After the National Disability Insurance Scheme was legislated back in 2013, there was much excitement. Administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency, the idea was to help those between the ages of 7 and 65 with financial support when a significant or permanent disability was present. Initially, the wording suggested support for everything that was ‘reasonable and necessary.’
Now, seven years later, the scheme is operational, which means support for those who need it. Essentially, the support is split between three different areas:
Capacity Building – This is designed to build the independence of the individual with a disability. When done correctly, the support will allow the individual to manage their own life.
Core Supports – Here, the support is to cover the core costs, including personal care assistance, continence aids, transport, and even social and community participation.
Capital Supports – Finally, this third of the budget is for assistive technology, vehicle modifications, and home alterations.
Across the first year of service, it’s thought that around 1,500 children in South Australia with disabilities received much-needed support. Additionally, the coverage extended to 3,000 in Newcastle, 800 young people in Tasmania, and 4,000 people in Barwon, Victoria.
Over the years, funding for the program has been a topic that has caused much debate. In 2012, New South Wales became the first state to commit to funding being split between state and federal governments. Over time, more areas have agreed to deals and funding arrangements to ensure the rollout of the program across Australia and the surrounding territories.
Applying for NDIS Support
While there have been issues to overcome, the program seems to be finding its feet. With this, we want to provide some advice for those looking to apply for NDIS support. Firstly, are you or a loved one eligible?
Before applying, go through the NDIS checklist and ensure that you’re eligible. Firstly, you need to be aged between 7 and 65. If your child is younger, look at the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) support. There are special programs set up for younger children, so don’t think you’re alone. Likewise, there’s support available for anybody over 65.
Secondly, you need to currently live in Australia as an Australian citizen. Don’t worry; there are exceptions for people with a Special or Permanent Category Visa. If you’re a Protected Special Category Visa holder, for example, you will have access to the scheme.
After this, the NDIS ask three questions to ensure your eligibility:
- Do you rely on somebody for support due to a significant and permanent disability?
- Does your significant and permanent disability require special equipment?
- Will support now reduce your future needs?
Depending on the answer to these three questions, you may be entitled to support. Whether you’re a parent reading this for a child or an adult with a disability, this can be a massive sense of relief. While dealing with the application process, don’t forget that there are services that will help manage your NDIS account. With Kukoon (kukoon.com.au/) and many other fantastic services, they are NDIS plan management providers. This means they can manage your account, sort reimbursements, pay bills, etc
While some choose to manage their own plan or allow the NDIS to control it, we believe in selecting a registered plan management provider. With experience and know-how, they will keep your needs at the forefront of all thinking. Whenever you have a problem or question, you also have a point of contact with somebody who is always on your side.