This is a key question for anyone who has just been diagnosed with a disability. The letters stand for National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The NDIS provides support to eligible Australians under the age of 65, with physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, and psychological disabilities. The NDIS is designed to help support people so they can retain their independence and live the lives they choose. This scheme also gives recipients the peace of mind of knowing that they will receive what they need if they do get a diagnosis of a significant, permanent disability. Some of you may be asking what is meant by a significant and permanent disability.
This is a lifelong condition which has a substantial impact on your ability to do everyday activities. Support under the NDIS helps people to participate in the sort of daily and community activities that most of us take for granted.
The NDIS is the first scheme to provide funding directly to Individuals. Please be aware that the funding supplied is not a welfare payment, it is there to supply the disability support that each individual requires under the scheme. The NDIS doesn’t just supply funding, it also supplies vital information allowing participants to connect to community support groups, schools, libraries, sporting clubs and medical practitioners.
Am I Eligible for the NDIS?
To find out if you are eligible for the NDIS, please go onto the NDIS website and complete the NDIS Eligibility Checklist. The checklist contains 5 easy to answer questions to give you a good idea about your eligibility. If it looks like you fit the criteria for eligibility, then the next step is to look at how to apply for the NDIS.
Before applying for the NDIS, it is best to make sure that the NDIS is currently available in your area. With that done, applying for the NDIS is accomplished by completing an Access Request. This can be made by calling 1800 800 110 and asking to make an Access Request or you can request a form to complete. If any assistance is required to complete the form, please contact your local National Disability Insurance Agency Office (NDIA).
When making an Access Request, supporting documents and letters from health care professionals may be required to provide evidence of a disability and to assist with the decision-making process.
After your eligibility has been assessed and you have received your Access Decision approval letter, then it is time to look at creating your very own NDIS plan.
How do I create My NDIS Plan?
All NDIS Plans are different as they are worked out for each persons’ individual needs. The Plan is about selecting the goals to be achieved and determining what support you will receive from the NDIS, government bodies, and community groups to help achieve those goals.
The first step when creating a Plan is to think about your support needs including what your current and future goals are going to be. These goals will be discussed at your Planning Meeting. The Planning Meeting will also cover topics including available support, equipment required, accommodation, managing daily activities, and how to manage your Plan. Don’t worry, you don’t have to start the Plan all by yourself, your Plan may include funding for a Support Coordinator to assist with implementation.
Your NDIS plan will let you know what funding you have been given in each category and what that funding can be used for. Some people may need support in all of the categories, while others may only require support in one or two. The funding amount is based on what is reasonable and necessary to support the participant’s needs to live their lifestyle and to achieve their goals. Please be aware that the NDIS funding can only be used on support services that are related to the person’s disability.
Reviewing My Plan and Achieving My Goals
A Regular Plan Review will be put in place to check if the supports are working and to measure how it is helping to achieve the set goals. Plan reviews are generally scheduled every 12 or 24 months. Plans may change over time depending on improvements to the person’s skills and levels of independence.
NDIS providers are organisations that deliver support and services to participants of the NDIS. These providers can be either registered or unregistered. The registered providers are able to connect to a wider range of participants and can demonstrate they have met specific quality and safeguards as a part of their marketing to potential participants.
ConnectAbility Australia is a Newcastle based provider registered with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and can assist participants in finding the disability support and services they need. ConnectAbility Australia specialises in helping participants to live the lives they choose and to reach their chosen goals. If you would like any advice or assistance, please contact ConnectAbility Australia on 02 4962 1000 or visit the website at https://www.connectability.org.au.