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NDIS FAQs – What does it mean for me?

We recognise changing to a new way of doing things can be confusing and difficult to navigate. These FAQs are designed to help answer some questions you may have about the NDIS, how it will affect you and the types of help available to you throughout the process of moving to the NDIS.

 

The National Disability Insurance Scheme puts you at the centre of the decision making process about how you want to live your life, your choice of supports and who you would like to deliver your supports.

For the first time in Australia, funding is applied directly to the person with a disability to choose the services they need, rather than funding being directly applied to service providers.

Previously each state and territory has managed disability support themselves, and the system was underfunded, unfair, fragmented, in-efficient and gave people with a disability little choice.

The NDIS is a federally managed and funded safety net, providing a nationally consistent, lifetime commitment to supports for people with a disability in their everyday life

The government has set up an agency – the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) – to implement the NDIS, provide a single pool of funding, and run the planning process.

Support must be ‘reasonable and necessary’ and also:

  • Help you reach your goals and aspirations
  • Develop your capacity to actively take part in the community
  • Foster greater independence
  • Increase your social and economic participation
  • Represent value for money.

This can include things you’d like to access for learning, work, daily living, accommodation, equipment/assistive technology, health, transport and hobbies.

The NDIS has committed to the principle of ‘no disadvantage’ for people with a disability under the new scheme. That means if you were receiving supports before the NDIS you should be able to achieve at least the same outcomes under the NDIS, and will not be disadvantaged. Many people with a disability may be able to access services they never have before.

The NDIS is currently rolling out progressively throughout Australia, starting with a number of trial sites. Roll out will be fully complete across Australia by July 2019.

Please visit ‘your state page’ to see when the Scheme will be delivered in your area.

There are a number of factors which determine whether you are eligible for support under the NDIS when it rolls.

You may be eligible to receive an individual support plan if:

  • you are under 65 years of age
  • you are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, or New Zealand citizen who is a Protected Special Category Visa holder
  • you have a permanent or significant disability that requires help from others to do things, equipment or assistive technology.

Or you need to meet the early intervention requirements:

  • your child is aged under 6 and has a developmental delay and
  • you or your child have a disability that is likely to be permanent or early supports would reduce how much help you or your child need to do things in the future.

For further information on eligibility, please visit the NDIS access checklist.

If you currently receive disability services you will be contacted by the National Disability Insurance Agency before your area transitions.

Once this initial checker determines you are eligible you will need to contact the NDIA and ask for an access request form, which will be mailed to you for completion.  You can do this by calling 1800 800 110 or emailing: nationalaccessteam@ndis.gov.au

If you are not currently receiving disability services you may still be eligible for the NDIS.

For further information on eligibility, please visit the NDIS access checklist.

Once this initial checker determines you are eligible you will need to contact the NDIA and ask for an access request form, which will be mailed to you for completion.  You can do this by calling 1800 800 110 or emailing: nationalaccessteam@ndis.gov.au. 

For other general information about the NDIS you can visit: www.ndis.gov.au

Once you know you are eligible for NDIS support, it’s a good idea to start preparing for your individualised plan.

There are a number of ways we can assist you in preparing for the NDIS – see ‘How can Endeavour Foundation help me prepare for the NDIS?’ below.

If you are already receiving services from us, we will contact you prior to the NDIS roll out in your area to help to prepare for your planning meeting with the NDIA.

  • It’s important you have thought about your current supports, your needs and your goals so you are prepared for your meeting with the NDIA. We have produced a pre-planning booklet, Mapping My World, to make it easy for you to think about the supports, therapy and equipment you need – now and in the future. Please visit our resources page to download your copy.
  • Your NDIS planner will contact you to arrange a meeting to prepare your individualised plan at a time that is convenient to you. During this meeting your planner you’ll talk about what support and services you can access and if you need more information. You can have someone with you to be part of the decision-making if you would like to (see ‘Who can attend the planning meeting with me?’).
  • With a large number of people transitioning to the NDIS at the same time the agency has implemented First Plan, a streamlined planning process that may take place over the phone or in a face-to-face meeting. Planners will initially focus on continuity of existing supports for people entering the Scheme. This allows you adequate time to develop your goals and explore options in preparation for your next plan You decide what works best for you in putting your plan into action and managing funding and service providers that best suit your needs (see ‘How do I manage my funds and supports?‘)
  • You will review your plan with your NDIS planner at agreed review dates, usually about every 12 months. If your circumstances change, you can request a review at any time.

Not directly. The NDIS is a universal insurance scheme paid through tax contributions, like Medicare.

The NDIS is not means tested and does not affect Disability Support Pension payments. The Scheme is designed to work side-by-side with health, education and other universal services.

With a large number of people transitioning to the NDIS at the same time the agency has implemented First Plan, a streamlined planning process. First Plan has been designed to allow rapid simultaneous entry to the Scheme, with planners initially focussing on continuity of existing support for people entering the Scheme. This allows participants adequate time to develop their goals and explore options in preparation for their next plan.

Under First Plan some participants will initially be interviewed by telephone and some will require a face-to-face interview with support. Goals and aspirations can still be discussed at planning meetings, and incorporated into first-year plans, but we suggest participants request this in their planning meetings.

We are committed to partnering with you and, where relevant, your families and carers to ensure you are heard, supported and have the information you need about moving to the NDIS. Ultimately, however, decisions about your life and your plan are yours to make.

There are a number of ways we can assist you:

  • We have produced a pre-planning booklet, Mapping My World, to make it easy for you to think about the supports you want and need – now and in the future – before meeting with your NDIA planner. Please visit our resources page to download your copy. We also have the Discover Guide, an extensive guide to the NDIS, estate planning, guardianship and legal matters.
  • We are able to offer one-on-one pre-planning meetings to our current customers to assist you in preparing for your first meeting with your NDIA planner. We highly recommend this as feedback to date from people already in the scheme suggests preparation is paramount.
  • If you are currently receiving services from us, we can provide you with a statement of current supports, which is important to show your planner to ensure you receive at least your existing level of supports.
  • We are able to support you during your NDIA planning meeting, if you'd like us to. Decisions about your support plan and your NDIS funding package, however remain yours to make with your NDIA planner.
  • We hold regular NDIS Information Forums for people with a disability and those who support them – check our forums page to see when sessions are being held near you.
  • Sign up for our monthly NDIS e-newsletter to get all the latest NDIS news and updates in your region. Also check back to this site often as we'll be updating it regularly.

No. It is important to know that the NDIS will replace other sources of disability funding when your local area transitions to the NDIS. You can remain with your current provider/s if you wish to when you change to the NDIS.

Existing national and state-based services and supports will continue until all eligible people phase into the NDIS.

If you currently receive disability services you will be contacted by the National Disability Insurance Agency before your area transitions.

If you do not currently receive disability funding you may still be eligible to apply to access the scheme when the NDIS becomes available in your area and can contact the NDIS on 1800 800 110.

The participant statement is a statement about the person who the NDIS funding is for and their life. What their life looks like now, and what they would like it to look like, including where they live, what they do during the week, the people who are in their life, work or volunteering.

It will help your Planner develop your plan and it helps build a picture of the person (particularly if they are non-verbal or maybe unable to attend the meeting), so it’s a good idea to think ahead about the things to include.

Many people are being asked for two short term and one long term goal to be included in their ‘First Plan’. For some people one of their short term goals is retaining their current level of supports.

It’s a good idea to think ahead of your meeting about the goals you would like to include; what you’d like to achieve in the next year or two. This can be something simple e.g. ‘learning to do my own washing’, ‘making new friends’ or ‘maintaining my current accommodation’. A longer term goal could be ‘learning to live more independently’ or ‘going on a holiday’ or ‘I’d like to have a job’.

This varies from location to location. Planning meetings can either be conducted by a National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Planner, or through a Local Area Coordinator (LAC). LACs are sometimes NDIA staff and they sometimes work for not for profit organisations on behalf of the NDIA. If it’s an NDIA Planner, they will usually be the ones who develop the plan. If it’s an LCA they usually gather the information for the NDIA Planner who will then finalise it.

Some people are being contacted over the phone for information gathering purposes, and due to the number of people being transitioned across at once onto ‘First Plan’ many people are having their actual planning meetings over the phone.

It’s important to think about the practicalities of having a meeting over the telephone. If multiple people need to participate, say family members, do you have a phone with speakerphone functionality at home? Is the person with a disability for whom the plan is being prepared, able to communicate over the telephone? If you think there may be difficulties having the meeting over the phone, mention it to your planner/LAC when they contact you to organise your planning meeting.

You can take along anyone you choose, whether it be a friend or family. You can also have an Endeavour Foundation member of staff attend with you, if you wish (please notify them once you receive a plan date so they can ensure they are available to attend with you).

Not necessarily. Sometimes people are receiving copies of their plans after they have been finalised following the planning meeting. You can, however, contact your planner after you receive your plan if you’re not happy with it. Make sure you take down your planner’s name and number when you speak with them, so you can contact them directly in future if you need to. There is also a formal review process in place if you are still unsatisfied with the outcome (see below ‘What happens if I’m not happy with my plan or the decisions made?’).

No. While we’ve found that most initial plans (known as ‘first plan’) are for 12 months, we’ve also seen some for 6 months and 2 years.

If you think a decision made by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) about you is wrong, you can submit an application for internal review of a decision. Any person directly affected by a decision of the NDIA can request such a review.

When you are told about an NDIA decision, you will be told how to request an internal review. A request for internal review of a decision must be made within three months of receiving notice of the decision from the NDIA. The staff member who works on the internal review will not have been involved in the earlier decision.

They may want to talk to you directly as part of this process. Please visit the NDIS website here for further information.

This will be covered in your NDIS planning meeting.

Management of your funds is called ‘Plan Management’. Your options for Plan Management are:

  • Manage your funding yourself – the NDIS will provide you with the funding to pay directly to the people and organisations that support you
  • You can nominate a trusted person to manage your funding, called a ‘plan nominee’
  • Use a registered Plan Management provider, such as Endeavour Foundation
  • Ask the NDIA to manage your funding for you.

Plan Management is funded as part of your plan and does not take away from the funding allocated to the person with a disability.

Managing your supports and services is called ‘Support Coordination’.

There are three levels of Support Coordination depending on how complex the support required is. Support Coordination can alleviate some of the day-to-day work of coordinating multiple services and providers and can be funded as part of your plan. Endeavour Foundation is a registered Support Coordination service.

Any unspent funds will be returned to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

The NDIS is designed to provide you with choice. It gives you the option to stay with your current providers (such as Endeavour Foundation) if you wish to, or to change providers if you believe another service or provider will better meet your needs.

We encourage you to select the provider/s that can best support your goals. If that's us, great!

No. NDIS funding replaces the Mobility Allowance, and your transport related supports need to be included in your plan.

When your plan is approved, the NDIA will notify Centrelink and your Mobility Allowance will be cancelled. It is therefore important you include all transport-related supports in your plan.

Your Mobility Allowance will continue until you receive NDIS funding.

We receive a lot of queries about transport and it’s important to understand the options available to you. You can access our Transport FAQ sheet here.

If you are eligible for the NDIS and you have transport funded in your plan, your transport needs will be funded by the NDIA. In Queensland you will no longer be eligible for the Transport Subsidy Scheme (TSS) which covers taxi vouchers currently.

If you are a TSS member and are not eligible to participate in the NDIS, for example, you are 65 years or over, or under 65 with a temporary impairment, you will continue to receive support through the TSS. The NDIS does not replace, or impact, the TSS for you in this case—the TSS will continue in its current form.

You can access our Transport FAQ sheet which covers taxi subsidies here.

People with high care/complex needs or significant functional impairment can require integrated housing and support, known as Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA).

If you are eligible for SDA, this funding will transition with you when you enter the NDIS. The cost of accommodation will be funded in your NDIS plan to cover any disability-related housing costs that are above the ordinary costs of housing, commencing 1 July 2016.

Information on SDA supports, including details on eligibility requirements, the level of support you can receive and the processes for accessing these supports is available on the NDIS site here.

Outside of SDA the NDIS will not fund your accommodation, but there are a number of housing options that are now available. Read our housing options under the NDIS blog.

Once your plan is approved and you receive your funding, all previous funding for your disability supports will be stopped with immediate effect. Therefore, to ensure your existing services continue as per normal, it’s important to let your provider know that your plan has been approved as soon as you receive it. You don’t have to show your provider your plan if you don’t want to.

At this stage, if you are currently receiving an NDIS package and you turn 65, you can either choose to remain in the NDIS under ‘continuity of support’ rules, or you can transition to the aged care system.

If you are over 65 at the time your area rolls out the NDIS, you will transition into the aged care system.

We understand that no one provider is the expert in everything. Where you receive services from a range of providers we are committed to partnering and collaborating with other providers to offer you a whole-of-life spectrum of supports.

Our established relationships with other providers can remove some of the frustrations in the coordination and delivery of quality supports.

Call Endeavour Foundation’s dedicated NDIS team on 1800 112 112 or email here.

Or visit: www.ndis.gov.au.

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Last Updated: 21/06/2016



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