The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a major initiative to provide funding to Australians living with permanent and significant disability. The scheme is designed to help such individuals lead happy, independent lives.
Understanding how to apply for the funding available through the scheme is important, however comprehending the intricacies of the NDIS can be challenging. It is a complex scheme which relies on extensive criteria to determine the funding available to an individual.
So, we’ve collated the information and compiled a checklist for you. Read on to find out all you need to know about applying for NDIS funding.
1. What is NDIS Funding?
The NDIS provides funding for services and support directly to those living with a disability.
Each NDIS participant has an individual plan that details any funding they have received and lists their goals. Goals vary from person to person, but can include things such as securing a job, or participating in an activity.
The participant will use their funding to purchase services and support initiatives which will help them to achieve their goals.
The NDIS can also connect participants with with specialists and services in their local area, such as support groups, community activities and health care professionals.
When it is fully rolled out, the NDIS will provide funding to approximately 460,000 Australians.
2. Am I Eligible for NDIS Funding?
Firstly, you need to determine whether or not you are eligible for NDIS funding.
To be eligible for the NDIS, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have a developmental delay or a permanent disability which significantly impacts your ability to partake in everyday activities.
- You must be under the age of 65.
- You must be an Australian citizen, hold a Permanent Visa or a Protected Special Category Visa.
- You must live in an area of Australia where the NDIS is available.
Other key questions you should ask yourself include:
- Do I usually need support from another individual due to my disability?
- Do I use special equipment to help me live with my disability in everyday life?
- Do I need certain supports now to help reduce my future needs?
Complete our comprehensive online questionnaire to determine whether or not you are eligible for NDIS access.
3. What Supports & Services Am I Entitled To?
The NDIS offers a wide range of supports and services. The types of support an individual is entitled to will depend on their individual needs and circumstances.
These can include:
- Help with daily personal activities
- Accommodation and housing support
- Short-term accommodation
- Employment services
- Therapeutic supports, including behavioural support
- Assistance with household tasks to enable the participant to maintain their home environment
- Aids or equipment assessment, set up and training
- Home modification design and construction
- Mobility equipment
- Vehicle modifications
Any support or service funded by the NDIS must be directly related to the participant’s disability and be highly likely to create a positive impact on their lives.
Any day-to-day living costs unrelated to a participant’s disability, such as groceries or utility bills, will not be funded by the NDIS.
When assessing your entitlements, the NDIS will also take into consideration any other support provided by family, carers, the local community and Government agencies.
4. How Do I Complete the Application for NDIS Funding?
If you meet the eligibility criteria and would like to join the NDIS, you can lodge an Access Request in two ways:
- You can make a Verbal Access Request (VAR)
- You can complete a paper Access Request Form (ARF)
You can call the NDIS contact centre on 1800 800 110 to make a Verbal Access Request or ask for a form to be sent to you.
You will need to share information on what your disability is, how it affects your life, how long you’ve been living with it and how long it is likely to last. Detail of your ongoing service and support needs, as well as your current and future goals, will also be required.
You will also need to provide proof of age and residency. The easiest way to do this is to give the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) consent to use your Centrelink record, providing you are a Centrelink member.
You may also need to provide evidence of your disability. The health professional treating you will be best placed to supply this information. Any supporting reports should also be included, as these can help your assessment.
For a simplified overview of the NDIS access process, see our streamlined diagram.
5. What Assistance is Available to Me?
The NDIS contact centre is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm to answer any queries and provide guidance.
Your Local Area Coordinator, local NDIS office or Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) partner (for children under 7 years) will be able to provide you with the support you need to complete your application form.
6. How Do I Find an NDIS Service Provider?
Registered NDIS providers, such as St. Jude’s Disability Services, meet all requirements in terms of qualifications, approvals, experience and capacity for the approved services.
To find NDIS registered providers you can search the Provider Finder on the myplace portal. Your LAC, Support Coordinator or ECEI Coordinator can assist you in finding a suitable provider.
However, it’s important to do your homework to ensure you select a provider who is the best fit for your unique requirements. Research online the various providers in your area and speak with them. Discuss your disability, your goals and how they could help you to achieve your goals.
Here are some questions you may want to ask prospective service providers:
- Are you a registered NDIS provider?
- What services do you offer and can these be tailored to suit my needs?
- What flexibility is available in terms of service, timings and logistics?
- How much does the service cost?
- Can I select which staff work with me?
Also, be sure to check out their reviews and seek advice from family and friends.
If you are looking for an NDIS registered provider in Perth or South West of WA, contact the friendly team at St. Jude’s to discuss your requirements.