What is an NDIS Plan?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a funding program introduced by the Australian Government to provide support to people living with disability. It is delivered through a government offset organisation called the ‘National Disability Insurance Agency’ (NDIA).
Did you know, there are around 4.3 million individuals living in Australia who have a disability, both either physical and/or cognitive/mental. It is estimated that within the next five years (until 2026), the NDIS will provide more than $22 billion in funding per year to an estimated 500,000 Australians who have permanent and significant disability. For many people, it will be the first time they receive the disability support they need.
Definitions as provided by the NDIA:
- Permanent Disability – means the disability will not go away.
- Significant Disability – means the disability affects how a person lives every day.
- Disability – a physical (body) or mental (mind) condition that limits someone’s movements, senses or ability to take part in activities.
So, What is an NDIS Plan?
An NDIS Plan is a document that details all needs, goals, and disability supports required for an individual with a disability to live independently and access the necessary supports they require to do so. It also includes details of the funding an individual receives or may be eligible to receive. The level of these supports and subsequent funding is ascertained through the consideration of multiple conversations, assessments, and reports relating to the persons disability and personal circumstances.
As their situation and life evolves, so will their NDIS Plan. An NDIS Plan typically lasts for a 12 month (1 year) period, and requires renewal and reassessment at the completion of that period. Everyone has a bespoke, personalised NDIS Plan because everyone’s circumstances are different.
Who is Eligible for an NDIS Plan?
To be eligible for an NDIS Plan and subsequent supports/funding, the applicant must:
- Have a permanent and significant disability that drastically affects their ability to participate in everyday life.
- Be under the age of 65 when first entering the NDIS.
- Be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent visa.
The NDIS is not means tested, which means that no matter what assets an individual possesses, they will still be eligible and able to access support through the scheme.
What can be found within a NDIS Plan?
An NDIS Plan will include the following information, tailored to the applicant:
Information about the individual
This section includes basic information about the individual’s disability, their day-to-day activities, where they live, who they live with, or who cares for them.
Family and friends
This section includes information about the support the individual gets from family and friends that is not funded but will help them to achieve their goals.
Services and community groups
This section includes information about services and supports funded and delivered by community or other government services like support groups, health centres, libraries and public transport.
This section includes the current goals the individual would like to achieve as part of their plan and the long-term goals they have identified for their life. Goal setting is an important part of the NDIS. The supports the individual receives may help them pursue the goals in their NDIS plan.
This section tells the individual what funding they have been allocated in each support category and what this funding is for. It is important to note, the individual may not have all the support categories funded in their plan. Some people might have one or two support categories funded and others may have more.
This will depend on the person’s individual needs and may change from plan to plan based on the supports and services they need. The funding is based on what is reasonable and necessary for the individual’s needs, in addition to the support provided by family, friends and other community and government services that the individual needs to live their life.
How Does Someone Apply for an NDIS Plan?
If an individual meets all the eligibility requirements, they can apply for an NDIS Plan by making an ‘Access Request’ through the NDIA. The NDIA will then send through a request for the information needed to verify the application as well as further details on commencing the journey to receiving an NDIS Plan.
The Access Request process involves:
- Confirming identity and/or a person’s authority to act on behalf of an individual with a disability.
- Confirming that the individual meets the eligibility requirements to access the NDIS.
- Questions regarding consent to enter the NDIS and about seeking information from third parties (if you are already receiving supports outside of the NDIS).
Some additional information about the individual’s disability and how it impacts their daily life may also be required after ‘Access Request’ has been submitted. This may be in the form of copies of existing information, such as letters or reports.
Once the ‘Access Request’ process is complete, and the individual has been deemed eligible to access the scheme, NDIS will contact them to organise the next steps in the NDIS Plan process (commencing with a Planning Meeting).
Maple Community Services NDIS Plan Assistance
If you have any questions around what is an NDIS Plan, or would purely like to chat to a Maple Community Services representative around the role we play in assisting with NDIS plan management providers, please get in touch with us today.
Phone: 1800 780 964
Email: [email protected]