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Disability Employment Q and A

Get the facts of disability employment

Our Support Coordination team answer some of the most frequently asked questions they get about disability employment. 

1. What employment options are available for NDIS participants? 

There are two types of employment – open employment and supported employment.  

Open employment refers to the job market advertised to the general public.  

Supported employment refers to disability specific employment that offers additional supports in the workplace which are not available in open employment. Supported employment is primarily delivered in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs). 

2. Which type of employment is right for me? 

When deciding which type of employment is the best option for you, it is useful to consider the kind of supports that are required at home. If in-home supports with a support worker are also required in a community setting, then supported employment would be beneficial. This type of employment is available for people with disability who may not be able to successfully hold a job in open employment. 

Otherwise, if no support worker assistance is required in a community setting, then it would be beneficial to explore open employment. This can either be within the open labour market or through disability employment services.  Each individual situation can be different, so it may be useful to look at both types of employment to find the best fit for you 

3. Where can I find disability employment? 

Achieve Australia provides supported employment at AchievAble Enterprises located at Newington. Further information can be found on the Achieve Australia website. Other ADE providers can be found online by searching for ADE providers in your local area or your Support Coordinator can also assist you with finding an ADE 

If you would like to explore open employment within the disability employment sector, it would be beneficial to inquire with a Disability Employment Service provider (DES). There are many DES providers servicing Sydney and NSW. These are available to assist with job seeking and job ready skills. Further information can be found online by searching for DES providers in your local area.  

4. What type of NDIS funding is required for disability employment? 

Disability employment within open employment does not require NDIS funding. Disability employment via DES is funded through a separate government scheme.  

If you are exploring supported employment the NDIS can provide funding assistance. The NDIS can fund supports in employment for participants who need extra help to achieve their employment goals. Generally, these supports are greater than what may be reasonably provided by an employer in open employment or with the support of Disability Employment Services (DES).  

If you are continuing with your current ADE or would like to enrol in an ADE, remember to advise the NDIA at your NDIS plan review meeting, so that adequate funding is provided to allow for these supports. The supported employment funding is located in the core support budget of your NDIS plan. A quote of service would also need to be provided by the ADE provider to be submitted to NDIA to ensure the correct level of funding is provided.  

5. What is the supported employment NDIS funding used for and what supports do I receive? 

The purpose of the funding is to enable the employer to be effectively resourced to engage supported employees in a work environment. The funding contributes to the costs associated with training, supervision, any repeated job and work training, coaching and prompting, specialist staff such as employment support staff, appropriate workplace safety and duty of care. 

6. If I am dissatisfied with my current ADE can I change to another ADE provider? 

Yes. The NDIS gives participants greater choice and control about where and how they work, and who provides their supports. Changing ADE providers can occur at any time if there is enough funding available.  

7. If I am unsure about which ADE provider to enrol with, can I do a work trial? 

Most ADE providers will allow for a work trial on site, however this is dependent on the ADE provider. Work trials are beneficial for both you and the ADE provider as it provides an assessment of the suitability of the workplace for each individual. This can also provide opportunity for you and the ADE provider to get an understanding of the type of supports that would be required on site to ensure a safe workplace. We would encourage you to ask for a work trial prior to enrolling with an ADE.  

8. What are the employee wages when working in an ADE? 

Supported employees are generally paid wages based on productivity assessments set by the Fair Work Commission (FWC). Further details about employee wages and contracts are best directed to the ADE provider as policies may differ between providers. 

9. Does working with an ADE affect my Disability Support Pension (DSP)?   

DSP payments can be affected if the income earnings per fortnight are above the threshold. Based on the Services Australia website, fortnightly income earnings of less than $178 will not affect your DSP. Fortnightly income earning greater than $178 will reduce the DSP by 50 cents for every dollar over $178. This applies to single individuals. Payment differences may apply to other circumstances such as couples.  

For further information and to stay up to date with the current legislation, visit the Services Australia website servicesaustralia.gov.au

10. Where can I inquire about Achieve Australia supported employment opportunities? 

If you would like further information about Achieve Australia’s supported employment or you would like to enrol in supported employment, please contact the My Pathways team on 1300 22 44 38 or email MyPathway@achieveaustralia.org.au 

Interested in disability employment?

Learn more about our employment offerings or download our brochure.

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