What is the NDIS?

The NDIS stands for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Here is the government's proposition for the need of the NDIS:

There are around 4.3 million Australians who have a disability. Within the next five years, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will provide more than $22 billion in funding a year to an estimated 500,000 Australians who have permanent and significant disability. For many people, it will be the first time they receive the disability support they need.
The NDIS can provide all people with disability with information and connections to services in their communities such as doctors, sporting clubs, support groups, libraries and schools, as well as information about what support is provided by each state and territory government.

Watch this short 4 minute video to become more acquainted with the scheme.

Click here to see an AUSLAN friendly version of this video.

What does NDIS really mean?

  • National: The NDIS is being introduced progressively across all states and territories.
  • Disability: The NDIS provides support to eligible people with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychosocial disability. Early intervention supports can also be provided for eligible people with disability or children with developmental delay.
  • Insurance: The NDIS gives all Australians peace of mind if they, their child or loved one is born with or acquires a permanent and significant disability, they will get the support they need.
  • Scheme: The NDIS is not a welfare system. The NDIS is designed to help people get the support they need so their skills and independence improve over time.

Click here for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participant information

Culturally appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander NDIS booklets are available to download or order:

The booklets will help communities understand and apply for the NDIS, and features artwork from local Northern Territory artist Carol Beasley, from the Barkly Region – one of the first NDIS trial sites.

How does the NDIS work?

The NDIS is Australia’s first national Scheme for people with disability. It provides funding directly to individuals.

First you have to see if you are eligible. There is an Eligibility Checklist available on the NDIS government website.

It will ask you if you are;

  1. Aged between 7 and 65
  2. Living in Australia and an Australian resident
  3. In need of of usual support from a person because of a permanent and significant disability
  4. Using special equipment because of a permanent and significant disability
  5. Needing some supports now to reduce your future needs

Funding for children under 7 comes under early childhood NDIS funding; see here.

If you think you are eligible, perhaps it's time to apply

Contacting NDIS to apply

If you visit the am I eligible page, you will find an NDIS checklist you can read to see if you are eligible.

If you meet the criteria and you would like to become a participant, you can either:

  • call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 and ask to make an Access Request
  • complete and submit the Access Request Form and send by email to NAT@ndis.gov.au or
  • contact your local LAC (local area coordinator) or NDIA office. call us on 1800 800 110 and ask to make an Access Request.

If you need help with English, call the TIS service on 131 450.

If you have hearing or speech loss, call our TTY service on 1800 555 677. For Speak and Listen, call 1800 555 727, or for Internet relay services, visit the Relay Service webpage

Be Prepared: Access Request Questions

As part of the Access Request process, you will be asked:

If you currently get disability supports, and you would like your provider to give us your information, you must first provide consent.

You may be asked to provide some additional information after you make your Access Request. This may include information about your disability and how it impacts on your day-to-day life. You can provide copies of existing information, including letters or reports, or you can ask your treating health professional to fill out and sign a form.

This is called "obtaining supporting evidence" and is something Sycamore Health does regularly for NDIS applicants. Call the clinic on (07) 3046 1700 or email us at info@sycamorehealth.com.au to find out more.

 

Making an Access Request

You can call 1800 800 110 to make an Access Request or you can complete and submit the Access Request form via email. 

If you need help filling in the form or making the call, you can contact your Local Area Coordinator (LAC), Early Childhood Early Intervention partner or your contact your local NDIA office.

Visit the locations page or call 1800 800 110 to find your local early childhood partner or LAC partner.

Visit the contact us page on the NDIS website to find an office near you.

Providing information about your disability

If you make your Access Request over the phone, you can email or post copies of your existing information, including letter or reports, to one of the following:

  • email: NAT@ndis.gov.au
  • Post to: GPO Box 700, Canberra ACT 2601, or 
  • drop it in to your nearest NDIS office.

You can also complete and submit the Supporting Evidence form via email to NAT@ndis.gov.au.

For information about what evidence to include in your Access Request, it may be helpful to visit the following pages:

The NDIS and other government services

The NDIS attempts to break down funding scheme barriers originally present in federal and state-based systems. Now, with NDIS, all Australians with disability have access to a range of other government services including education, health, employment, justice and family support.

Supports may be different under the NDIS compared to when they were delivered by state or territory governments. The NDIS is a new way of doing things that gives participants the ability to choose and control the supports they use to get involved in their community, workplace, and social life. Learn how the NDIA and other state and territory governments are working together.

See below a range of sectors that the NDIS associates with for the sake of participants.

So who funds the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is responsible for the roll out of the NDIS. They make decisions about whether someone is eligible to become an NDIS participant and, if so, how much funding they will receive. This is based on legislation called the NDIS Act 2013 which sets out what supports and services are considered reasonable and necessary for the NDIS to fund. 
Find out more about the NDIA.

What are Early Childhood Partners?

The early childhood approach helps children younger than 7 who have a developmental delay or disability. Early childhood partners deliver the early childhood approach. Early childhood partners employ early childhood educators and allied health professionals who help children and their families access supports and services that are tailored to the child’s individual needs and circumstances. Early childhood partners also help with connection to other appropriate supports such as community health services, playgroups and educational settings.
Learn more about early childhood partners.

What are Local Area Coordination (LAC) partners?

Local Area Coordination partners employ Local Area Coordinators (LAC) who help people understand and access the NDIS. They also work with NDIS participants to develop and use their NDIS plan.
For most people aged seven years and older, an LAC will be their main point of contact for the NDIS.
An LAC will connect people with disability to supports, services, activities in their community and other government services. LACs also work in communities to help them become more accessible and inclusive for all people with disability.
LAC partners in the community.

Visit the locations page or call 1800 800 110 to find your local early childhood partner or LAC partner.

What is the National Community Connectors Program (NCCP)?

The National Community Connectors Program (NCCP) was developed for community groups who might need additional support to access the NDIS because of social, cultural and economic barriers.  

The four identified communities are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities 
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities
  • people experiencing psychosocial disabilities and 
  • ageing parents or carers of people with disability. 

Community Connectors play a critical role in identifying and engaging with people with disability and their representatives. 

Collaborating with LAC and early childhood partners, Community Connectors are able to help participants who require additional assistance to access the NDIS and use their plan. 

Still unsure?

The NDIS sounds complex, but really is an empowering step forward by the Australian government in suporting people with disabilities. We at Sycamore Health are strong proponents of the scheme, and would love to help you find out more about your eligibility and utility of the NDIS. Please contact the clinic via phone or email to find out more.

For further online resources, access the NDIS government website at: https://www.ndis.gov.au/ 

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