Who Is Eligible For NDIS Funding + How Do You Apply?
Written by: Canny Plan Management
There is a lot to consider before you apply for NDIS Funding, and you probably have questions before you start! Let’s break down what you need to know when it comes to applying to be a participant on the National Disability Insurance Scheme…
Like most Australian government funding schemes, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was set up to assist a specific cohort – people with permanent and significant disability. The premise of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is to assist NDIS Participants on the scheme itself by funding supports that will help their daily life to gain greater independence, develop new skills and also access opportunities they might not otherwise be able to.
To be eligible for NDIS Funding, the disease or medical condition must cause permanent impairment such as physical, intellectual, cognitive, visual, hearing, or psychosocial resulting in significant disability.
You might have some periods in your life where there is a smaller impact on your daily life, because your impairment may be episodic or fluctuate in intensity. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will check if your impairment is permanent. You may not be eligible for NDIS Funding if your impairment is temporary, still being treated or if there are remaining treatment options.
Eligibility for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Eligibility for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is based around residency, age and type of disability.
In the first instance, applications are considered if:
- You are an Australia Citizen, live in Australia and hold a permanent Visa or Protected Special Category Visa; and
- You are aged under 65 when you first access the Scheme; and
- You have a permanent disability that significantly affects your ability to be involved in everyday activities.
In addition to the three main eligibility criteria, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will also consider your application if you use special equipment because of your permanent and significant disability, and you need supports now to reduce support needs in the future.
An NDIS Participant’s funding is based on their personal circumstances so not everyone will receive the same amount of funding. NDIS Funds are allocated to be spent on specific supports and services in accordance with the NDIS Participant’s funded disability and NDIS Plan goals. These needs and goals are identified and discussed at a planning meeting with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
How Do You Apply For NDIS Funding?
The process for applying for NDIS Funding can be broken down into four main steps;
- Eligibility – the first step to take when applying for NDIS Funding is to confirm your eligibility. You can do this by visiting the National Disability Insurance Scheme Website http://www.ndis.gov.au or phoning the NDIS directly on 1800 800 110.
- Access Request – once you have checked your eligibility, the next step is to make an “Access Request” either over the phone to the NDIS or via the Access Request Form found on the National Disability Insurance Scheme website. The access request involves you answering questions about yourself and your disability. Your doctor and other allied health professionals may need to provide evidence about your disability and its impact on your life.
- Planning Meeting – if your application is successful, the next step is the planning meeting. You will meet with a National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Planner or Local Area Coordinator (LAC), who will ask similar questions in relation to your disability. You may also be asked about supports that you are currently receiving, either from service providers, the community and or your friends and family. The planning meeting establishes your short and long-term goals as well as how to manage your NDIS funds.
- NDIS Plan – after your planning meeting, you will receive your approved NDIS Plan, either by mail to your address or on your My Place Portal.
What Supports Does The NDIS Fund?
- Daily personal activities;
- Therapeutic supports;
- Mobility Equipment;
- Transport; and
- Home modifications.
This list is not exhaustive, think of it as giving you ideas on what can be funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
What Supports Does The NDIS Not Fund?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme will not fund supports that are not:
- Reasonable and necessary in relation to your funded disability and goals in your plan;
- The responsibility of another government system;
- Things that are not related to your funded disability; and
- Related to your day-to-day living costs such as groceries, rent or utilities.
The National Disability Insurance Agency exists to supply services that other government departments do not. When you have a disability, it can be tricky to know who you need to go through to get funding and support. The NDIS works alongside many other government services such as the healthcare system, the education system as well as Centrelink to support Australians.
Heath System – the National Disability Insurance Scheme does not fund supports which are considered to be the responsibility of the health system, such as medical care and treatments, hospital costs, GP or specialists costs, medication, diagnostic assessments or gap fees. That said, there are always grey areas therefore it is best to always talk to someone about your own personal situation and needs.
Education System – you cannot claim schooling, TAFE, University or course fees, textbooks, or other curriculum-based items under NDIS Funds, however, if you require additional supports to attend to complete your studies, the National Disability Insurance Scheme may fund these.
Centrelink – will your NDIS Funding affect your Centrelink payments? The answer is no, the NDIS is not a means-tested scheme. Your NDIS Funds will not affect your Centrelink payments. Any funding from the National Disability Insurance Scheme is not considered income and therefore exempt from tax.
Day-To-Day Living Costs – most general day-to-day living costs such as groceries, bills, event tickets, activity costs and general expenses are not covered by the NDIS as generally, everyone is expected to pay for these themselves. If someone without a disability would buy something from their personal money, chances are that it is not going to be funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Next, An NDIS Plan Management Team?
If your NDIS Plan has Plan Managed funds, all or some, you will need to engage an NDIS Plan Manager.
NDIS Plan Managers are an independent third party who assist you in managing your NDIS Funds. An NDIS Plan Manager does the administrative side of things by receiving and paying your NDIS Support invoices, monitoring, and tracking your funding and providing you with information to help you comply with the rules of the National Disability Insurance Scheme– and there are plenty of rules and grey areas.
Here at Canny Plan Management, we do all that and more. NDIS Plan Management is the only NDIS services provided by Canny Plan Management so there is no conflict of interest with any NDIS Supports. We work for our clients and like to see ourselves as part of their support network.
Get in touch with our team today to see if we can assist in your NDIS Plan Management.