The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a government scheme that helps people with disabilities by providing them with funding to lead a happier and more dignified lifestyle. The NDIS aims to provide personalised funding to suit an individual’s circumstances, but how do they achieve this? In this post, we’re going to cover how the NDIS can help you and your loved ones cope with a disability.
Access different levels of support with help from the NDIS
While the NDIS is best known for providing funding to those with disabilities, it can also help you identify the right amount of support that someone with a disability needs.
The NDIS website has an official list of support that they fund. This includes support for:
- Daily personal activities
- Transport to enable participation in community, social, economic, or daily life activities
- Workplace assistance to stay employed
- Access to the supported labour market
- Therapeutic support
- Behaviour support
- Assistance with household tasks to maintain their home
- Access to equipment and disability aids
- Home modification support
- Mobility aids
- Vehicle modifications
However, there are a few supports that the NDIS does not fund. This includes supports that are:
- The responsibility of another government system or community service
- Unrelated to the person’s disabilities
- Related to day-to-day living costs that are unrelated to the person’s support needs
- Can cause harm or risk to others
Since there may be confusion about what supports the NDIS funds, it’s important to work with them to figure out what the best course of action is when supporting someone and their disability needs. The NDIS provides this level of support and can offer suggestions on what kind of support one may need. In the event you’re unsure what kind of support is available to you, the NDIS will guide and help you make those all-important decisions.
Since working with multiple different sources of support can be difficult, the NDIS offers a centralised solution to help you manage all of the funding and support that you or a loved one receives.
Personalised plans for each individual
The NDIS understands very well that each individual requires a personalised level of support. However, most individuals don’t really know what kind of support they need or what’s accessible to them. The previous point about offering coordinated support is just one way to help individuals. However, the NDIS can also help those with disabilities create personalised plans that are based on achieving goals and building new skills.
The NDIS is a goals-based program which means that they will work closely with people registered onto the scheme to help them reach specific milestones. In other words, the NDIS allows you to choose what kind of goals and aspirations you have and will assist you in reaching them, assuming they are within reason and achievable with their support.
This level of support is also extended to close friends and family members. This strengthens your personal support group and helps you achieve greater things, but it also ensures that your loved ones also get the support they need.
Funding for assistive technologies
The NDIS can also provide funding for assistive technologies. Many of these devices and machines can be extremely expensive and may require funding from the NDIS in order to pay for them. Since some disabilities require assistive technologies in order for an individual to live a dignified and independent lifestyle, it’s important to work with the NDIS in order to gain access to them.
In general, the NDIS will define assistive technologies as “any device or system that allows individuals to perform tasks they would otherwise be unable to do or increases the ease and safety with which tasks can be performed.” Assistive technologies will likely be included in your NDIS plan if it meets the necessary criteria. For example, it must meet your needs, it must help you pursue your goals, and it must also be within reason.
Some examples of assistive technology include:
- Utensils to make it easier to eat
- Adjustable beds
- Technology to help you communicate
- Installation of handles and non-slip mats around the home
- Hearing aids
- Devices to help with day-to-day tasks
It’s important to note that the NDIS has three tiers for the cost of assistive technologies. These are as follows:
- Low cost assistive technology: under $1,500 per item
- Mid cost assistive technology: between $1,500 and $5,000 per item
- High cost assistive technology: over $5,000 per item.
Depending on the type of assistive technology you need, it will be categorised into one of these three definitions and will be assessed accordingly. It’s worth mentioning that the NDIS will not fund assistive technologies if there are other government services that are more appropriate for funding them. The NDIS has a more in-depth definition of what assistive technologies include and also what they will fund on their website.
But how does the NDIS provide support for assistive technologies? In most cases, the NDIS offers funding to outright buy the assistive technology, but they can also access it through rental and loans. Other arrangements are also supported, so it’s a good idea to discuss your options with the NDIS.
Housing and home care support
One key area that the NDIS focuses on is affordable housing to help people with disabilities achieve their life goals and aspirations. Housing policies are typically handled by State Governments, but the NDIS can also play a role in housing costs and home care support needs. For example, if an individual with disabilities needs 24/7 support from a group of participants, then the NDIS can help with housing costs and finding a new suitable home for the group.
Those that live with a high level of disability can find it challenging to search for a suitable home that meets all of their needs. Specialist disability accommodation can be a good solution to assist with this, and the NDIS can help provide funding and support to ensure that people with disabilities can find affordable housing and home care support.
It’s important to note that the NDIS itself does not provide funding, but can assist you in finding the right home to suit your disability. They’ll also help make necessary modifications to your home by providing the funding necessary to hire renovation specialists. This will all be discussed when you first talk to the NDIS about your plan.
You can also find out more about the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) design standard on the official NDIS website. The standard has been developed with extensive consultation across both government and private sectors to help set out detailed design requirements that are incorporated into newly-built homes that support those with disabilities.
Helping individuals connect with their community
The NDIS considers community participation to be a priority. Addressing the relatively low levels of community participation and inclusion among people with disabilities can offer some important benefits. This includes improved wellbeing outcomes for people with disabilities and also their carers. It can also reduce the costs of long-term care and support costs.
But how does the NDIS help with community participation? Some examples include:
- Access to public or community transport for people with disabilities. This can reduce their reliance on private transportation such as taxis which ultimately lowers their day-to-day costs.
- Hiring support workers to help someone with a disability attend an event or gathering.
- Paying tuition fees for classes, or membership fees for clubs to help build skills, independence, and also participate in community events.
The NDIS will typically categorise supports as level 1 (standard support), level 2 (high-intensity support), or level 3 (very high intensity support). Depending on the level that the NDIS considers your proposed plan to be, you’ll be entitled to varying levels of care and funding.
In short, the NDIS can help people with disabilities pursue various goals while helping them integrate with their local community. Since there are many different ways to fund these costs, it’s vital that you speak with the NDIS to determine how their scheme can help you and your loved ones. While there are controls to these prices and how much the NDIS is willing to fund, it’s still important to bring forth suggestions to help people with disabilities lead a happy and fulfilling lifestyle.
Learn more about the NDIS
The official NDIS website has a lot more information about how the scheme works, who is eligible, and what they can help fund. The entire process to apply for the NDIS is outlined and the planning process is discussed in more detail.
If you or a loved one finds coping with a disability to be difficult, then the NDIS can help provide a generous amount of funding that offers more support and opens up new opportunities. We highly recommend getting in touch with the NDIS to learn more about their scheme and to locate providers that can offer varying levels of support.