An estimate of 4.4 million people in Australia or 18% of the population has disabilities. 32% of them or 1.4 million are battling profound disabilities. Given this data, it is essential for the government to support a system that will address long-term disability care and support. This is how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) came to be.
NDIS has been introduced across all states and territories as a system that aims to support people with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive, and psychosocial disabilities, although not perfect it is supporting many people living with disability. It serves as an instrument that gives Australians peace of mind knowing that people with significant disabilities will get the assistance they need to improve their skills, participate in the community, and live independently over time.
But that’s not all there is to learn about the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Here’s a quick guide that provides the information you need to know about NDIS.
What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was introduced in Australia in July 2016. It is governed and funded by the Australian government, including participating states and territories to support people with disabilities, as well as their families and carers.
Objectives of the NDIS funding:
- Provide disability support services to help people with disabilities gain independence and enable their social and economic participation.
- Offer reasonable and essential support such as early intervention to participants.
- Empower people with disability to practice choice and control in pursuing their goals and in planning and delivery of their support.
- Facilitate the development of a nationally consistent approach for people with disabilities.
- Promote the allocation of high-quality and innovative strategies to support people with disabilities.
How does NDIS help people with disabilities?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme funding aims to provide individualised packages of support to Australians with disability.
Through NDIS people with disabilities are given the help they need. This includes but is not limited to:
- Get mainstream services, such as health, housing, and education
- Access community services, including sports clubs and libraries
- Maintain support from family and friends.
What types of disabilities are covered by NDIS funding?
Significant and permanent disabilities or those that are likely to be lifelong and can greatly impact daily life are the ones covered by NDIS funding.
Early intervention support is also offered for children with developmental delays. NDIS also supports people who live with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive, and psychosocial disabilities as long as the following eligibility criteria are met.
- Australian citizens or holders of Permanent or Protected Special Category Visa
- Australian resident
- Under 65 years of age
- Requires help because of a permanent and significant disability
- Needs special equipment because of a permanent and significant disability
Are there regulations on the use of NDIS funding?
Eligible people who receive NDIS funding cannot use the money on anything they like. An NDIS representative will guide you in deciding which supports and services to get. The NDIS funding should be spent to improve skills, gain employment, increase independence, participate in community activities, or other things that will help in the completion of goals.
Some of the allowed uses of NDIS funding include:
- Transport expenses when getting to work, education, and other social activities
- Services to help secure employment
- Therapeutic services
- Choosing the right aids and equipment as well as training with them
- Help for household tasks that aim to maintain a sound home environment
- Home maintenance
- Home modifications
- Vehicle modifications
- Mobility devices
ALSO READ: What is Support Coordination?
NDIS supports and services must be disability-related, helpful, able to give value for money and should take into account other support that a person is receiving with the help of family or other government support services. NDIS funding is given to provide the help needed when living with disabilities. It is not intended to be used for ordinary costs of living or other expenses not related to disability.
If you or someone you know needs disability support services, contact Living My Way. We are an approved NDIS registered provider, we can help people with disabilities to get on with a life of independence and freedom!