NDIS –What is it and what it means for you and your family?

With the commencement of the NDIS in the Nepean Blue Mountains area from 1 July 2015, I thought it would be a good time to discuss about the NDIS and how it could impact you and your family.
So what is the NDIS?
NDIS stands for the National Disability Insurance scheme, which was established by the Australian Government to support people with a permanent and significant disability that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is the new way of providing individualised support for eligible people with permanent and significant disability, their families and carers.
What is the NDIA?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the name of the scheme. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the independent agency responsible for implementing the NDIS. The NDIA’s role is to:

  • provide information and referrals, links to services and activities, individualised plans and where necessary, funded supports over a lifetime.
  • raise community awareness and encourage greater inclusion and access to mainstream services, community activities and other government initiatives.
  • provide support to service providers to build capacity and be part of the scheme.

Where is the NDIS in NSW?
The first stage of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in New South Wales began in the Hunter area as a trial site on 1 July 2013 for people with a disability who were living in the area on that date.The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will be in the Nepean Blue Mountains area from 1 July 2015 for children andyoung people under 18 years of age on 1 July 2015. To find out more about the NDIS Nepean Blue Mountains area, go to http://www.ndis.gov.au/about-usour-trial-sitesndis-new-south-wales/ndis-nepean-bluemountains-area. Roll out of the full scheme in NSW will commence progressively from July 2016.The NDIS is being introduced in stages, because it’s a big change and it is important to get it right and make it sustainable. For people living outside a NDIS site, existing national and state-based services and supports will continue until the NDIS is introduced in your area or extended to your age group. This means that families who are currently accessing services for their children using the Better Start for Children with Disability Initiative will continue to be able to access their funding until NDIS is established nationally. My Favourite Physio will continue to be an approved provider for Better Start and will be transitioned into the NDIS when it is established nationally. This means that there will be no interruption to your services as NDIS is established.
What can be funded on the NDIS?
The types of supports that the NDIS may fund for participants include:

  • daily personal activities
  • transport to enable participation in community, social, economic and daily life activities
  • workplace help to allow a participant to successfully get or keep employment in the open or supported labour market
  • therapeutic supports including behaviour support
  • help with household tasks to allow the participant to maintain their home environment
  • help to a participant by skilled personnel in aids or equipment assessment, set up and training
  • home modification design and installation
  • mobility equipment, and
  • vehicle modifications.

What will not be funded on the NDIS?
A support will not be funded if it:

  • is not related to the participant’s disability
  • duplicates other supports already funded by a different mechanism from the NDIS, such as Medicare or Departments of Education
  • relates to day-to-day living costs that are not related to a participant’s support needs, or
  • is likely to cause harm to the participant or pose a risk to others

Who can access the NDIS?
To be eligible for the NDIS, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • have a permanent and significant disability that affects your ability to take part in everyday activities
  • be aged less than 65 when you first access the scheme
  • be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen who holds a Protected Special Category Visa
  • live in the location where NDIS is available.

Use the NDIS Access Checklist to find out if you might be able to receive assistance from the NDIS and the next steps. I hope this article has helped to answer some of the questions you may have about the NDIS and what it will mean for your child. If you have any concerns about how the NDIS will impact on you and your family, please contact us on (02) 9557 8521, so we can help you.