Achieve Australia Frequently Asked Questions about the NDIS
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will deliver life-long, individualised supports and services to people with disability in Australia. The Scheme is designed to ensure you have genuine choice and control when it comes to deciding the services and supports you receive.
Run by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the NDIS enables you to plan, choose and make decisions around your support needs and then manage your supports.
As a long-time practitioner of person-centeredness, Achieve Australia strongly supports the NDIS.
The NDIS represents an exciting time, however you may have lots of things you’d like to know about this Scheme.
What is the NDIS?
The NDIS is an Australian Government scheme that provides a new way for people with disability to live the life they choose. The NDIS enables people with disability to access supports through an individualised funding package. It will give people with a disability the opportunity to make the decisions about their supports, including who will provide them.
What is the NDIA and what does it do?
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) manages the NDIS.
The NDIA engages directly with people with a disability and their families to complete individualised plans and provide funded supports if required.
Every plan will be different because it is tailored to address each individual’s goals and needs.
Who is eligible to access the NDIS?
An Australian citizen, living in Australia, holds a permanent visa and who:
• Has a permanent disability that significantly affects their ability to take part in everyday activities
• Is aged less than 65 when they first access the scheme.
When will the NDIS affect me?
From July 2016 the NDIS will begin to be available across NSW. To find out when your area will transition to the NDIS, visit www.ndis.nsw.gov.au or call Achieve Australia on 1300 ACHIEVE.
How do I register to receive funding under the NDIS?
You can call the NDIA on 1800 800 110 to find out if you’re eligible. You can also check your eligibility by going to My Access Checker. If you are eligible, you will be sent forms to complete and return to the NDIA, who will then process your registration.
If you are already an Achieve client, there is a slightly different process – a local staff member will be in contact with you before your area transitions into the NDIS.
When will I receive the funding?
You will begin to receive NDIS funding after you have completed your plan with the NDIA and the plan has been approved.
How long does a plan last?
Each plan is developed with you to cover supports for 12 months. However, if significant changes to a plan are required, based on your new situation, a change in health conditions, or you need more time to fully explore your support options, then the timing of a new plan can be brought forward or extended.
What kinds of supports be funded under the NDIS?
The NDIS will provide funding for Core (or everyday) supports, Capacity Building supports (to improve skills and independence), and Capital (to improve access and independence).
The types of supports that the NDIS may fund for participants include:
• Transport to enable participation in community, social, economic and daily life activities;
• Workplace help to allow a participant to successfully get or keep employment or supported employment;
• Therapeutic supports including behaviour support;
• Help with household tasks to allow the participant to maintain their home environment;
• Help for a participant by personnel skilled in aids or equipment assessment, set up and training;
• Home modification design and installation;
• Mobility equipment; and
• Vehicle modifications.
Do I have to manage my own money in my plan?
No, you don’t. If you decide you don’t want to manage the money you get for the supports in the plan, you can:
• Ask the NDIA to allocate a support person to help you manage your plan
• Nominate another person to help you manage your plan
Managing your funding can involve making payments to providers, expense claims processing, invoicing and monthly reports.
The NDIA will be able to offer you some advice on using your funding and how to access the services you choose. Providers such as Achieve Australia can also give you guidance.
Will the funding be put directly into my bank account or will it be given to organisations for me?
If you choose to manage your funding, you will need to open a separate bank account just for your NDIS funds. The NDIA will put the money into this new account and you will then pay organisations for the supports they provide to you.
If you decide to have your plan managed for you, or if you require support to manage your funds, then the organisations you have chosen will be given the money directly by the NDIA to cover the cost of your supports.
Are there different ways in which my NDIS Plan and Budget can be managed?
Yes there are different ways.
You have choice and the control over how you use funding for supports in your NDIS Plan. That includes choice of how the supports are provided and which service providers you use.
There are five ways that plans can be managed.
1. NDIA Managed – this is where a provider like Achieve Australia claims directly from the NDIA for the services we provide to you.
2. Plan Managed – Achieve Australia is a NDIA Registered Plan Manager and can manage the transaction process and purchasing process of services delivered by Achieve, and/or for services you are receiving from another provider but you need assistance to help manage the transaction and relationship with that provider.
3. Self-Managed – you (or your nominee) can directly manage the funds; all transactions are completed by the participant for services rendered.
4. Automated Payments (transport only) – these funds can be deposited into an NDIS bank account weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
5. Combination – a combination of the above four options can be used together.
Achieve and NDIS
How can Achieve help?
Achieve offers individually tailored and flexible services to support the needs of our clients, including those moving onto an NDIS plan.
We can offer you:
• Individualised services tailored in the way you choose
• Expertise in providing a broad range of services
• Access to experienced staff who are reliable and responsive
• The benefits of our focus on inclusion and ensuring active community participation and interactions
• Flexibility in our service delivery to meet your specific requirements
• Supports that focus on delivering results and helping you meet your goals
I am already an Achieve service user; will my current support change once I come across to NDIS?
The NDIA will contact you to discuss the supports you are currently receiving (Achieve Australia can help you with this). If you are happy with the support you currently receive from Achieve and the same supports are identified in your plan with NDIA then you can choose to continue to receive these same supports.
What happens if I am an existing Achieve service user but am not eligible for support from NDIA?
If you are not eligible for the NDIS but are already receiving support from Achieve, you will still be able to access the same level of supports you already have in place. Governments have agreed that no one should be disadvantaged by transitioning to the NDIS and are currently finalising arrangements for how this will work.
What can I do to help ensure I receive continuity of support?
Achieve Australia is providing all our existing clients with Customer Relationship Management assistance. You can contact Achieve on 1300 ACHIEVE to ask for our Customer Relationship Manager. They can arrange a time to meet with you to discuss your current services, and future services we can offer you under the NDIS.
If I choose Achieve to be my plan manager can I have my financial statements explained to me?
If Achieve is your plan management provider (managing your funding) we will provide regular statements to you. These statements are presented in a clear and easy format. Our staff are happy to explain the information on the statements to you.
Achieve Australia and Fees under the NDIS
Can I pay for services provided by Achieve out of my own pocket?
Yes you can. From time to time, you may identify a service or need that isn’t covered by your NDIS Plan. In this case, you can sit down with Achieve Australia to discuss that need and we can determine a quote for providing that service.
Talk to our Customer Relationship Manager on 1300 ACHIEVE if you would like more information.
Will I still need to pay rent and utility costs such as electricity, gas and phone costs?
Yes you will.
The NDIS does not cover these costs and as has been the case in the past, if you have been paying for these costs, this will continue under the NDIS.
NDIS and the Pension
Will the NDIS Impact my Disability Support Pension?
No it won’t.
The NDIS will not replace the disability support pension. The NDIS is a separate national fund created to finance your reasonable and necessary support needs and associated aids and equipment. The NDIS is not means tested and as such, anyone who is eligible can apply for assistance; regardless of the disability support pension or level of personal income.
Will the NDIS Impact my Mobility Allowance?
Yes it will.
The NDIS will be financing the Mobility Allowance, so it is important that your NDIS Plan includes funding that would have traditionally been paid by Centrelink as an allowance to you for transport. When you transition to the NDIS and your NDIS Plan has been completed, Centrelink will cease providing your Mobility Allowance.
It is our understanding that the NDIA will contact Centrelink on your behalf to check if you are receiving the Mobility Allowance. Your ongoing transport supports will then be discussed through your NDIS planning process
What should I do next?
If you need more information about the NDIS and how to get the most out of the scheme, contact Achieve Australia for a confidential discussion on
1300 ACHIEVE or contact us now.