A quick intro to the NDIS
13th July 2021
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was introduced in Australia in July 2013 to provide a fair system of support for people with disability.
Funded by the Australian Government, the scheme provides financial support to cover the costs associated with disability, for Australians with disability as well as their families and carers.
WHO IS THE NDIS FOR?
The NDIS is for people with a permanent and significant disability, who are under the age of 65, and are Australian citizens, permanent residents, and New Zealand citizens who hold a Protected Special Category Visa.
Support is provided to people with an intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive or psychosocial disability, which impacts on their ability to take part in everyday activities.
HOW DOES THE NDIS HELP?
The NDIS helps people with disability to access the support they need to develop skills and confidence to live more comfortably and independently over time.
The funding covers a range of reasonable and necessary disability supports and services designed to help individuals to:
- Participate in the community
- Gain independence
- Develop new skills
- Pursue their goals
- Earn and manage their own money
- Increase their independence
WHAT DOES THE NDIS PAY FOR?
Supports and services that may be funded by the NDIS include:
- Assistance with social and community participation, e.g. activties like going to the movies or doing your grocery shopping with the help of a support worker.
- Health and fitness activities, e.g. going to the gym with your support worker, or attending a fitness class with an NDIS provider.
- Transportation to enable participation in community, social, economic and daily life activities, e.g. travel training with a support worker to learn how to catch public transport, or travelling with your support worker in their vehicle.
- Assistance with gaining and retaining employment in the open or supported labour market, e.g. the costs associated with getting a job as a Supported Employee at an Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE).
- Therapeutic and behavioural supports, e.g. Occupational therapy, Speech therapy or other allied health professionals.
- Help with household tasks to maintain a clean and functional home environment, e.g. working with your support worker to build cooking, cleaning and other skills to help you maintain your home, or hiring a home cleaner.
- Assistive technology, e.g. home or vehicle modifications, mobility equipment, hearing aids and communication devices.
- Assistance of skilled personnel, e.g. help to use specific aids through equipment assessment, set up and training.
How do you know if it’s ‘reasonable and necessary’? We’ve created a 'Can I buy it with my NDIS funding' checklist to help you learn more about what specific supports and services could be funded by your plan.
HOW WILL YOUR FUNDED SUPPORTS BE DETERMINED?
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), who oversees the NDIS, will work with individuals and their families to develop a tailored plan to help people achieve their goals.
Once you’re deemed as eligible by the NDIS, you will be invited to a planning meeting. This is where you’ll discuss your goals and the activities as well as the supports you will need to work towards these goals. This will inform the funding in your NDIS plan.
There is a lot of information to take in, but you’re not expected to go it alone; once you receive your NDIS plan, your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) will provide you with information about supports, services, activities in your community, and other government services.