It was introduced progressively across all states and territories in Australia from 2013, and provides support to eligible people with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychosocial disability.
The NDIS Early intervention supports can also be provided for eligible people with disability or children with developmental delay.
It’s the hope of the National Disability Insurance Agency that the scheme gives peace of mind and necessary support to any Australians if they, their child or family member is born with or acquire a permanent disability.
The NDIS operates differently to a welfare system. It’s designed to help people get the support they need so their skills, independence and quality of life improve over time. This is mapped with the creation of a plan specific to each individual that details goals, areas of life that need support, and the way that support needs to be provided.
History of the NDIS
In 2010, the Productivity Commission did a public inquiry into a long-term disability care and support scheme. The resulting report in August 2011 sought to address key problems with the existing system, identified from over 1000 submissions to the Productivity Commission’s report.
With momentum for change gathering speed, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to the need for a reform to disability services through a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in 2011.
Shortly after, it was agreed to lay the foundations for the NDIS by mid-2013. In March 2013 the NDIS legislation was passed and the NDIS Act 2013 was created, along with the Scheme and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
Which brings us to now.
How does it work?
The NDIS can provide all people with disability with information and connections to services in their communities such as GPs, sporting clubs, support groups, libraries and schools, as well as state-based information.
There is an assessment process in order to meet the criteria of NDIS. Everyone who meets the criteria and is eligible for NDIS funding has a unique plan. A plan is a written agreement that has been detailed and worked out with you detailing
- What services you need and how you want them delivered
- Which areas of life need support
- Goals that you’d like to achieve - goalposts to reference back to over time and things to work towards
The NDIA will work with each person to discern areas of life that require support, as well as nutting out a series of goals you’d like to achieve that guides the outcomes providers will help you work toward. Their aim is to create a plan that provides the right type of support for you. After creating a plan, there are plenty of organisations and resources to help you get started. To check out budgeting options and how to use your funding, check out the MyPlace portal. A guide to accessing the site can be found here. Over time you’ll be able to review your plan to make sure the services and supports you receive are working to support your goals.
If you meet the eligibility criteria you can ask to become a participant by completing an Access Request Form.