Unlocking the Potential: A Guide to NDIS Benefits and Support

what is NDIS?

The National Disability Scheme (NDIS) is a government-run program designed to provide financial assistance to people with permanent disabilities. Its goal is to support individuals with unique needs and to help their families and caregivers access necessary services within their community. These services are intended to improve eligible individuals’ health and social well-being by providing more time with friends and family, access to new skills and job opportunities, greater independence, more time with friends and family, and improved quality of life. The most recent data reveals that over 645,000 people are accessing the scheme, with 15,000 children receiving support during early childhood(1). 

There are certain criteria that assess eligibility for the NDIS. The basic three you must meet to apply include:  

  • Aged 9 – 65 years old   
  • Living in Australia and having Australian citizenship or residency   
  • Meet disability requirements   

Click Here to review this eligibility checker if you are unsure  

The NDIS assess disability based on how it impacts an individual’s daily activities and the permanence of the impairment. Individuals should need assistance with daily tasks or activities, as the NDIS aims to enhance independence and quality of life. The impairment must be considered lifelong, thus requiring continuous support.   

How to apply

If you think you are eligible for NDIS funding: 

  • Contact your local NDIS Office or partner, or call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 to be supported with your application. 
  • The NDIS will assist you with determining your eligibility and the kind of evidence that you will need to provide.  
  • Complete the NDIS Access Request Form and mail it (PO Box 700, Canberra, ACT 2601) or email it to enquiries@ndis.gov.au along with any supporting evidence. 
  • Part of this form is required to be completed by your Treating Health Professional. 

What happens next

Accepted requests are reviewed by either an NDIS-supported planner, an Early Childhood Early Intervention Coordinator, or a Local Area Coordinator. 

The key principles of NDIS are choice and control, which means individuals can decide where they want support and what services they may need. For example, your plan may outline future goals and the support you require to achieve them. Goals can be unique to the individual, such as finding a job or attending university(2).   

During the meeting, your planner will ask about your current community or health supports, day-to-day activities, how you generally manage, and your future goals. It’s often helpful to discuss your answers with a family member or friend before your appointment. 

managing your NDIS account

There are a couple of options when deciding how to manage your account. You can choose one of the following:   

  • self-managed: participants manage their plans themselves 
  • use a registered plan manager 
  • have the NDIA manage the plan 
  • a combination of the above 

self-managed

You control self-managed funds, granting you greater flexibility in choosing support to meet your goals. If you need medical supplies from Livingstone, you can personally select and purchase them, then seek reimbursement from NDIS.

Plan Managed

A plan manager will help you monitor your funds and provide financial reporting. They assist you in making purchases and choosing services that are in line with your plans and goals. Suppose a Plan Manager is funded in your NDIS Plan. In that case, Livingstone can arrange to bill the Plan Manager directly once we have received a completed Biller Authorisation Form from the Plan Management Agency.  

provider managed

Provider management is when a provider supports you to manage funding in your NDIS plan. Livingstone is a registered NDIS provider that can claim payment via the portal directly.  

NDIS Plan Reviews

Plans are reviewed or reassessed every 12 months. This allows participants the opportunity to reflect on their progress and set new goals to increase skills and independence. A plan review is conducted with your plan manager. It is often beneficial for your allied health provider to write a progress report, detailing your progress and outcomes achieved, as well as any further goals. 


References:

(1) NDIS, New South Whales, https://www.ndis.gov.au/understanding/ndis-each-state/new-south-wales

(2)Independence Australia, NDIS 101, https://www.independenceaustralia.com.au/ndis/how-does-the-ndis-work/?gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjw6auyBhDzARIsALIo6v9lSO9BnW3vaomrfN4xL1GSNULDpKQgPwcZJpUawDdW–st6ruUVkEaAtCGEALw_wcB

Leap In, NDIS NSW, https://www.leapin.com.au/ndis/new-to-the-ndis-start-here/?gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjw6auyBhDzARIsALIo6v9XQWUU2ZJNzMCBm0P9gPgR_fC1-nPUuB-6pOFij5vS-O2065zXWOQaAlusEALw_wcB