The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides funding for Australians under the age of 65 who suffer from an impairment affecting their intellectual and social functioning to a significant extent. When NDIS participants turn 65, it is up to them to choose whether they want to stay in the scheme or to receive support via different aged care services.
There are 4.3 million people in Australia with disabilities right now, and many of them will not be eligible for the NDIS as they will not meet the criteria. However, it is possible they will receive some assistance according to a new program to the scheme, where they will get information and referrals to connect themselves and their families to the local and mainstream support.
It is important to note that the NDIS is not under any circumstances a replacement for the Disability Support Pension, which supports people of the same age who are unable to work due to their ability. The NDIS gives additional funding to people with disabilities in a form of specific needs, such as a wheelchair or home assistance.
How the NDIS works
The amount that is allocated to participants can vary depending on a specific individual. Some people receive large allocations, for instance, if they needed to leave a disability institution and get a large support to live in a shared flat, alone or in a home with five people. On the other hand, some individuals still haven’t received funding as their goal is to stay in contact with the family. On average, an individual allocation is around A$39,600.
The NDIS services and support include funding in order to:
– help people with their everyday activities like getting out of bed and taking a shower, home maintenance and managing finances
– provide necessary equipment and aid like hearing aids and wheelchairs
– provide transport so that participants can maintain contact with their friends and family, as well as with their community
– provide different therapies, including psychological, speech, social and physiotherapy
– provide them with the opportunity to participate in social activities, for example, in clubs
In short, the NDIS assigns funding to individuals and is separated from traditional service provider agencies.
Who is eligible for the NDIS support
People with disabilities who are unsure whether they are eligible for the NDIS support to have ways to determine that. They, as well as their advocate and family, can look at the NDIS eligibility checklist to know for sure. If that is the case, the next step is to apply to receive the support, and if their application is accepted, there will be a meeting with an NDIS representative to create a plan. The plan will take into consideration the person’s life situation, any current supports and their wishes for the future.
Another good source for determining whether a person is eligible for the support is to visit the NDIS website and check two booklets. Both of them thoroughly explain the conditions of becoming a participant, what the aim of the program is and the way it works. The first booklet is My NDIS Pathway – Your guide to being an NDIS participant, while the other one is NDIS Ready — Communications Toolkit.
The current situation
According to recent evaluations, most people are very satisfied with the control they now have and with the choices, they are offered. Still, certain reports have indicated that many people were confused with the changes that were introduced and were in need of additional information and help from aside. This is why using NDIS provider toolkit is useful for those trying to grasp the changes, as well as contacting services that provide help and support through the application process. The fact is that many potential participants of the program could find it challenging to seek support and negotiate the terms. There is also the possibility that some people with low socioeconomic status and diverse cultural background miss the opportunity to get into the program, but the issue remains to be resolved.
The NDIS support greatly improves the quality of life of those with disabilities. However, it is important to know what kind of support is possible to get and how to appropriately apply for the support. In time, more people who are eligible for the support will manage to create a sustainable support plan and live as any other citizen.