been approved in your plan and must assist with:

  • Achieving your goals
  • Increasing and maintaining independence
  • Developing necessary skills for everyday life, etc.
  • Facilitating participation in your community
  • Gaining employment and working

Will the Continence Aids Payment Scheme and Stoma Assistance Scheme still provide funding?

It has been decided that the current CAPS funding will now be funded under NDIS and will need to be included an individual’s plan. However, a decision is yet to be made on the Stoma Assistance Scheme and other related aids and equipment.

What is not included?

The NDIS does not provide funding for support if it is:

  • Not related to a person’s disability
  • A duplicate of another support within a participants personal support plan
  • Related to daily living expenses not tied to a participants disability (e.g. rent, groceries)
  • Better addressed through an alternative support system (e.g. healthcare system)
  • Likely to cause harm to a participant or pose a risk to others
  • Related to income replacement.

Some other supports that may not be covered by NDIS are:

  • Mileage allowances for workers.
  • Gym membership and personal training. Exercise physiologists may be approved with justification.
  • Medications. If you have a high cost medication that is currently covered, it is likely to be carried onto your first plan. Funding for medications not on the PBS may be considered.

Who administers my NDIS plan?

Interchange Outer East is your local NDIS service provider. We can administer your NDIS plan while working closely with you and your family to get the most out of the scheme. Our programs and supports are tailored, creative and innovative and aim to meet the ever changing needs and wants of families. We are a can do service – we look for reasons to do something, reasons why it will work, why it’s worth a try, rather than reasons not to make it work.

We have the experience with 35 years as a leading local disability service provider. We have the reputation of providing quality innovative programs and services for the whole family. We listen to you and work with you to put together the services and supports that you want.

Will I have to manage funds myself?

You can, but you don’t have to. You can choose to self manage, to have your plan managed by a registered agency, such as Interchange Outer East, or the NDIA can manage your plan on your behalf. You can also choose a combination of these three options.

Can I use more than one service provider?

Yes. The scheme is person focused, giving you the freedom to choose which service provider can best meet each specific need. Some service providers are more specialised, focusing on just one or two service outcomes, such as 1:1 in home support, occupational therapy or employment skills. However, providers like Interchange Outer East offer a much broader range of tailored services and supports, while still providing continuity of care and a personalised, individualised service.

Will NDIS affect my Disability Pension or Centrelink payments?

Assistance from the NDIS is not means tested and has no impact on income support such as the Disability Support Pension and Carers Allowance.

If I am not happy with my plan can I change it?

In your first plan, your requests need to be reasonable and necessary. You can appeal your plan, but your plan will rollout in the meantime. Appeals can take 2-3 months to be reviewed.

How often is my plan reviewed?

Plans are reviewed every 12 months. Each time a plan is reviewed it continues to be refined and can become even better for the participant over time.

What happens if my circumstances change?

If there is a major change in the participant’s circumstances, plans can be reviewed quickly, if required, to adjust to the new needs and circumstances.

What about family support programs?

Family support, counselling and skills/capacity building programs that assist in managing the impact of disability on family life can be funded under NDIS. It is important to include family support related goals in the NDIS plan to access programs. More information will be provided on this in the coming weeks.

What about housing?

Stable housing is needed to support people with disability in achieving their life goals and aspirations. The NDIS will provide ongoing supports for daily living but has not been designed to take responsibility for the housing needs of participants. The NDIA stipulates that housing policy is a matter for governments. If an individual details housing arrangements within their goals, the NDIS can fund supports to assist them to live independently in their own home (such as in home care, community access support, cleaning/gardening assistance and skills building), as well as fund necessary housing modifications. However, the scheme will not fund rent/mortgage payments, etc.

What about early childhood intervention?

Children under six years old will be assessed against the NDIS criteria for early intervention. As with other early intervention programs, this assumes that there is some capacity to develop skills with the right services and supports delivered at the right time. If children require ongoing support across their lifetime they can transition into the disability stream of the NDIS.

A child may meet the early childhood intervention criteria if they are aged under six years of age with developmental delay which results in:

  • substantially reduced functional capacity in one or more of the areas of self-care, receptive and expressive language, cognitive development or motor development, and
  • results in the need for a combination and sequence of special interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment or other services which are of extended duration, and are individually planned and coordinated, and
  • those supports are most appropriately funded through the NDIS, and not through another service system.

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