Have you heard of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, also known as the NDIS? Odds are, if you’re visiting this page, you’ve probably heard the term at least a few times. Maybe you read a headline about it in the news or heard your friend mention it. But actually understanding the NDIS? That is a much trickier task.
After all, just because you’ve heard of something doesn’t mean you fully understand it, right? Sometimes you need to do a little extra research, especially when it comes to a program as complex as the NDIS.
So, if you’re looking to understand the ins and outs of the NDIS, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we break down all the key information you need to know about the plan. We explain what the NDIS is, NDIS eligibility, and how to get involved in the program.
What Is the NDIS?
Let’s start by tackling the first and most obvious question: what is the NDIS? The NDIS is a federal government scheme that offers funds directly to persons with permanent and significant disabilities. First launched in 2013, it became fully operational in 2020. The first Scheme of its kind, the NDIS is expected to provide roughly $22 billion in funding per year to 500,000 disabled Australians.
The NDIS also covers a wide range of expenses, from accommodation to allied health to community participation. Its goal is to help people with disabilities complete daily activities with greater ease.
Who Is Eligible for the NDIS?
Now, we’ll move onto the next most important question about the NDIS: who is eligible? Understanding the NDIS eligibility is quite straightforward. There is even a simple checklist that you can consult to figure out if you are eligible.
According to the checklist, people hold NDIS eligibility if they meet all the following criteria:
- Holds Australian citizenship, permanent residency, or is a New Zealand citizen with a Special Category Visa
- Aged 7 to 65
- Has a permanent disability that significantly impacts daily living
- Lives in an area where the Scheme is already in effect
- Has a child whose functioning would benefit from early intervention.
How to Apply for the NDIS
Once you’ve determined your NDIS eligibility, you can apply for the NDIS yourself. To apply for the Scheme, you must fill out an NDIS access request form. You may also need to supply extra documentation to facilitate your application (such as NDIS consent forms). By submitting the NDIS access request form, you are asking to become a participant under the Scheme.
After you’ve lodged your application, you’ll receive an access decision letter. If your application was successful, you can move onto creating your plan with the help of a coordinator.
In the creation phase, you will set goals for different areas of your life. You will also decide which services and supports will help you meet those goals.
Once your plan is finalised and approved, you can start using it. You will also need to periodically review your plan and goals to make sure they are well-suited to your circumstances.
Learn More About the NDIS
With the help of this guide, you’ve taken an amazing first step at understanding the NDIS on a deeper level. But you may still have questions about the NDIS and how it can benefit you in your specific situation.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to help you out! Firstly, you can visit the NDIS website for more information. Here you’ll find all the information you need to know how to access the NDIS in each state.
There are also state- and territory-specific resources you can check out. These organisations can help you understand the NDIS, check your NDIS eligibility, and fill out paperwork (such as NDIS consent forms). Some of these include: