What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australian Government program which provides support for eligible Australians living with disability.

It aims to improve access to services and supports for people with disabilities, including those with intellectual impairment, autism spectrum disorder, acquired brain injury, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, mental health conditions, blindness, deafness, speech impairments and learning difficulties.

The scheme also helps families and carers of people with a disability.

It is funded by the government, and administered by the Commonwealth Department of Human Services.

What is the The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)?

The NDIA is a government agency that oversees the NDIS, which provides services to people with disability.  It is responsible for providing financial support, services and supports to people with disabilities who are eligible for its services.

How do I apply for the NDIS?

To apply for the NDIS, you must fill out an Access Request Form. You must provide information about your disability and how it affects your daily life. You may need to have your treating physician fill out and sign some sections of the form. Download the Access Request Form or call 1800 800 110 to talk with the NDIS.

How do I contact the NDIS?

Phone: 1800 800 110

Email: enquiries@ndis.gov.au

Visit www.ndis.gov.au for Web Chat

What does an NDIS Local Area Coordinator do?

An NDIS Local Area Coordinator (LAC) is responsible for coordinating the delivery of services to people with a disability in their local area. They work closely with other service providers and community organisations to ensure that people with a disability have access to the support they need.

The role of an LAC involves working across different levels, including:

  • Working with individuals who are experiencing difficulties accessing services;
  • Supporting families and carers who are supporting someone with a disability;
  • Providing information to the public about people with disabilities.

I’m over 65. Can I access the NDIS?

No. If you’re over 65, you can’t access the NDIS – but that doesn’t mean you won’t receive support. If you’re aged 65 or over and are currently receiving disability supports, you’ll continue to receive the same level of support as before, just not through the NDIS.

Who controls my NDIS funds?

You do! Your NDIS plan will tell you how much funding you will receive for each support but it’s your decision how funds are managed. You can choose to manage your funds yourself or nominate the NDIS, a registered provider or someone else you trust to do it for you. With the NDIS you’ll always retain control over how, when and where your supports are provided.

Will I get more or less support under the NDIS?

If your needs aren’t currently being met, you may be provided with more support if it’s deemed reasonable and necessary by the NDIS. This is why it’s important to spend some time thinking about your needs and where your life could be improved ahead of your first NDIS meeting.

Rest assured your current supports won’t change (unless you want them to). Even if you don’t meet the access requirements for the NDIS, you’ll still receive the same level of support you receive now.

Can I change what I need under the NDIS?

Yes, if your circumstances change. If something happens that affects the supports you need, just let the NDIS or your support provider know and they’ll work with you to review your plan. Your NDIS plan is also reviewed every 12 months. This allows you to assess the progress you’ve made towards achieving your goals and helps you to set new goals for the year ahead which could also lead to a change in your support requirements.

Is the NDIS means tested?

No, the funding under the NDIS is not means tested. Support is related to a child’s disability and the supports they need, not their parents’ capacity to pay for support.

What is the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework (the Framework)?

The Framework is designed to ensure that all people with disability receiving support under the NDIS have the same protection, regardless of where they live in Australia.

The Framework has been developed following intensive consultation and collaboration between all governments, people with disability, families, carers, service providers and other stakeholders and is available at www.dss.gov.au/ndisqualitysafeguards

On 9 May 2017, the Australian Government announced a new NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission who will oversee the functions in the Framework.

What does ‘reasonable and necessary’ mean?

NDIA staff make decisions about what is ‘reasonable and necessary’ based on the rules within the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act). To be considered reasonable and necessary, a support must:

  • be related to the participant’s disability
  • not include day-to-day living costs that are not related to a participant’s disability support needs
  • represent value for money
  • be likely to be effective and beneficial to the participant, and
  • take into account informal supports given to participants by families, carers, networks, and the community.

How should I prepare for a planning meeting?

The best way to prepare for an NDIS plan meeting is to make sure you have done your homework. Make sure you have read the NDIA guidelines and policies and that you have a clear understanding of how the NDIS program operates.

Make sure you have prepared a list of questions and concerns that you would like answered during the meeting. If there is any information that you feel could help you better understand the NDIS program, ask for it now.

It is also important to bring along someone who understands the NDIS and can answer any questions you may have. This person can act as a sounding board and provide feedback on your presentation.

People who are eligible for funding will need to go into a planning meeting ready to explain what they need to reach their goals and the support required. When it’s your turn, start thinking about what is important to you. You could start by thinking about:

  • what supports you currently access and whether these meet your needs
  • what you want to learn
  • where you want to live
  • what sort of work or community activity you want to do
  • whether you have enough support to do these things.

Think about ways that you can gather information about things you want to do. Make lists, gather flyers and pamphlets or perhaps take photos with your phone or tablet so you can prioritise what is important to you.

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