What is the NDIS and what does it fund?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides supports and services to Australians aged under 65, who are born with, or acquire a permanent and significant intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive, or psychosocial disability. The NDIS also provides early intervention supports to children under 7 years old with developmental delays.
The NDIS is designed to give people with disability:
- an individualised support plan that meets each person’s current needs
- support so their skills and independence improve over time
- choice and control over who they engage as their service providers.
Every person with a disability has different funding needs. The NDIS bases its level of supports on what is reasonable and necessary for each person. The supports can be used to fund:
- daily personal activities such as toileting or showering
- transport to enable participation in work or education or community events
- workplace help to allow a person to successfully get or keep employment
- therapeutic supports such as physiotherapy or speech therapy or psychology consultations
- help with household tasks to allow a person to maintain their home environment
- help with assessment for, set up and training for aids or equipment by skilled personnel
- home modification design and construction
- mobility equipment
- vehicle modifications.
More information on how the NDIS allocates funds to people with disability can be found in the link below.
Eligibility for the NDIS
You must meet certain conditions to be eligible for the NDIS, these include:
- being under 65 years old
- living in Australia and being an Australian citizen, or having a Permanent Visa or a Protected Special Category Visa
- having a permanent and significant disability
- needing support from another person because of your disability
- using specialised equipment because of your disability.
If you meet these criteria, you can lodge an Access Request with the NDIS by phone or download an Access Request form from the NDIS website.
Phone 1800 800 110
Supporting Evidence for Access to the NDIS
When you apply for NDIS funding you will need to supply evidence-based reports from medical and allied health professionals. These reports need to be less than one year old and it is important that each health professional providing evidence is actively involved in your care and has been treating you for at least six months. Reports can be supplied by:
- your GP
- a paediatrician
- an occupational therapist
- a psychologist
- a speech pathologist
- another allied health professional.
The reports need to confirm your primary disability, treatments you have had and options for treatments in the future, and the impacts your disability has on different areas of your life. This is called the functional impact of a disability. The NDIA accepts many different reports which assess the functional impact of a disability, but the report must be relevant to your disability and stage of life. Examples of reports the NDIA accepts are:
- Functional Capacity Assessments
- Psychosocial Functional Capacity Assessments
- Supported Disability Accommodation Assessments
- Supported Independent Living Assessments.
When you have a disability which fluctuates, for example a psychosocial disability, the NDIA will consider the impact your disability has on your ability to function in the periods between acute episodes.
The NDIS will make their decision based on the supporting reports you provide.
Your NDIS Plan
Once you are granted access to the NDIS, you will meet with a planner either in person or on the phone to discuss your goals and develop a plan that meets your support needs. The plan will then be built and approved by the National Disability Insurance Agency. Find out more about creating your plan using the link below:
Your plan will usually last for one year before it is reviewed by a planner. At the review your planner will check the plan is still relevant to you and make any adjustments you need if your circumstances have changed.
More information about the NDIS can be found on the NDIS website.
How ADACAS can help you
ADACAS advocates can help you if you have a problem with the NDIS. We are able to:
- help you with an access request if you don’t have a network of supporters to help you
assist you to connect with service providers if your network of supporters cannot help you use your NDIS plan
- support you with an internal review when you think your funding is inadequate
- support you with a Change of Circumstances request
- advocate for you if you are making an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
You can contact us by either ringing or emailing us, or make a referral using the buttons below.
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
The NDIS Quality and Safety Commission is an independent agency that works to improve the quality and safety of NDIS funded supports and services. Their role is to:
- regulate NDIS providers
- provide consistency of services nationally
- promote safety and quality services
- resolve problems
- identify areas for improvement.
If you have a complaint about your supports, you should first raise it with your provider as this is often the best way to have your issue resolved quickly. If your complaint is not resolved by your service provider, or you are not sure who your service provider is, get in touch with the Commission.
Phone 1800 035 544 (free call from landlines)
TTY 133 677
For Hearing and Speech impaired NRS voice phone 1300 555 727 or SMS 0423 677 767 and ask for 1800 035 544
Use their online complaint form