The increasing number of disabilities in Australian people is now an alarming fact. According to the report of the Australian Network on Disabilities, approximately half of all Australians with disabilities are aged 65 and over, with 1.9 million people in this age group living with a disability.
Another 2.1 million Australians between the ages of 15 and 64 live with a disability, and 8.9 million households, or 35.9% of the total population, have someone living with a disability in the house.
These statistics show that disabilities are a significant part of the Australian population and that people with disabilities are found in all age groups and in all households. It is essential to be aware of the diversity of the disability community and to ensure that everyone has access to the services and support they need.
To ensure the support to these people to make their life easier and happy, the NDIS comes in place. In this guide, we will discuss the NDIS, its history, objectives, how it works, and everything.
What is the NDIS?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a government program that supports people with a disability. The NDIS is designed to give people with disabilities the support they need to live independent and fulfilling lives.
The support packages that are provided through the NDIS are tailored to individual needs and can include things like funding for assistive technology, personal care, and education and training.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is responsible for implementing the NDIS. The NDIA was established in July 2013 and has been working to roll out the NDIS across Australia ever since. The NDIS is still in its early stages, but it has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of people with disabilities.
History of NDIS
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a government-funded insurance scheme that provides support to people with disability in Australia. The NDIS was first proposed in 2007, and after years of planning and development, it was legislated in 2013. The scheme began to be rolled out in 2016, and it is now fully operational.
The NDIS is a major reform of disability support in Australia. It replaces the previous system of fragmented and means-tested disability services with a single, comprehensive scheme. The NDIS provides funding for a wide range of supports, including:
- Personal assistance
- Therapy and rehabilitation
- Assistive technology
- Education and training
- Employment support
- Recreation and leisure activities
The NDIS is designed to give people with disability more choice and control over their lives. It also aims to break down the barriers that people with disability face in participating fully in society.
The NDIS has been met with mixed reactions. Some people have praised it as a revolutionary new approach to disability support, while others have criticized it as being too bureaucratic and complex. However, there is no doubt that the NDIS is a significant step forward in the provision of disability support in Australia.
Here are some key milestones in the history of the NDIS:
- 2007: The National Disability Agreement is signed, an important first step towards a new, cooperative approach by Australian governments to support Australians with disability.
- 2011: Every Australian Counts launches, a grassroots campaign that lobbies to introduce the NDIS.
- 2013: The NDIS Bill is passed by the federal parliament.
- 2016: The NDIS begins to be rolled out across Australia.
- 2020: The NDIS is fully operational.
Objectives of NDIS
The aim of the NDIS is to help people with disabilities achieve their goals in life, such as greater independence, involvement in the community, education, employment, and health and well-being.
The NDIS gives people with disabilities more choice and control over how, when, and where their support is provided. It also focuses on early intervention, so that people with disabilities can get the support they need as early as possible.
Here are some of the key objectives of the NDIS:
- To help people with disabilities achieve their goals in life.
- To give people with disabilities more choices and control over their support.
- To focus on early intervention.
- To provide a sustainable and affordable scheme for the future.
Who is eligible for the NDIS?
To be eligible for this scheme, the applicant has to fulfill some criteria:
- Applicant’s age should be a minimum of 18 years and a maximum of 65 years
- Applicant should be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or a Protected Special Category Visa holder
- Applicant should have a significant or permanent disability that affects his/her everyday activities
- Should live in NDIS available area
How to Get Started With the NDIS?
It is not so tough to get started with the NDIS. You have to follow some steps to get the required support for your disability.
Step 1: Check your eligibility. The first step is to check if you meet the eligibility criteria for the NDIS. You can use the NDIS eligibility checklist to see if you might be eligible. If you think you are eligible, you can also call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 to speak to someone about your eligibility.
Step 2: Complete an Access Request Form (ARF). The ARF is the official application form for the NDIS. You can download the ARF from the NDIS website or call the NDIS to request a copy. The ARF asks for a range of information about your disability, including your diagnosis, your goals, and your current support.
You will need to gather supporting evidence to show that you meet the eligibility criteria for the NDIS. This evidence could include medical reports, assessments, or letters from your support. If you think you have complications fill-up the form, you can call 1800 800 110 and make a verbal application.
Step 3: Submit your ARF. Once you have completed the ARF and gathered your supporting evidence, you can submit your application to the NDIS. You can submit your application online, by mail, or by fax.
Step 4: Wait for a decision. The NDIS will assess your application and make a decision about your eligibility. This process can take a few weeks or months.
Step 5: Create your NDIS plan. If you are approved for the NDIS, you will work with a planner to create your NDIS plan. Your plan will outline your goals and the support you need to achieve them.
Step 6: Access supports. Once you have an NDIS plan, you can start accessing support. You can find support by searching the NDIS Provider Finder or by asking your planner for recommendations.
Types of NDIS Plans
There are three types of NDIS plans available now.
Self-management: This is where you manage your own funding, including paying providers, keeping records, and claiming from the NDIS portal. You have the freedom to choose any provider you want, and you can negotiate prices. However, you also have the responsibility to manage your finances and stay within your budget.
- Freedom to choose any provider
- Ability to negotiate prices
- More control over your supports
- More responsibility for managing your finances
- More time-consuming
Plan management: This is where a plan manager is appointed to help you manage your funding. The plan manager will pay providers on your behalf, keep track of your finances, and help you with financial reporting. This can be a good option if you want someone to take care of the financial side of things but still want to have some control over your support.
- Someone else takes care of the financial side of things
- You still have some control over your supports
- You may have less choice of providers
- You may have to pay a fee for the plan manager's services
NDIA-managed funding: This is where the NDIA manages your funding on your behalf. They will pay providers on your behalf, keep track of your finances, and help you with financial reporting. This can be a good option if you want someone else to take care of everything, but you may have less control over your support.
- Someone else takes care of everything
- You don't have to worry about managing your finances
- You have less control over your supports
- You may have to wait longer for support to be approved
Ultimately, the best way to manage your NDIS funding is the one that best suits your individual needs and preferences. If you are not sure which option is right for you, talk to your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA planner. They can help you understand the different options and make the best decision for you.
Tips for getting the most out of the NDIS
At this stage, we assume that you are already eligible and applied for the NDIS. Before preparing the plan and setting the goals, you need to know how to get the most out of the NDIS. Here are some tips to get the most out of the NDIS.
- Know your rights and responsibilities. The NDIS is a complex scheme, so it's important to understand your rights and responsibilities as a participant. You can find information on the NDIS website or by contacting the NDIS National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
- Be clear about your goals. What do you want to achieve with the NDIS? Once you know your goals, you can start to develop a plan to achieve them.
- Gather evidence of your needs. This could include medical reports, assessments, or other documentation that shows how your disability impacts your life. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be for getting the support you need.
- Get involved in the planning process. The NDIS is a person-centered scheme, so you should be involved in every step of the planning process. This includes working with your planner to develop your plan and reviewing it regularly.
- Be an advocate for yourself. Don't be afraid to speak up if you're not happy with your plan or the support you're receiving. You have the right to challenge decisions made by the NDIA.
- Use the NDIS to connect with others. The NDIS can help you connect with other people with disabilities and their families. This can be a great way to get support, share experiences, and learn from others.
The NDIS is a landmark reform that has the potential to transform the lives of people with disability in Australia. By providing funding for individualized support, the NDIS can help people to live more independent and fulfilling lives. However, the NDIS is still a relatively new scheme, and there are challenges that need to be addressed. These include ensuring that the scheme is accessible to all eligible people and that the funding is sufficient to meet the needs of participants. With careful planning and implementation, the NDIS can be a success and help to create a more inclusive society for all Australians.