The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides support to people with a disability via support packages that are tailored to individual needs.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has the task of implementing the NDIS. The NDIA commenced work in July 2013 following years of discussion about the need for a major reform of disability services in Australia.
Background to the NDIS
From 2013 to 2016, trial sites at selected locations across Australia were established. In Victoria, this was in the Barwon Area, which includes Geelong and its surrounds.
For people who did not live in the Barwon Area, existing services and disability supports continue until the NDIS is introduced in their area. In Victoria, the roll out of the NDIS will finish in 2019.
More information on Victoria’s roll out can be found at NDIS.
Access to the NDIS is not means-tested and has no impact on any Centrelink financial supports, such as the disability support pension and carers allowance.
The aim of the NDIS
The introduction of the NDIS will reshape the way in which people with disability access the supports they need to achieve their goals and participate fully in community life.
The aim of the NDIS is to support people with a permanent and significant disability that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities.
It does this by identifying what disability supports someone needs in order to help achieve their goals in life. This might include greater independence, involvement in the community, education, employment and health and wellbeing.
The NDIS gives people with disability more choice and control over how, when and where their supports are provided, and gives certainty in receiving the support they need over their lifetime.
The NDIS also focuses on early intervention where getting early supports can reduce the impact of disability on you or your child.
People with a psychosocial disability are also able to access support through the NDIS. A psychosocial disability is one where people significant and permanent functional impairments related to mental health issues.
Eligibility for the NDIS
In order to access the NDIS, people need to meet the access requirements. These include:
- having a permanent and significant disability that affects your ability to take part in everyday activities
- being under 65 years pf age when you first join the scheme
- being an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen who holds a Protected Special Category Visa
- living in a NDIS area.
Visit the NDIS to find out how to access the scheme.
How your disability supports are determined
To determine what disability supports you might need, the NDIA will work with you and your family to develop a plan of tailored disability supports to help you achieve your goals.
They will ask what you hope to achieve in life and talk to you about the supports that will help you get there. This could include your existing supports if they are meeting your needs and goals. As your needs change over time, the funding plan can be adjusted to change with you.
To be funded, these supports must:
- be related to your disability
- be likely to be effective and beneficial
- not include everyday living costs not related to your disability support needs
- take into account informal supports provided by families, carers, networks or the community
- represent value for money.
The types of supports funded under the NDIS might include personal care, activities, transport, therapies, home and vehicle modification, mobility equipment and help with employment.
For more information on the type of supports and for case studies of people’s experience in NDIS trial sites go the the NDIS
Families and carers and your disability support plan
The NDIA will consider the role of your carer(s) when developing plans with participants.
They will look at the support your carer(s) provide, their other responsibilities and their own life plans. With your consent, this will be done in consultation with your family and carers, recognising the value of their views, knowledge and experience.
Where to get help
- Your doctor
- National Disability Insurance Scheme, call 1800 800 110