What is the NDIS?
NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is a program implemented by NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency), an independent statutory agency. The NDIS is designed to provide participants with the support they need to live with their significant and permanent disabilities. This support can assist participants in becoming more independent and working towards their goals and connecting with disability services in their community.
The NDIS supports in excess of 500,000 Australians. The NDIS also serves approximately 80,000 children with developmental delays, ensuring they receive the right support early on to achieve the best possible outcomes for the rest of their lives.
What does NDIS fund?
The NDIS funds a range of supports and services to help pursue your plan goals. Support or service needs to be considered reasonable and necessary to receive funding. There are 15 categories into which these supports fall:
- Assistance with Daily Life
- Transport Funding (Private and Public Transport)
- Assistance with Social & Community Participation
- Assistive Technology
- Home Modifications
- Coordination of Supports
- Improved Living Arrangements
- Increased Social and Community Participation
- Finding and Keeping a Job
- Improved Relationships
- Improved Health and Wellbeing
- Improved Learning
- Improved Life Choices
- Improved Daily Living
The main types of support that may be eligible for NDIS funding under those 15 categories for NDIS participants are:
- Daily personal activities
- Transport, including public transport to enable participation in daily life activities, including community activities, social and economic
- Providing workplace assistance to help participants obtain or retain employment
- Therapeutic support
- Support with household tasks to entitle the participant to maintain their at-home environment
- Support with home or vehicle modification
- Mobility equipment
- Supporting a participant via skilled personnel in aids or equipment assessment
The NDIS provides NDIS participants with different support budgets depending on how the funding is expected to be spent. There are three main support budgets: the core budget, capacity-building supports, and capital supports the budget.
Am I eligible for NDIS?
To become an NDIS participant, you must meet four types of NDIS funding criteria that determine if you are eligible. Eligible people must meet the following:
- Age: You must be between 7 and 65.
- Location and Residency: You must live in Australia and be a citizen, a permanent resident or a Protected Special Category Visa
- Disability: You must have a permanent and serious disability requiring support from disability services.
- Early Intervention: You require support to prevent your condition from worsening or eliminate the need for more involved support in the future.
If you meet the above NDIS funding criteria, then you can continue your application. However, the NDIS will suggest other government services if you are not eligible.
How do I apply for NDIS?
The NDIS provides several ways to apply for NDIS funding, both over the phone, via email, or via mail. To apply, you must complete an Access Request Form (ARF) and provide supporting evidence via a Supporting Evidence Form (SEF). Applicants can download the ARF from the NDIS website.
To make the process easier and help provide the necessary information, applicants are encouraged to work alongside medical professionals such as a GP. Once an applicant has gathered the necessary information, they can make an application to NDIS. There are five main ways to apply for NDIS funding if you meet the NDIS funding criteria; these include:
- Calling NDIS directly to make an application over the phone.
- Downloading the ARF and sending it to NDIS via email.
- Downloading the ARF, printing it, and sending it to NDIS via mail.
- Requesting a copy of the ARF to be mailed to you.
- Contact your local NDIS professional to request an ARF.
What documents do I need to apply for NDIS?
You will need three categories of documents to apply for the NDIS funding scheme. This includes application forms, proof of identity documents, and proof of disability documents. The proof of identity documents must prove your age and your residency.
You will not need to provide proof of identity documents if you apply with a Centrelink account. Instead, the NDIA can use your existing Centrelink account information to prove your identity.
The application forms you will need to complete and sign include the following:
- The Access Request Form (ARF)
- The Supporting Evidence Form (SEF)
The proof of identity documents required to prove your age include:
- A Birth Certificate
- A Passport (Specifically the Biodata page)
- A Driver’s Licence
- State Issues Proof of Age Card
The proof of identity documents required to prove residency include:
- Birth Certificate
- Citizenship Certificate of Proof of Naturalisation
- Proof of your permanent visa, i.e. a stamp in a foreign passport.
To prove that you have a current permanent and serious disability, a health professional will need to sign Section 2 of the ARF. In addition, you must provide written evidence from a specialist who deals with your particular disability, using ‘best practice’ evidence.
How long does NDIS funding approval take?
The NDIS takes approximately 56 days to approve a plan if you are over seven years old and 90 days if you are under seven years old. The NDIS adheres to strict timelines for achieving applicant outcomes in accordance with its Participant Service Guarantee. The NDIA must approve plans, review plans, and change nominees within the timeframes set out by that Participant Service Guarantee.
Every quarter, the NDIA will report on their effectiveness in maintaining these applicant approval times. Currently, they are sitting at 99% adherence, meaning that it is highly likely that your application will take less than or up to 56 or 90 days, depending on your age. You will receive a letter from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) when you are approved as an NDIS participant. After this, a planning meeting will be organised usually between 2 to 4 weeks after you have been notified of your approval. This planning meeting will help decide what will be included in your NDIS plan. Once approved, you will receive your support budgets in line with your disability support needs.
Ways to manage your NDIS funds
There are 3 ways you can choose to manage your NDIS funds: self-managed, plan managed or agency-managed. You can choose one or a combination of all three.
How can MyIntegra help?
Once you’ve been approved for an NDIS plan, we encourage you to reach out to us here at MyIntegra for further support. Reaching out to MyIntegra means you will always have somebody in your court.
MyIntegra is a registered provider of NDIS plan management and NDIS support coordination services. Our Plan Management service can help you manage funding in your NDIS plan, pay your providers and provide tracking and reporting on usage and our Support Coordination service can help you find and organise the best supports for your needs.
We strive to ensure that everyone stays connected and informed, our clients fully utilise their plans, and our partners are always up-to-date. It is no secret that accessing the NDIS is often tricky, isolating, and confusing for many people, whether for themselves or their loved ones. Based on our own experience, we can offer NDIS participants guidance and support during this challenging time — ensuring you are getting the best possible results for your needs. Everybody is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all NDIS solution. That’s why we put your needs first. With MyIntegra’s personalised guidance and local support, you will be empowered to get the most out of your NDIS plan.
Call our friendly team on 1800 696 347 if you’d like to learn more about how MyIntegra can help you have a better NDIS experience.