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January 26, 2022

NDIS – are you eligible?

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Sam McIntosh enjoys a game of basketball. Photo supplied NDIS.
Sam McIntosh enjoys a game of basketball. Photo supplied NDIS.

Finding out about the national disability insurance scheme (NDIS) is important for anyone who has a disability. At a recent session held in Ballina by the service provider FSG there was almost a palpable sense of hope. Could it be that each and every person with a disability wouldn’t have to fight tooth and nail to gain even the smallest amount of support for themselves, their children, their parents or their siblings?

Experience has dictated that endless proofs, statements and assessments have been required to get the most basic of support. NDIS appears to have turned that on its head with the approach being more centered on the individual, their needs and how they can be best met.

What do you need to live an ordinary life? This can include both formal and informal support. NDIS is about giving people with a disability choice and control to live a life with reasonable and necessary support.

Reasonable and necessary

To receive NDIS funding a person must be under 65 and have ‘a permanent and significant disability,’ according to the NDIS website.

‘Reasonable and necessary supports help people with disability achieve their goals, including independence, community involvement, employment and wellbeing. Supports may include personal care and support, access to the community, therapy services and essential equipment.‘

If you are already part of disability services or ADHC you will roll over into the scheme. Even so it is a good idea to call the NDIS information line to see how the new structure can work for you. There may be alternative services or greater funding to meet your needs.

The key to receiving services are that they have to be reasonable and necessary. If you have a mild disability but can function, have friends and interact with the community then you probably won’t get much. ‘If your disability is the barrier to accessing the community or achieving your goals, that is something they can help you with,’ said  Christine Tabone, Senior Manager at FSG.

Funding

NDIS provides funding according to three categories: 1. Core 2. Capacity 3. Capital.

NDIS won’t pay for anything that is not directly related to your disability and they won’t fund it if it is going to create a risk.

Core funding relates to those services needed to help you live as close to an ordinary life as possible.

It is important to put all those things that help you live your life into your core support and to pre-plan what is in your core support funding allocation. Pre-planning booklets are available to assist in getting ready for your planning conversation. Getting ready for your planning conversation is available at www.ndis.gov.au.

Capacity building is about providing the skills that can lead to greater independence such as learning how to cook. Anything that will further independence and quality of life could be included such as art, guitar lessons, gym membership etc. You would be granted an amount specifically for that activity.

Linda enjoying a stroll. Photo supplied NDIS
Linda enjoying a stroll. Photo supplied NDIS

Capital funding is about the things you need from remodelled bathrooms to wheelchairs. Where equipment needs to be purchased or environments need to be moulded to best suit you.

Ask for support coordination to ensure that you set up a program and access services that you need effectively. This can be set up under capacity building funding.

Children

Young children who have a disability need to access their service through an early intervention partner or childhood professional. If a child is delayed in one area by 12 months or 2 areas by six months then you can have an NDIS plan. It is about setting up children to achieve positive and effective outcomes through speech therapy, physio etc. ‘It is about investing more now in an intensive way so that less support is required later. It is about what is best for the child and family to get the best out of life,’ said Tabone.

Find out more

NDIS are asking people who consider themselves to have a permanent and significant disability to contact them. If you are unsure, call and find out on 1800 800 110, go to the website www.ndis.gov.au or contact dreamweavers at FSG for assistance with pre-planning, any enquiry or information about future sessions on the NDIS on 0266184971.

‘If your disability is the barrier to accessing the community, that is something they can help you with,’ said Tabone. ‘Think about what support you need to access and engage in an everyday life.’

Like all government services there is a long wait to get through to an operator with people waiting 40 minutes or more just like cerntrelink. There have been high satisfaction levels from callers and if you get someone who isn’t helpful you can hang up and try again – like any service there will those who are better than others.

The Northern NSW district NDIS will be available from 1 July and you can now call NDIS to register in this area. If you are approaching 65 and turn 65 on or after 1 July then you need to be registered with NDIS before the 1 July.

For more information the NDIS are hosting an hour long webinar on Tuesday 28 February at 2.00pm about developing and starting your first plan. To access the session you need to register at https://ndis.gov.au or contact FSG Australia  on 0266184971.


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