National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
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What is the NDIS?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides support for people with a significant and permanent (or likely to be permanent) disability. This includes many types of disabilities such as physical disabilities, and psychosocial disabilities. It aims to give people choice, and provide funded support which is tailored to the person’s specific needs in order to live their life and achieve their goals.
The choice and control the NDIS offers means people can work with their own carers or with registered external carers and supports. Consumers and their family will have more control over choosing the services that work best for them to get the support they need.
What is ‘psychosocial disability’?
Psychosocial Disability is an internationally recognised term under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is used to describe the ‘social consequences’ of disability, that is, the effects on someone’s ability to participate fully in life as a result of a mental health condition.
It can include a loss of ability to function, think clearly, experience full physical health, and manage the social and emotional aspects of daily living.
People affected by psychosocial disability can have barriers to engaging in opportunities such as education, training, cultural activities, and achieving their goals and aspirations. Not everyone with a mental health condition will have a level of impairment that will result in a psychosocial disability.
For more information on how mental health fits into the NDIS click here.
Who is Involved?
An NDIS Participant is a person who is eligible to access reasonable and necessary funded supports, which is referred to as an individualised funding package.
National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is in charge of managing the NDIS. Local Area Coordinators, NDIS Planners, and Coordinators of Support will be key roles within the scheme.
Local Area Coordinators
Local Area Coordinators assist people with disability and their families in the community by:
- Providing general information about the NDIS, and types of supports available;
- Linking people with a disability to support providers;
- Helping to build the independence of people with a disability;
- Working with community organisations to build awareness and improve opportunities for people with a disability to access and participate in community activities; and
- Assist people to access the NDIS (e.g. helping people complete NDIS forms and making appointments with the NDIA).
NDIS Planners will work directly with participants and their carers to complete planning and assessment processes. They will support the participant to identify what reasonable and necessary supports are required to accomplish goals and aspirations and enable a good life.
Coordinators of Support
Coordinators of Support assist NDIS participants to strengthen their ability to coordinate and implement supports included in their NDIS plan and participate within the community. This may include:
- Assistance with sourcing and linking participants with service providers;
- Coordination of supports;
- Building on informal supports, and developing resilience of participants; and
Resolving points of crisis.
Can I Access the NDIS?
There are several criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for the NDIS.
To be eligible, you must:
- Be under the age of 65;
- Be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, or a protected Special Category Visa holder;
- Live in an area in which NDIS is available; and
- Have a significant disability (such as psychosocial) that is permanent or likely to be permanent, or a need for early intervention.
If you are not eligible for the NDIS, the NDIA can refer you to other existing services.
The following people may be able to help you plan and apply for the NDIS:
- Local Area Coordinator
- Community Mental Health Case Manager
- Your GP
- Local services
- Your mental health service provider
For advice about your eligibility for the NDIS or how to access the scheme, please contact the NDIA by visiting ndis.gov.au or calling 1800 800 110.
What will be funded through the ndis?
- Community awareness campaigns about issues that are faced by people with a disability.
- Sharing of information, linking people into mainstream supports, and helping services to be more responsive and inclusive of people with a disability.
- Individual Funding Packages
If you are eligible, the NDIS will fund reasonable and necessary supports that assist participants in identifying and achieving goals and aspirations, fully participating in their community, and undertaking activities of daily living.
This could include:
- Assistance with decision making, planning and household tasks;
- Assistance to increase a participant’s ability to live independently and achieve their goals (e.g. financial and tenancy management skills, and building social relationships); and
- Funded supports to engage in community activities (e.g. education, training, employment, and recreation).
Participants have the choice on how, when, and where to access funded supports.
For more information on what will be funded through the NDIS please visit the NDIA website ndis.gov.au or call 1800 800 110.
Resources and tools
NDIS Access Checklist
A series of questions that can help you work out if you are eligible to access the NDIS.
Well Ways – NDIS Peer education programs for people with a mental illness, their families and friends
The Mental Illness Fellowship of Victoria has developed the successful “well ways” and “building a future” training approaches for use by mental health peer educators. The organisation has now updated these approaches to consider specific issues relating to the implementation of the NDIS including participant choice and individualised service delivery.
NDIS Website and contact information
www.ndis.gov.au or 1800 800 110