What is the NDIS?

If you’re a person with disability, then you’ve probably heard of the NDIS. In this article we explain what the NDIS is, so that you can find out if you’re eligible and discover how to access the support you need.


What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) aims to support people with disability by providing funding and creating support packages that suit their individual needs. It’s implemented and overseen by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) – a Commonwealth government agency – and the funding comes from the Commonwealth and the Australian states and territories.

The NDIS is a relatively new way of delivering funding that focuses on providing funds for the services people actually need, therefore enabling more freedom and choice for people with disability. NDIS funding supports people with disability to reach their goals and participate in their communities. The scheme has only been rolled out in recent years and is an impressive leap forward for disability services.


How does NDIS funding work?

The NDIS provides funding for people with disability to access their approved supports through registered and unregistered NDIS service providers. However, to access the funding for a specific support, your needs have to be determined ‘reasonable and necessary’. During your planning meetings, you need to provide evidence of the supports your require, to obtain the relevant funding.

There are three NDIS funding categories:

  • Core Supports:

This covers your basic necessities, including everyday items and low-cost equipment like a walking stick, assistance with daily activities like gardening, and help with community participation.

  • Capacity Building:

This covers services that help participants reach their goals in areas like health, employment, relationships, education, and living arrangements.

  • Capital Support:

This budget covers assistive technology, which refers to items like wheelchairs as well as modifications to your vehicle and home. These modifications may include changes like adding a handrail in the bathroom.


How to check if you’re eligible

To access NDIS funding, you have to meet specific eligibility requirements.

You must:

  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen with a Protected Special Category Visa
  • Have a permanent and significant disability that can make it difficult to participate in everyday activities
  • Be under 65 years of age when you first join
  • Live in the specified NDIS area


Once you’ve deemed as eligible, you can then apply to receive funding for supports that:

  • Are relevant for your disability
  • Are sensible value for money
  • Are effective and helpful
  • Do not include everyday costs that aren’t related to your disability
  • Take into consideration the informal supports provided by family, carers, etc.


The history of the NDIS

Change began in 2010 when the Australian Government carried out a public inquiry into the current state of long-term disability support and care. The feedback was clear, the system wasn’t working.

In 2011 the Council of Australian Governments agreed that the system needed reform and that they would make a change through a National Disability Insurance Scheme. The NDIS legislation was passed in March 2013 and they began trialing the scheme in July of that year.

By July 2016 the trials were finished and the NDIS was rolling out across the country. It was an incredibly quick process, pushed forward to ensure that people with disability would get the support they needed sooner.


Choosing an NDIS service provider in WA

After reading this article, you’ll probably have some idea about whether you’re eligible for NDIS funding, but to find out for sure, you can get in touch with an NDIS provider who provides NDIS pre-planning services, like Activ.

Activ is a registered NDIS service provider in WA with over 70 years of experience in supporting people with disability.

Our team of experts can give you advice and answer any of your NDIS-related questions, and we can also provide free NDIS pre-planning sessions to support you to apply for funding.

Once you’ve got your funding and are looking to access NDIS-funded services to increase your independence at home, at work or in the community, contact our friendly team to see how we can support you!