If you don’t already know, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has largely replaced the previous system of disability care and support provided under the National Disability Agreement.
A new way of providing support to Australians with a disability (and their families and carers), the NDIS is not means-tested – it has no impact on any Centrelink financial supports. Rather, it is individual-based in that the funding provided will be tailored to what a person with disability truly needs.
In other words, people with a disability now have direct control over the funding they receive. They get to choose the type of supports and services that will help them achieve their goals, and let them live the way they want.
How the NDIS Works
The NDIS will first discuss with a participant to determine what their condition and goals are. Questions will be asked in regards to the different areas of a participant’s life, the goals they would like to pursue and ultimately, the kind of help and support they need.
These will all be put into a written agreement, which is also commonly known as an individual’s “plan”. Such plan will list out all the participant’s goals, as well as the funding s/he will receive.
Generally, any requirement that is ‘reasonable and necessary’ i.e. related to a person’s disability and needed for them to live an ordinary life will be approved. They mainly cover access to the following services and supports:
- Mainstream – health and education systems
- Community – sports clubs, community groups and charities
- Informal – the help people get from their family and friends (the type which people don’t pay for and is generally part of most people’s lives)
Do note that the NDIS does not fund just about anything though. If it is not related to the participant’s disability or if it has already been delivered under a different funding (or can be more appropriately delivered by another system), it will not be supported. Nevertheless, a participant can start looking for the relevant service providers that will help them achieve their goals once they have an approved plan.
The easiest and most common avenues people look for are one-stop-for-all providers like the Absolute Care & Health team where a varied array of supports is offered. From daily personal care to community nursing services and the likes, one can find all the disability support services that are tailored to their needs and geared to supporting their independence in one place.
It is important to note that the NDIS is not a welfare system. Rather, it is designed to help people get the support they need so that their skills and independence can improve over time.
Early intervention supports are also available for eligible people with disability or children with developmental delay. All in all, the NDIS is a huge improvement from the previous system – it gives peace of mind that people with disability will receive the support they need over their lifetime.