Ultimate Guide To NDIS + NDIS Plan Management

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Ultimate Guide To NDIS + NDIS Plan Management

Written by: Edwina Wilkens l Marketing + Business Development Manager for Canny Plan Management


By definition of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS);

Total or partial loss of a person’s bodily or mental functions (The Disability Act 1992).  It describes the impairment of a person’s body or function, a limitation in activities or a restriction in participation when interacting with their environment.

Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes.  It may be hidden or it may be visible, it might be permanent or it might just be temporary and it also may have either substantial or minimal impacts on a person’s ability to get through day to day tasks that people without a disability can do with ease.

There are many different kinds of disabilities and they can be a result of many different things such as illness or genetic disorders.  A disability may affect your mobility, your ability to learn things and also your ability to communicate easily and some people often have more than just one disability.

What would you do, or want the ones closest to you, to do if you found yourself living with a disability?  You would seek help.  You would go above and beyond to ensure that their days were filled with the things that they loved doing from sunrise to sunset.  Living with a disability doesn’t have to change your involvement with your local netball team or enjoying doing activities that you have previously done and been involved in.  This is where the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can help.  Better yet, if you’re paired with an amazing NDIS Plan Management team, like Canny Plan Management we can help to make your time with the NDIS as easy and as simple as possible.

National Disability Insurance Scheme + National Disability Insurance Agency… In A Nutshell

Did you know that approximately 17.12% of Australians have a disability?  Australia’s population sits at 25,694,393 as of 31st December 2020 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics and there are about 4.4 million Australian people who have a disability.  The prevalence of disability generally increases with age and more than doubles between the ages of 65 and 85-year-old Australians.

It is thanks to a woman that Australia introduced the National Disability Insurance Scheme to law.  As Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard championed the Bill and its passage through parliament to become legislation.  The National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth) was a game-changer.

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).  The NDIS began on 1 July 2013 with trial sites across Australia, with Geelong being one of the first of these sites.  The trial period finished in July 2016 and the full Scheme began rolling out across Australia, with the ACT being the first state or territory to complete the rollout.

NDIS Budgets, funds, participants are great BUT What Is the NDIS?

The NDIS takes a lifetime approach, investing early in people with disabilities and children with developmental delay to improve their outcomes later in life.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a relatively new scheme funded by the Australian government.  It provides funding and support to Australians (as well as their families and the carers of) under the age of 65 years olds, living with ‘permanent and significant’ disabilities, to access any ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports that are directly associated with their disability in order to help the NDIS Participant in their daily life and working towards achieving their life goals.

NDIS stands for National Disability Insurance Scheme, meaning;

National: the NDIS is being introduced progressively across all states and territories.

Disability: the NDIS provides support to eligible people with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychosocial disabilities.  Early intervention supports can also be provided for eligible people with disability or children with developmental delays.

Insurance: the NDIS gives all Australians peace of mind if they, their child or loved one is born with or acquires a permanent and significant disability, they will get the support they need.

Scheme: the NDIS is not a welfare system.  The NDIS is designed to help people get the support they need so that their skills and independence improve over time.

The primary objectives of the National Disability Insurance Scheme include assisting its NDIS Participants in accessing many mainstream services such as health, housing and education as well as accessing community services including sporting clubs and libraries and in maintaining informal supports (family and friends).  It is important to understand that, unlike Medicare, the PBS and other income support payments that are offered by the Australian government, the NDIS is not means-tested and to become a participant of the NDIS is purely based on the participant and their disability.

NDIS Management + How Does The NDIS Work?

How the National Disability Insurance Scheme words can be broken down into five simple steps!

5 Steps to Apply to Becoming an NDIS Participant

  • Step One: Am I Eligible?

The first step in accessing the National Disability Insurance Scheme is to find out and check if you are eligible to apply.  Sounds pretty simple, and it can be.  The NDIS has a quick and painless ‘Eligibility Checklist‘ that has five questions on it to give you an idea if you may be eligible for funding.  Questions that are easy to understand and easy to answer, for example: Do you live in Australia and have Australian residency?  Are you aged between 7 and 65?

Your age, residency and whether you meet the requirements for disability or early intervention support all contribute to your eligibility to become an NDIS Participant.

  • Step Two: Applying for NDIS

If you meet the eligibility criteria you can then ask to become an NDIS Participant by completing an Access Request Form and there are a couple of options on how to do this.

You can call the NDIS directly on 1800 800 110 and ask to make an ‘Access Request’ or you can download the Access Request Form directly from their website.  There are some things that you may need to include such as evidence of your disability when you apply – evidence such as information on what your disability is, the length of time that it is expected your disability will last and also information on how it impacts on your life.

There is plenty of information that the NDIS website outlines regarding the type of evidence you may need or will be asked to provide.

  • Step Three: Your ‘Access Decision”

The NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) will decide whether or not you are eligible for the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) and they will contact you by sending a letter to tell you of their decision.

If you are eligible, you will be asked to attend a planning meeting to talk about the supports as well as the funding that you will need to help you.  If you’re not eligible, you will still receive information and help from an LAC (Local Area Coordinator) or depending on your age an ECEI (Early Childhood Early Intervention Coordinator).  They will be able to help and assist you in connecting with supports and services within your local community.

  • Step Four: Creating Your NDIS Plan

Your NDIS Plan is a written agreement that is worked out with you, for you.  Everyone that is receiving NDIS funding will receive a different plan.  It’s important to go into your planning meeting as prepared as possible so that you can be as specific as possible.  Take some time to think about and consider what and how much immediate support you need, as well as your long-term and short-term goals that you want to achieve through your NDIS Plan.

The NDIS will ask questions about how you are going in the different areas of your life, the goals which you would like to pursue as well as what kind of help and support you will need.  These questions and the answers that you give, help the NDIS to develop a plan that provides you, the NDIS Participant, the right support/s.

Your planning meeting is the best time to note the way in which you want your NDIS Plan funding to be managed and if you would like extra help from a Support Coordinator.  Having your NDIS Plan Managed by a registered NDIS Plan Management Team, like Canny Plan Management, has many benefits which you can check out here!

  • Step Five: Using Your Plan

Once you have your approved plan, you can start to use your plan to help move towards achieving your goals!  Depending on your plan, you can get help from your ECEI (Early Childhood Early Intervention Coordinator), LAC (Local Area Coordinator) or, if you have one, your Support Coordinator to get started.

You also need to understand what’s included in your NDIS Plan, the management of the different budget types that have been approved within your plan and most importantly, how you can make your plan work for you.

Looking to Choose A Plan Manager… Look for Canny Plan Management!

Canny Plan Management isn’t just here to pay the invoices.  Yes, it’s what we do but we are so much more than that, we become part of your support network.  We work with you to make sure that you understand your NDIS Plan, how we are going to manage your budgets as well as what’s included and can be used in those budgets.  We help you by working out your budget, based on the approved funding to make sure that your goals are clearly outlined and aligned with the supports that you want and need.

We are here to help you every step of the way!  Get in touch with our team today to have a chat and find out why we love to take the extra time to get to know you and work out together how we can help you reach and achieve your goals.

Picture of Edwina Wilkens, Marketing and Business Development Manager in the centre of the picture with her hands on her hips leaning forward and smiling wearing a striped purple and yellow shirt

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