As someone who has been working in the community service sector for over 7 years and spent the last three specialising in disability, I thought I had a good grasp of frameworks, guidelines and general Government jargon. Alas, I found myself becoming very confused regarding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
It got me thinking: “Just how much confusion and anxiety is this causing families and carers, in particular those who do not work in the disability space”?
I am often being asked questions in relation to the NDIS that I have been unable to answer but recently I went along to the Endeavour Foundations NDIS information session. I really want to try and increase my understanding and knowledge of the NDIS so I can share this knowledge with others, in the hope that things may become just a little bit clearer for at least one person.
I have gathered my notes from the session and broken them down into dot points for anyone and everyone who might find them useful. I really hope you do!!
- NDIS plans should be needs and goal driven
- You don’t see or receive any NDIS funds in your bank account
- Providers bill the NDIA for your services
- Disability Support pensions are unaffected by the NDIS
- The NDIS is not means tested
- THE NDIS does not replace any Centrelink payments
- The NDIS will replace Mobility Allowance and be listed as Transport however will still be paid the same way
- Doctor’s reports for proof of disability can be required for NDIS planning meetings if seeking new supports under the NDIS
- You can request a review of your plan at any stage
- If you receive your plan and are unhappy with it, you can request a review. During the review stage you will receive the supports included in the plan until any changes have been made after the review
- You can self-manage your own NDIS plan – there is funding available to help you prepare for self-managing your NDIS plan
- You can only use non-NDIS registered providers with your NDIS funding, if you are self-managing your plan or under exceptional circumstances
- You can choose to self-manage parts of your plan, you do not have to self-manage the whole plan
- It is important to not see NDIS funding as an income stream, but as an insurance
- When speaking with any professionals (e.g. planner, NDIA staff) about your plan, ensure you keep a record of dates and names of the people you speak with as a record that you can refer back to at any stage if required
- Carers Australia has produced a ‘Carer Checklist’ to help families and carers prepare for the assessment and planning process of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), produced in consultation with carers, the Checklist provides guidance on the issues that families and carers of those with a disability should consider prior to assessment – https://www.carersaustralia.com.au/media-centre/article/?id=carer-checklist-for-ndis-assessment-available
- NDIS Grassroots Facebook Page is a good resource for people entering the NDIS – https://m.facebook.com/groups/239631286154106/
- Although NDIS plans are for 12 months, you can make changes at any time if your circumstances change
- It is a good idea to ensure your NDIS plan includes short term goals that will help you achieve long term goals e.g. a short-term goal of learning to cook could be included in the plan, to assist with reaching the long term goal of independent living
- Endeavour ‘Map My World’ resource: Pre-planning booklet can help you prepare for your planning meeting – https://ndis.endeavour.com.au/ndis/resources
- Endeavour FAQs and Glossary is available to download and is a handy guide with answers to the most frequently asked questions they get asked, and a glossary so you can familiarise yourself with NDIS language before your planning meeting – https://ndis.endeavour.com.au/ndis/resources
- The NDIA will automatically contact you to arrange a planning meeting if you already receive a disability support payment
- The NDIS planners will phone from a private number
- THE NDIA will phone the contact person who is registered as the contact for other disability support payments
- The planner may ask you to complete the planning meeting via phone, if this is something that does not suit you and you would like a face-to-face meeting, you can request this
- If you are not ready to meet with a planner when they phone, you do not have to. You will not have any payments or supports cut off as soon as the NDIS roll out occurs
- The NDIA will not provide translators for planning meetings, however will provide Auslan Interpreters
- You can check your NDIS eligibility via NDIS Access checklist – https://www.ndis.gov.au/ndis-access-checklist
- NDIS Self Management Resources: On this page you will find a list of Self Management Resources available across the internet https://www.everythingcarers.org.au/resources/ndis-self-management-resources/
- NDIS Sample Plans: On this page you will find a list of Sample Plans and examples of types of services and supports available under NDIS https://www.everythingcarers.org.au/resources/ndis-planning-resources/ndis-sample-plans/
- If you change service providers or make changes to your plan, the NDIA will not inform that service provider of your change, this is your responsibility to do so
- You are not required to share your NDIS plan with service providers
I am no NDIS expert but if I can be of any more help, please contact me on Samantha.firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.
I really hope at least one of these points has helped you or someone you care about.