THE key to managing the transition to the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is planning.
As a person with disability, the best way to make the most of the NDIS is to know what you want from it and how the insurance scheme can best provide that.
At full roll out in 2019, it is expected the NDIS will support 460,000 Australians with a disability.
Ryan Quarmby, regional manager disability services with service provider LiveBetter, said pre-planning prior to signing on with the scheme was vital.
“It is important that people do think about what support they’re currently receiving and what they’ll need in the future,” Mr Quarmby said.
“They need to think about the impact of their disability on their day-to-day lives, the goals they want to achieve and what support they’ll need to achieve those goals.
“They need to look holistically at their needs - things like day-to-day living, transport, employment, education.”
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Most people that had been receiving disability support should have received notification by now that they are eligible for the NDIS. This would have included arranging a planning session through a local area co-ordinator - which is Intereach in the MIA.
Ongoing plan management is done by the National Disability Insurance Agency, a nominated manager or people can self manage.
LiveBetter can provide help for people who want pre-planning support.
“People might want to look at where they live, their circle of support, what their week looks like and what they want assistance with,” Mr Quarmby said.
“Take some time to write some goals and bring along any supporting documents they might have.
“For us at LiveBetter Community Services, because we’re regionally based, we understand regional areas have unique needs and can offer all types of disability support across the Murrumbidgee.”
LiveBetter has offices in Griffith, Wagga and Albury with some staff based in smaller communities. They can be contacted on 1800 580 580.
“I would encourage people to contact us or other disability service providers,” Mr Quarmby said.
“We’ve certainly been preparing for it for a number of years. The last 18 months we’ve been out there trying to get people ready.
“We’ve had a number of information sessions around NSW and we’ve had good attendance at those.
“We’ve seen a bigger increase in (interest) the last six months, as we’ve drawn closer to the date.
“We’re still getting a lot of people contacting us saying ‘now it’s here what do I do?’.
“Because we’ve got that experience and knowledge, it’s certainly important for people to make that contact.”
What is the NDIS?
NDIS stands for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and it is operated by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
At its core, the NDIS is a healthcare program created by the federal government for the benefit of people who have a permanent disability.
That disability may be from an injury or something the person was born with.
Its main purpose is to provide funding for the specific levels of support that an affected individual needs to be a part of society, from social activities to entering (or re-entering) the workforce.
Having been rolled out across the nation after first being trialled, the NDIA anticipates that “the NDIS will provide about 460,000 Australians under the age of 65 with a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to live an ordinary life.”
However, not every disabled person is eligible. Participants must:
- Have a permanent disability that significantly affects their ability to take part in everyday activities
- Be aged less than 65 when they first enter the NDIS
- Be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent visa or a Protected Special Category visa, and
- Live in Australia where the NDIS is available
For more information visit ndis.nsw.gov.au.