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National Disability Insurance Scheme

WHAT IS THE NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is how the Australian Government provides support to people with a permanent disability, and who are under the age of 65 with support to maximise their daily living potential. It is jointly governed and funded by the Australian, State and Territory governments 1 . The NDIS represents significant reform to disability services in Australia and is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities2. The scheme takes a lifetime approach, investing in people early to improve their outcomes later in life. The NDIS was initially introduced with a launch on 1 July 2013. Roll out of the NDIS began in July 2016 and has been progressively rolled out on a State by State basis2. The roll-out completed in 20203

The NDIS is managed and overseen by an independent organisation called the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

For more information, visit theNDIS website

References

(1) https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1617/Quick_Guides/NDIS(2) https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/operational-guidelines/overview-ndis-operational-guideline/overview-ndis-operational-guideline-about-ndis
https://www.ndis.gov.au/news/4889-delivering-ndis-roll-out-complete-across-australia-christmas-and-cocos-islands-join-world-leading-scheme

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE NDIS?

The word ‘disability’ can mean many different things. To access services through the NDIS, an individual will have to meet some requirements:

  • be between 8 and 65 years old

  • live in Australia and have Australian residency

  • usually need support due to a permanent and significant disability

  • use special equipment because of a permanent and significant disability

  • need some supports now to reduce your future needs

People who meet these requirements are called ‘participants’.

For more information about these requirements click here  

People who are not eligible for the NDIS can still get help to access community and other government services. 

 The NDIS will not fund support that is:

  • the responsibility of another government system or community service (e.g. education)

  • not related to a person’s disability.

WHAT DOES THE NDIS DO?

Every NDIS participant has an individual plan that lists their goals. This covers learning and development, accessing the community, health and wellbeing as well as supports to live as independently as possible. Goals vary from participant to participant but might be meeting new people, learning independent living skills, getting a job or participating in a community activity. NDIS participant goals are centred on developing skills needed to live and enjoy their lives. The NDIS provides “reasonable and necessary” funding to achieve these goals 2. Participants can then use their funding to purchase equipment, supports, services, and therapies that will help them achieve their goals. 

Each NDIS plan requires management by someone/s. NDIS participants can manage their own NDIS funds, they can nominate someone else to control the support they receive, a registered plan management provider or through the NDIS agency itself. The NDIS was set up to allow individuals to access therapists of their own choosing3. Participants are able to exercise ‘choice  and control’ when selecting their therapists, supports and services. It is only when a participant's funding is managed by the Agency that the support and services must be provided by a registered provider of supports(3). Registered providers are individuals or organisations that are registered with the NDIA to deliver a support or a product to a participant in the NDIS.

References:

(1)    https://www.ndis.gov.au/participants/creating-your-plan/setting-goals

(2)    https://ourguidelines.ndis.gov.au/how-ndis-supports-work-menu/reasonable-and-necessary-supports

(3)    https://www.ndis.gov.au/participants/creating-your-plan/ways-manage-your-funding

The NDIS websitehas a wealth of information and we highly recommend you become familiar with the content in-depth. In particular, the information around eligibility, access and planning are important.

Information about the NDIS is regularly changing and being updated. It is important to review this information regularly to remain up to date with developments

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