What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a single, national scheme that funds reasonable and necessary support to help people with disability reach goals throughout life. It also supports carers of people with disability.
The NDIS works with people individually and recognises that people have different needs and goals. It gives people choice about the support they need to live the life they want. Supports can be across many areas including employment, early intervention, accommodation, independence, being involved in the community, and more.
The NDIS is run by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
Why was the NDIS introduced?
Before the NDIS was introduced, disability services in Australia had been a lottery.
People were receiving different levels of support depending on how, when and where their disability was acquired and where they have lived – and not everyone was getting a fair go.
After an enquiry was held, the Federal Government agreed that people with a disability deserved a fairer system, and more control over the services they receive. So, in July 2013, the NDIS was introduced.
What is the NDIA?
The NDIA is the National Disability Insurance Agency.
It is a government agency and its role is to implement and manage the NDIS and ensure people with disability continue to get the support they need.
Can I change my NDIS service provider if I am not happy?
Yes you can! If you are not happy with the disability service provider you are using, you can change at any time in order to make sure you are getting the support you need.
What if I am not happy with the support in my NDIS plan?
Your NDIS professional will talk with you about what support is considered reasonable and necessary. But, if you do not agree with the support in your NDIS plan, you can contact the NDIA or ask for a review of the plan.
A senior NDIA staff member will decide whether to review your NDIS plan based on the information you have provided.
If you are not happy with the outcome of the NDIA review, you can apply for an external review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The NDIS appeals service provides free access to advocacy and legal support for reviews.
What does reasonable and necessary support mean?
The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary support that helps you reach your goals in a range of areas. For example, these goals might include taking part in social and community activities, and looking after your health and wellbeing.
To be considered reasonable and necessary, support must be:
- Related to your disability
- Value for money
- Likely to work and benefit you
- Based on evidence
Reasonable and necessary support does not include day-to-day living costs that are not related to your disability support needs.
Your reasonable and necessary support takes into account any informal support that you already have. This means the informal arrangements that are part of your family life or broader community network, as well as other mainstream support like that provided by the health and education systems.
When the NDIA makes decisions about what supports are reasonable and necessary, it refers to rules and guidelines in the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act).
What services and equipment can be funded under the NDIS?
There is no minimum funding under the NDIS. Your plan outlines goals and aspirations, and being part of the NDIS means you get access to the support you need to meet these goals, regardless of your situation or diagnosis.
Types of supports that the NDIS might fund include:
- Support for daily living activities like getting dressed and eating
- Transport so that you can take part in community or social activities, or go to work/school
- Therapeutic support including behaviour support
- Modifications to your home, including design and construction
- Equipment or technology to help you
- Modifications to your car
Generally, the NDIS won’t fund support that:
- Is not related to your disability
- Duplicates other support already funded by mainstream services like the education or health systems
- Is part of day-to-day living costs that aren’t related to your support needs
- Is likely to cause harm or pose a risk to others
How will my NDIS plan be managed?
When you meet with an NDIS professional to develop your NDIS plan, you will also talk about how you want to manage your funding. You can have as little or as much help as you need.
There are four options.
You can choose to manage the funding for your support. You can do this yourself, or you can have a nominee do this on your behalf. This nominee might be a member of your family, a friend or a carer.
Registered plan management provider
You can choose to have a registered plan management provider manage some or all of the funding for your support. A registered plan management provider can find and organise support for you, pay service providers, take care of the paperwork, and work with your service providers to decide how and when you gets support.
You can choose to have the NDIA manage the funding for your support. Under this option you choose the service providers you want from the registered provider list on the NDIS website and you organise the support you need directly with them. The NDIA can help you find and get in touch with the registered service providers. The NDIA then pays the providers directly.
A combination of the management options above
You can choose different options for different support. Your plan might have a combination of options.
Can I choose disability service providers?
You will be in control of which service providers you choose and when and how you get support, no matter how you choose to manage your NDIS plan.
If the NDIA is managing the funding for some or all of you supports, you need to choose service providers that are registered with the NDIS. You can find local service providers registered with the NDIS.
If you are managing your funding yourself or using a registered plan management provider, you can use support from any service provider, including providers not registered with the NDIS. But if you use a non-registered service provider, you need to think about the quality, risks, safeguards and potential additional costs that might be involved.
If you are using a combination of management options, you need to use service providers registered with the NDIS for those parts of the funding managed by the NDIA. You can use any service providers for the parts you manage or that are managed by a registered plan management provider.
How is the NDIS funded?
The NDIS is jointly funded by the Australian, state and territory governments and is partially funded by money raised by an increase in the Medicare levy.