The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides support for Australians with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychosocial disability. Support from the NDIS is also available to fund evidence-based interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Who is eligible?
There are more than 4 million Australians who have some kind of disability. But not every one of those people needs help from the NDIS.
If you’re aged between 7 and 65, are an Australian citizen or permanent resident and require support due to a permanent and significant disability or developmental delay, you should be eligible to receive funding.
To get the most out of the NDIS, you need to do your homework and be prepared.
Here are our top 5 tips for accessing the NDIS:
1. Learn the language of the NDIS:
Make sure you know the difference between Core, Capital, and Capacity. Know the difference between a Local Area Coordinator and a Support Coordinator. Be sure you can distinguish between an Access Request Form and a Planning Meeting.
2. Get ready to apply:
Some people with disability already receive services provided by State and Territory governments. Those people will be contacted by the NDIS and will become participants straight away. They will not have to apply.
If you don’t already receive services but still think you will be eligible for help from the NDIS, you will need to apply. You will need to complete an Access Request Form – but you have to contact the NDIS first to get one.
The Access Request from will ask you for basic information to confirm your identity your age and your residency status. You will also be asked to provide some information about your disability, and how it impacts your daily life. Some parts of the form will need to be completed by a healthcare professional like a general practitioner (GP) or a paediatrician.
You need to remember that it is not your diagnosis that is important but the impact of your disability on your daily life. It’s important to remind your doctor about that when they fill out the forms.
At BCD we help you to navigate through this process aligned with your personal needs and circumstances. Our Transition Support will help you to assess your possible eligibility for the an NDIS package.
Once the NDIS confirms you are eligible for help, you can start thinking about what you need. This is an important part of creating your NDIS plan. Think about your average day or your average week – what do you currently do, and what would you like to do in the future? Jot down some notes, or keep a diary for a week, or take some photos and clearly define your goals you would like to achieve and what kind of help and support you need. This will help the NDIS develop a plan that provides the right support for you.
The NDIS Planning meeting checklist page recommends filling out and bringing along Booklet 2 – Planning before your first planning meeting.
4. Understand your NDIS plan:
Your NDIS plan will be based on the discussion you had in your planning meeting. Your plan will include information about you, your disability, your daily activities, where you live and who cares for you. It also outlines the support you get from family and friends that is not funded but will help you work towards your goals. But most importantly, your plan outlines your goals and the funded support to achieve these goals. You may not have all the support categories funded in your plan. Some people might have one or two support categories funded and others may have more.
This will depend on your individual needs and may change from plan to plan based on the supports and services you need. Your funding is based on what is reasonable and necessary for your needs, in addition to the support provided by family, friends and other community and government services that you need to live your life and achieve your goals. You must only use your NDIS funding on supports and services that are related to your disability and will help you to achieve the goals in your NDIS plan.
5. Changing plans
Your goals and plans might change. That’s life. Down the line, it helps to be ready to review your plan yourself and approach NDIS with your revised expectations and goals. And remember that you don’t need to navigate the NDIS on your own. There are lots of representatives, organisations and communities that are readily available to help. This is a system that is designed to work for you.
Now that you have your plan in place, and you have chosen your service providers, you can just get on with life.
But don’t just set and forget. It is really important to keep track of how things are going through the myplace portal. You can keep an eye on how your funding is going. Sometimes providers make mistakes when they submit invoices. You want to make sure the funding is being used the way you want it to.
Book in for a complimentary Transition Support consult with BCD to talk through how to access the right type of care, support or funding for yourself or your loved one.
For more resources visit: https://www.ndis.gov.au/