What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?
Australia prides itself on being a land of equal opportunity with a support system that cares for our most vulnerable citizens. But until recently, we have fallen short of the mark on both fronts.
Following significant reform and lobbying from interest groups and industry organsations in Federal parliament, Australia is now on track to provide more support and more assistance to individuals living with permanent and significant disabilities.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), it’s role in Australian society, entitlements, and how the program has been rolled out across different states and territories.
What is the NDIS?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides assistance to Australian’s living with permanent and significant disabilities across the country. First legislated in 2013, and fully rolling out right across Australia in 2020, the NDIS now supports more than 500,000 Australians with access to disability services.
The NDIS supports adults living with disability and provides support to around 80,000 children that are living with developmental delays and other disabilities to ensure that they receive the support and assistance required to achieve the best possible outcomes in life. Early intervention and other support systems can help to provide a better future for our next generation.
What is the goal of the NDIS?
The NDIS is in place to provide Australian’s living with a disability access to the support that they need to live an independent, fulfilling life. The scheme is designed to cover the costs of essential services, home modifications and equipment, as well as funding for early intervention and building a person’s capacity to function and engage in their community.
The NDIS is available to Australia’s between the ages of 16 and 65 who have a permanent disability that impacts their ability to take part in everyday activities.
What are the requirements to access NDIS support services?
To access support services offered by the NDIS, you must first meet a number of requirements. These requirements are designed to make sure that only people who genuinely require these services will receive support through the scheme.
To be eligible for the NDIS, you must:
- Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or have a special category visa
- Be aged under 65 years old
- Have a significant and permanent disability or condition that affects your ability to take part in everyday activities. This can include physical, intellectual, cognitive, sensory, mental health or psychiatric conditions.
Applicants who meet this criteria will need to go through an assessment process to determine their eligibility for support services.
Is NDIS eligibility ever reviewed?
Yes, NDIS eligibility is reviewed on an ongoing basis. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will review a person's circumstances at least every two years to confirm they continue to meet the access requirements for the Scheme. A person may also request a review of their circumstances if they feel their needs have changed.
What support services are offered by the NDIS?
The NDIS offers a range of support services to eligible people with a disability, their families, and their carer’s. Some of the support services that can be accessed through the NDIS include (but are not limited to):
- Therapist services
- Mental health services
- Community participation support
- Personal care and daily living
- Medical support
- Physical therapy support
- Respite care
- Access to transport
- Equipment and modifications
The NDIS is designed to provide ongoing support that empowers Australian’s living with permanent and significant disabilities across the country to live their best life. Support services offered under the NDIS are always evolving and expanding to suit the requirements of those covered by the scheme.
Who funds the NDIS?
The NDIS is funded by the Australian Government and is managed by the NDIA. The national Government provides the vast majority of funding, while the remainder comes from state and territory Governments and the private sector.
To ensure that all Australians have access to quality disability support irrespective of their location and personal circumstances, the NDIS is designed to be sustainable over the long term, with a mix of commonwealth, state and territory Governments, and participant contributions financing the scheme.
How can I access NDIS services?
To access services provided by the National Disability Insurance Scheme, individuals can contact the NDIA directly, or you can go through a registered provider.
To go through a registered provider, you can find a list of providers on the NDIS website – which is where you will find Apricus Health.
For direct access, you can contact the NDIA directly on 1800 800 110 or visit the website at www.ndis.gov.au.
Apricus Health is an NDIS registered service provider in North Queensland. If you are an NDIS participant then we can work with you under your funding plan. If you are self-managed or plan-managed then you, or your support co-ordinator, can contact us directly to make an appointment, where we can discuss the support we can provide.
If you have not been approved for NDIS funding, we can help you navigate the system and provide documentation and therapist reports to support your application. For more information, get in touch with the friendly team at Apricus Health today.