What is the NDIS?

There are around 4.3 million Australians who have a disability. Within the next five years, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will provide $22 billion in funding a year to an estimated 500,000 Australians aged under 65, who have a permanent and significant disability. For many people, it will be the first time they receive the disability support they need.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is not welfare, it is an insurance-based scheme that invests in participants to improve long-term outcomes.

Funding for supports is determined by consideration of a person’s individual needs, goals and aspirations. Participants then choose their supports from the marketplace of providers, and are empowered to pursue their goals and aspirations.

Participating in the NDIS

A person who meets the NDIS criteria called a ‘participant’. The criteria include residency requirements, being under 65 years of age at the time of application and being able to demonstrate a permanent disability that affects everyday life and activities. People with a disability who don’t meet the NDIS access requirements will not receive individualised funding but can still be assisted to connect to government services and community activities.

Participants develop individualised ‘plans’ which contain funding to help them to live an ordinary life and to achieve individual goals, such as learning a new skill, increasing independence, enrolling in education, or getting a job.

Participants control their budget – they decide who provides their support, how, where and when.

The NDIS will provide funding to access services needed directly because of a person’s disability. Those supports won’t include things we would reasonably expect a family member or carer to provide, or services that are the responsibility of another part of the government. NDIS funded services need to also demonstrate they are good value for money in meeting the participant’s goals.

Participants have control over their plan budget and can choose to:
• self-manage their funds
• have funds managed by a Plan Manager
• have funds managed by the NDIA, or
• have a combination of management types



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