The term NDIS is often used by disability support providers. However, many are unaware of the scheme and its advantages. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an initiative of the Australian and state and territory governments to provide support to people with significant or permanent disability, their families, and caregivers. It was implemented across the country in 2019, except Western Australia where it was made available in a phased manner in 2020.
The scheme is managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and monitored by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission). The funding is available to all Australians under the age of 65 years who have a permanent impairment, which has affected their intellectual, neurological, physical, psychological, cognitive, sensory, and social ability.
A Step Towards Empowerment of People with Disabilities
According to estimates, there are 4.3 million people in Australia who are permanently or significantly disabled. The funding support has been established to help this wide population accomplish their life goals and live a quality life. The scheme is highly beneficial in connecting people with information and services that are available in their community. It helps in retrieving information regarding doctors, support groups, schools, libraries, and sporting clubs in their community.
NDIS will prove immensely beneficial to people who have a child or adult in the family with disabilities since they can now get the required support with the help of the funding. The aim of introducing this scheme was to make sure that individuals with disabilities can develop life skills and become independent. It will help in enhancing their mobility and sociability. Also, those who are still young can take advantage of the support services to avoid developmental delay and realise their true potential with the right guidance and opportunities.
How Does the NDIS Work?
The NDIS funding can be utilised by filling out an Access Request Form and providing related information that offers details and evidence about the disability. If the NDIS finds the application eligible for the support, then they invite the person and family members for the planning meeting, which involves discussing the type of support needed. However, before stepping out for the planning meeting, the individual applying for support must be clear about his/her support requirements and life goals. The goals can be current or long-term and include finding a job, getting admission in a new course, developing a new skill, or becoming more socially active. The NDIA planner or coordinator will discuss these goals during the planning meeting. After the plan is approved, you need to choose how you want to manage the NDIS funding.
Ways of Managing the NDIS Funding
The NDIS funding can be managed in three ways – self-management, plan-managed funding and NDIA-managed funding. The person receiving the funding can also choose to combine these options by managing a part of the funding personally and asking the NDIA to manage the rest of it. The choice will be discussed during the planning meeting, and you will be provided with the best option to suit your needs. Whether you choose to self-manage or not, you will have the right to control whether the service is working for you and is within your budget or not. The individual receiving the support must check the status of the funding when it is being managed by the NDIA to ensure that it is within the specified budget.
As the name suggests, self-management gives the person receiving the funding the right to access the supports and utilise them to fulfil his/her needs and goals. The plan-managed funding involves the hiring of a plan manager who pays the support providers on behalf of the person and gets paid by the NDIA. In case you choose the NDIA-managed option, then the agency pays the support providers.
Support Budgets Funded by NDIS
The approved plan funds three types of support budgets – core supports, capacity building and capital support. The core supports budget includes four categories, namely daily activities, consumables, social and community participation and transport. The capacity building budget has several categories, including employment, health and wellbeing, relationships, home living, etc. The capital support budget has only two categories which include assistive technology and home modifications.
Types of Supports That Can Get NDIS Funding
The NDIS funds a wide variety of reasonable and necessary supports that cover employment, social participation, education, living arrangements, independence and health and wellbeing. Some of the commonly funded supports include daily personal activities, disability transport that allows freedom to travel to work or school with assistance, workplace support to carry out the work independently and retain the job, therapeutic support which helps in emotional healing, domestic assistance that aids in taking care of the household chores, help extended by a skilled support provider in the examination of equipment and its setting up, the support provided in order to modify the house, aid for mobility equipment and modification of the vehicle.
NDIS is an advantageous scheme initiated by the government, which will help in the development of several people with disabilities across the country. It will help them to realise their dreams and give wings to their aspirations to become a contributing member of society.
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