What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (the NDIS) is a new way of funding disability services and supports in Australia.
With the introduction of the NDIS, the disability sector will:
- Move away from individual state-based funding models to one uniform, national scheme
- Shift from traditional funding structure where funds are paid to disability service provider organisations such as Intelife, to individualised funding for people with disabilities based on individual needs assessments
- Provide a legislatively guaranteed insurance model that all Australians who meet the eligibility criteria will be legally entitled to access.
The NDIS allows funding to be allocated directly to the person with a disability rather than to service provider organisations, ensuring that Australians with a disability have greater control over necessary services and supports.
How will the NDIS work?
The NDIS will provide ongoing financial support for the estimated 460,000 Australians with significant and permanent disability.
If eligible for the NDIS, you will be allocated funding on an annual basis to purchase the services, aids and equipment that you have been assessed as needing from the service provider/providers of your choice.
The National Disability Insurance Agency – the agency established to administer the NDIS – can manage your funding for you, or if approved by the NDIA you may be able to self-manage your own funds. Something like that??
As individual circumstances or needs change, participants will be able to apply to have their funding plan adjusted as required.
Who will be eligible?
Eligibility for individual support packages depends on:
Age: you have to be aged between 0-65 years old (although already enrolled participants, once they turn 65, can choose either to continue with the NDIS or transfer to the aged care support system available to all Australians over that age).
Disability requirement: you will be assessed based on the impact of your disability on functional capacity to communicate, interact socially, learn, move safely around your home and your local environment and manage your personal care and affairs (banking, bill paying etc).
What does this mean for me?
The purpose of the NDIS is to give Australians with disability far greater choice and control over the supports and services they receive.
Each individualised funding package allows participants the right to choose the service agency or agencies they wish to provide the supports identified in their package. Participants have the ability to change service providers who do not adequately and satisfactorily meet their needs.
Participants can choose either to directly employ their own support workers, or else purchase supports from mainstream and/or specialist providers of support workers.
Disability support agencies such as Intelife can provide assistance in all stages of plan development and implementation if requested by the individual participant.
When will the NDIS be available to me? How do I access this support?
The Government has made a commitment that all Western Australians with a disability will be able to access the NDIS from July 2017. In order to get ready for this, over the next year the Disability Services Commission will review all funding plans of people that currently receive services from organisations like Intelife. They will be contacting you to arrange to meet you and discuss your current funding plan.
In Western Australia there are currently two trials of the NDIS, one in the Perth Hills area and one in the Lower South West and in the Cockburn / Kwinana area, which was known as ‘My Way’.
The Government recently announced that they were extending these trials to other areas. From October, the WA NDIS trial (formally ‘My Way’) will include the City of Armadale, Shire of Serpentine – Jarrahdale and the Shire of Murray.
As of January 2017, the NDIS Perth Hills trial will extend to the Shires of Chittering, Northam, Toodyay and York, the Town of Bassendean and the City of Bayswater.
How can Intelife support you in this process?
As an NDIS registered provider, Intelife has the capacity to support you at all stages of the development and implementation of your plan.
Over the next 12 months Intelife will provide additional support to our current participants, supported employees, families and carers to prepare for the coming changes.
We will also be holding information sessions to help people to prepare and identify their individual goals under the NDIS.
We can provide feedback and advice on your existing plan, offering guidance on the transition to the new system. We can even attend your planning meetings with you if you would like us there.
Intelife is committed to assisting our current and future participants through these changes and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions.
Other useful resources
NDS Transition to Employment: School Leavers animation : https://www.nds.org.au/resources/all-resources/transition-to-employment-tools-for-school-leavers