The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be overwhelming, and you may find yourself asking ‘NDIS, where do I start?.” If you, or someone you know, is in need of disability support services then you may be eligible for the NDIS. We have put together a four-part masterclass to support you in navigating the NDIS, guide you on your journey, explain the options for managing your funding and better understand what support you can access.
What is the NDIS?
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) manages the NDIS, Australia’s disability support scheme which ensures that any Australian citizen will have their care and support needs covered if they are born with, or acquire, a disability.
The scheme enables people with a permanent and significant disability to pay for reasonable and necessary support related to their disability. Each year, participants undertake a personal review of their disability needs to determine the support required for the year. Funding is allocated directly to participants, or their guardian, to access support through providers like Achieve Australia. NDIS funding is independent of the Disability Support Pension and universal health care.
The NDIS provides the necessary funds for supports that are reasonable and necessary for participants to achieve their goals. However, as goals and needs are specific to each individual, the scheme provides the flexibility for participants to manage their own support needs.
Am I eligible for the NDIS?
Participants must meet certain criteria to be deemed eligible to receive NDIS funding. These requirements include:
Age: You must be under 65 years of age to access the Scheme.
Residency : You must live in Australia and be an Australian citizen, hold a Permanent Visa or hold a Protected Special Category Visa.
Disability requirements: To meet the disability requirements, you will need to prove that:
- You have a permanent disability.
- Your disability substantially affects your ability to participate effectively in activities without assistance from others or technology.
- You are likely to require lifelong support under the scheme.
Availability where you live: To access the NDIS, you must live in an area where the scheme is available. In some of these areas, you also need to be a certain age to access the scheme.
You can find out more about your individual eligibility through the NDIS Eligibility Checker.
To support you in navigating the NDIS, the upcoming sections of this NDIS masterclass series will cover how to apply for funding and important things to keep in mind, the different approaches to managing your funding, and finally, what disability support you can expect to access.