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NDIS for SCI

What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (or NDIS for short) is a new way of providing support for Australians with a disability. It aims to help people with a disability achieve their goals and improve their quality of life by funding the necessary supports and services.

Under the NDIS, new annual funding packages will be provided directly to participants, allowing them more choice and control over their future.

Different levels of funding are dependent upon the amount of support that someone needs in order to meet their needs and achieve their goals; this is assessed at a planning meeting which takes place after you have been accepted into the NDIS.

What is the NDIA?

The NDIA is the National Disability Insurance Agency. They are the independent statutory agency whose job is to implement the NDIS throughout Australia.

"The NDIS is a new scheme which funds supports for people with a disability to achieve their individual goals."


"Almost everyone with a Spinal Cord Injury under the age of 65 is eligible"

Am I Eligible?

To be eligible for the NDIS, you need to have a condition or impairment that will affect you permanently and stop you from doing everyday things by yourself. Your are eligible for the NDIS if you need support or assistive equipment so you can:

  • Get out bed and move around the home,
  • Take a bath or shower, dress and eat,
  • Do daily jobs, handle money and make decisions,
  • Pursue, studies, gain and maintain employment,
  • Make and keep friends.

In short, this means that almost everyone with a Spinal Cord injury (SCI) under the age of 65 is eligible for funding from the NDIS. For more information about eligibility, check the NDIS Access Checklist.

When will it be available in my area?

The NDIS commenced rollout in Victoria on the 1st of July 2016 and is being introduced in stages across the country. To see when the NDIS is available in your area, go to this link and click on your state.

 


What does the NDIS Fund?

The NDIS will fund all necessary and reasonable supports to help you increase your independence, achieve your goals and participate in the community.

Supports and services the NDIS may fund include:

  • Daily personal care and activities.
  • Mobility and transport
  • Help in the workplace and with household tasks,
  • Aids and equipment, home and vehicle modification,
  • Health and wellbeing activities and therapeutic supports.
  • Skills and capacity building for economic and social participation
  • Access to community services and supports.
  • Provisions that maintain informal support arrangements.

Will the finding impact any of my other payments?

Funding given by the NDIS will not impact the Disability Support Pension as it is not means tested.

Other income supports such as Carer Payment, Carer Supplement, Carer Allowance and the Child Disability Assistance Payment are also separate from the NDIS.

What doesn’t the NDIS fund?

The NDIS will not fund supports that are unrelated to your disability, pose a risk to yourself or others, duplicate supports provided elsewhere or act as a substitute income.

Medical and clinical services are covered by Medicare.

"The NDIS will fund all reasonable and necessary supports to help you achieve your goals to increase your independence and participate in the community"


What is the process for me?

The process for joining the NDIS will differ depending on the level and type of compensation that you receive.

If I receive DHS funding

If you receive DHS funding or have an Individual Support Package (ISP) and live in an area that has already rolled out, your contact details should be automatically sent to the NDIA. The National Access Team will make first contact with you; they will inform you when they have sent out the paper work. Once this paperwork is completed and sent back, the NDIA will then contact you by phone in order to set up a time to do a first plan
If you are 64 years old and are worried about missing the age cut-off for the NDIS, the best thing to do is to contact NDIA, and ask for an Access Request Form (ARF). This may be necessary to ensure that you gain access to the NDIS funding and benefits before you turn 65 and might be considered no longer eligible.

If you are receiving DHHS funding and are over 65, you are ineligible for the NDIS. However the DHS funding agreement should continue to support you.

If I am receiving TAC or WorkCover funding

If you receive funding via TAC or WorkCover, current information tells us that the NDIS scheme should not change the arrangements for Victorians severely injured in transport accidents. Compensation for transport accidents should remain the responsibility of the TAC

If I am not receiving any Compensation

If you have no compensation or are on the Disability Support Register, then you need to be the first to contact the NDIA. You can call them on 1800 800 110 (Australia only). You will need to get an Access Request Form (ARF), and they should send one out. Next, you should fill out the ARF and send it back to the NDIA. They will let you know when you have been accepted.
How long the NDIA will take to get back to you and set up a meeting will vary for each person. The NDIA aren’t even sure at the moment. Right now the system is overworked and has just gotten up and running. They say it should be a few weeks, but could be longer.

If I am newly injured

If you are newly injured, the first thing you should do is find out if you are going to be compensated or not, it makes a huge difference in what your role is going to be during this process. If you are compensated by TAC, WorkCover, then you should receive funding through them. Compensation should remain the responsibility of either WorkCover or the TAC.
If you are not compensated, then you will have to contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110 and get an Access Request Form (ARF). Next, you should fill out the ARF and send it back to the NDIA. They will let you know when you have been accepted.


How long the NDIA will take to get back to you and set up a meeting will vary for each person. The NDIA aren’t even sure at the moment. Right now the system is overworked and has just gotten up and running. They say it should be a few weeks, but could be longer.

If you are unsure about what method you should follow to get in contact with the NDIA and start the process, you can always call them and ask them, they are there to help!

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