Navigating Disability Support

What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new way of funding services and supports for people with disability. Under the scheme, eligible participants with disability will receive an individual plan and funding to support them to achieve their specific goals.

Previously, funding was allocated to service providers for the delivery of services and support, giving little choice or flexibility to people with disability by State government agencies. People with disability are now allocated their own individual funding. NDIS participants have greater choice and control over both the supports they choose and their relationship with service providers.

The NDIS is currently rolling out across Australia in stages. Some areas have already begun to switch over to the new scheme. Other areas will transition over the coming years with the scheme expected to be fully rolled out to all areas by 2019.

If you are unsure whether the NDIS has arrived in your area, check here.


Step 1: Checking your eligibility

Your eligibility for the NDIS will be assessed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the government body responsible for running the NDIS.

You are eligible if you:

  • are under 65 years of age, and
  • are an Australian citizen or resident or permanent visa holder, and
  • meet the disability or early intervention requirements.

If you are aged 65 years and over, you will not be eligible for the NDIS, but in most cases, you will receive support through the Commonwealth aged care system. See how KinCare can help you with aged care services.

If you are already receiving disability services and supports from a provider, the NDIA will have your details and will call you and let you know when you will be able to access an NDIS plan. You may go through a simplified. You may go through a simplified eligibility process, based on the supports and services you currently receive.

If you are not currently receiving any disability supports, you will need to contact the NDIA in your area and complete an NDIS eligibility assessment. This will include assessing the impact of your disability on your functional capacity to communicate, interact socially, learn, move safely around your home and the built environment and manage your personal care and affairs (banking, bill paying etc).


Step 2: Creating your NDIS Plan and allocating funding

If you are eligible for the NDIS, you will invited to develop your personal plan by the NDIA. This meeting will assess the supports and services you need based on your goals and what you want to achieve in the future.

Your individual NDIS plan will be created outlining your goals, the supports and services you need to achieve these goals, and the funding you will receive. The NDIS can pay for supports that are reasonable and necessary for you. This means they are related to your disability and are required for you to live an ordinary life and achieve your goals.

Once you have your NDIS Plan, you will be able to choose the service provider or providers who will deliver your supports and services. The NDIA will be able to provide you with a list of registered services providers in your local area.

What types of supports will be funded under the NDIS?

Daily personal activities

  • Therapeutic supports including behaviour support
  • Help with household tasks to allow the participant to maintain their home environment
  • Help with personal care and tasks associated with daily living
  • Assistance to help you 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
  • Help to a participant by skilled personnel in aids or equipment assessment, set up and training

Home modification design and construction

  • Mobility equipment, and
  • Vehicle modifications.

What types of support will not be funded under the NDIS?

The NDIS will not fund a support if it:

  • is not related to the participant’s disability
  • duplicates other supports already funded by a different mechanism such as Health or Education through the NDIS
  • 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.

Step 3: Starting your plan

After your NDIS Plan is created, you will need to decide how you wish to manage your providers and payments. You have three options:

  • self-management – where you manage the payment of providers and any administrative processes yourself.
  • using a plan management service – meaning you choose a business or provider to manage all payments on your behalf and assist you with service agreements, hiring staff and preparing reports about NDIS funding.
  • nominating the NDIA – where the NDIA makes all necessary payments to registered providers.
  • a mix of Self-Managed and NDIA managed

When your plan is approved you will be able to access it through the NDIS Participant Portal. You’ll receive portal access instructions once your plan is ready. If you choose to self-manage your funding, you can also process payments through the portal.


Step 4: Choosing and accessing your supports

When you are ready to access services and supports, you will be able to choose which service providers you want to work with you. The NDIA will be able to help you with this, or you can do your own research.

If you are already accessing supports from a service provider, such as KinCare, you can continue to work with this provider, as long as they are a registered NDIS provider.

After you have chosen a service provider, you and the provider will need to agree to and sign a service agreement.


Step 5: Reviewing your NDIS Plan

The NDIA will review your NDIS Plan with you every 12 months to make sure you are getting the supports and services you need. Before your review, it is a good idea to think about what you have already achieved and anything new you wish to do or achieve in the future.

If you feel an arrangement with a service provider is not working as well as it could, you are able to change service providers at any stage – you do not need to wait until you review your plan.


Need more help?

KinCare can help you understand the NDIS and how it will work for you. Call us today to talk about your needs and how our services can help.

There is also comprehensive information on the Government’s NDIS website, www.ndis.gov.au.