Lighthouse Disability is NDIS ready and we welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your support needs.
We are officially registered with the NDIS to provide disability support services which promote your choice and control over what services you receive and how you receive them.
The NDIS funds lifetime supports to individuals who meet the eligibility to criteria. The funding is based on a plan that includes your support needs, goals and aspirations.
For information on the NDIS you can visit the National Disability Insurance Scheme website or call 1800 800 110. http://www.ndis.gov.au/
Why is the NDIS important?
For the first time in Australia, people living with a disability will be allocated funds to enable them to have ‘choice and control’ over the services that they want and who provides them.
This means that the way the disability sector currently operates will change significantly. Individuals with funds will be able to choose the services they need, rather than those services being allocated to them.
The NDIS legislation outlines a number of principles based on the recognition that any of us could have a disability and that there is a community responsibility to ensure that support is provided. Another important point is that people living with a disability are entitled to opportunities to realise their full potential, and the NDIS is designed to assist this.
What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)?
In 2013 the Commonwealth Government passed legislation (National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013) which will enable the provision of government funding to individuals who have a disability to choose what service they want in relation to their disability.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the Commonwealth organisation which is responsible for implementing the scheme. It is a national scheme and all States will be working under the same legislation and associated processes.
When will the Scheme be operating in South Australia?
South Australia is a trial site for children from 0-5 years, and the Scheme is being rolled out for children in other age groups now.
The Scheme will commence rolling out on 1st July 2017 for adults based on local government boundaries. The first areas to be eligible for NDIA are Gawler, Playford, Salisbury and Port Adelaide Enfield East. People living in other local government areas will have access to the NDIA in a staged way.
What type of support will the NDIS fund?
The NDIS will fund ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports that will assist people living with disability to achieve their goals and objectives, which could include:
- Regular personal care support
- Accessing therapy services
- Learning new skills
- Becoming more independent
- Improving health and wellbeing
- Becoming more actively involved in the community
- Gaining work experience and employment
Lighthouse Disability is registered as a specialist provider of disability support in the areas of accommodation, plan management, support coordination, respite and community support (although we are not providing respite and community support at the moment).
How to find out if you are eligible to access the NDIS?
The NDIS access checklist can help you work out if you are eligible to access the NDIS.
How to prepare for meeting with an NDIA planner to determine what support is needed?
People who are eligible for funding will need to go into a planning meeting ready to explain what they need to reach their goals and the support required. The NDIS website has some great examples of services and supports offered to people living with disability
Who decides what funding a person will be allocated?
Each eligible person will be assessed by an NDIA planner with the criteria of what is ‘reasonable and necessary’. However, there are some things that won’t be covered by NDIS.
If you are eligible for the NDIS, you will receive funding on an annual basis to purchase the services, aids and equipment required to reach your goals.
What is an NDIS Plan?
An NDIS Plan outlines a person's goals and the disability related services and support that will be funded to achieve those goals. Goals are matched to support categories and each category included in the Plan will have a budget to purchase supports.
What should I plan for?
When it's your turn to plan for transition to the NDIS, you should think about what is important to you. You could start by thinking about:
- what supports you currently access and whether these meet your needs
- what you want to learn
- where you want to live
- what sort of work or community activity you want to do
- whether you have enough support to do these things.
Think about ways that you can gather information about things you want to do. Make lists, gather flyers and pamphlets or perhaps take photos with your phone or tablet so you can prioritise what is important to you.
What services and support can people access under the NDIS?
The NDIS will provide funding for 'reasonable and necessary' support, services and equipment. The supports and services provided should assist a person to:
- do things independently
- participate in the community
- access educational opportunities
- get a job and earn a wage
- achieve goals
- develop skills for daily living.
What does 'reasonable and necessary' support mean?
NDIA staff make decisions about what is 'reasonable and necessary' based on the rules within the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act). To be considered reasonable and necessary, a support must:
- be related to the participant's disability
- not include day-to-day living costs that are not related to a participant's disability support needs
- represent value for money
- be likely to be effective and beneficial to the participant, and
- take into account informal supports given to participants by families, carers, networks, and the community.
Who are planners?
Planners are staff nominated and endorsed by the NDIS who work with you to identify your goals and the supports you need to achieve your goals.
These staff could be called planners or Local Area Coordinators (LACs).
You have the right to provide feedback and if you do not feel comfortable with your planner, you can ask for another person to work with you instead.
Is the NDIS means tested?
No, the funding under the NDIS is not means tested. Support is related to a person's disability and the supports they need, not their capacity to pay for support.
Are there set package amounts?
No, there are not set package amounts.
An NDIS plan aims to give you the supports you need to be as independent as possible, reducing your need for support over time. The cost of the package is determined only by what you include in it. This might change each time you plan.
Is there enough funding for everyone?
Yes. The NDIS has run on time and to budget since the trial began in 2013. Before the NDIS trials started, the government asked experts to develop a model of how the funding would be used and how much would be required to run the insurance scheme properly. The NDIS reports on this every quarter and you can see these reports on the NDIS website.
Can I choose how I plan?
Yes, you can discuss your preference for the way your plan is developed when you are contacted by the NDIS. This may mean meeting face to face, over the phone or online, for one meeting or several meetings.
Can I change my plan?
Yes, if your needs or circumstances change, you can ask to review your plan at any time. The NDIS or an LAC can help you through the process to request a change to your plan.
What does the NDIS fund?
The NDIS funds the reasonable and necessary, disability related support that participants require under three categories:
- Capital funding - for purchasing one-off items such as equipment, technology or modifications
- Core funding - for day to day support required, such as personal care
- Capacity funding - for skill building, training and learning.
What doesn't the NDIS fund?
The NDIS doesn't cover daily living expenses - things like rent or board, food or your mobile phone bill. These costs will continue to be funded by your usual source of income - from work or the disability support pension.
The NDIS does not replace funding that is more appropriate from other sources such as education, health or transport. These supports will continue to be funded as they are now.
Will I get the same level of support as I get now?
Yes. There are rules built into the NDIS that make sure people currently receiving support, who are eligible for the NDIS, will not be 'worse off' when they transition to the new scheme.
To make sure you continue to receive the supports you need, it's important to understand what you receive now and talk about these supports in your planning meeting.
Does the NDIS fund medication?
Medication is not usually funded in people's plans. Medication falls under the responsibility of the health system and therefore would not be an NDIS funded item.
Does the NDIS fund transport?
Yes. Under the NDIS, the Centrelink Mobility Allowance will be replaced by funding for transport needs related to a person's disability in individual plans. There are special provisions for travel for participants and providers in remote and very remote communities.
Make sure that you think about your transport needs in the planning process. Transport support might include funding for taxis or buses, or travel training to build your skills and reduce the need for support in the future.
Does the NDIS fund equipment?
Yes. Assessment to identify the appropriate equipment or technology, written reports and prescriptions, and fitting of equipment when delivered, are all funded by the NDIS. You will also need to consider repairs and maintenance of equipment and whether people working with you will require special training to use the equipment or technology.
The full cost of equipment is funded, and supply is currently managed via the State-wide Equipment Program (SWEP). The NDIS will work out a national strategy as the scheme rolls out across States and Territories, this will consider how equipment and technology can be managed efficiently and address issues such as supply time lines.
The NDIS has a focus on providing equipment and assistive technology that increases independence for people with disabilities. You should ensure that you discuss all options in the planning process.
Does the NDIS fund specialist disability accommodation?
The NDIS funds the shared component of support in shared supported accommodation. The funding is based on an assessed level of need, from low to standard or complex, and the number of people sharing the accommodation.
Any extra individual support would need to be specific to a person's goals, as part of their plan, and be considered reasonable and necessary support.
You should discuss your accommodation options with your planner. The NDIS also funds support that people require to live independently in the community. Whilst there are not many options currently for affordable accessible accommodation, this will change over time as more people are looking for options in the community.
Does the NDIS fund respite?
The NDIS aims to increase people's independence, including support for activities at home or in the community that result in less reliance on family members or housemates.
Under the NDIS and with the aim of supporting the person with disability and their family, 'respite' hours become more flexible and will include 'in home', community based and facility based respite.
Facility based respite can be funded in an NDIS plan where this is the best option to meet the needs of the participant and their family or carers. Facility based respite is funded as a shared support cost per day to replace the current block funding model for respite.
Who can support me in the planning process?
When you start your planning journey, it's a good idea to identify whether you need support for the process. If you do, then think about a person or group of people who know you well and who can assist to develop your plan.
This might be a family member, friend or an advocate - someone who knows you well, can provide some background about your needs and can make sure your voice is heard. Some people have chosen individuals or groups such as circles of support or micro-boards to support the planning process.
It is important to have someone by your sde who knows all parts of your life and your needs, and in some situations this may be service provider staff.
If you cannot think of someone you already know who can support you, perhaps you could think about getting to know an advocate now so you can be comfortable with them when it is your turn to plan.
Remember you have the right to information in a way that is right for you. You should ensure that you know what is in your plan and make sure that you see the plan before it is finalised by the NDIS.
Who can support me to implement my plan?
When you develop your plan with the NDIS, let them know if you'd like some support to implement your plan. You can access three levels of support coordination, it you need it:
- support connection - short term assistance to find services and develop service agreements
- coordination of support - can also help you to find services and develop service agreements, but there may be some extra complexity
- specialist support coordination - for participants with very complex needs, that require coordination by specialists.
Can I self-manage my NDIS package?
Yes. You can self-manage your funding under NDIS. This is actively encouraged by the NDIA. You can also access training and support from advocacy organisations that can help you to manage your own package.
Can I get support to manage my plan?
Yes. You can ask for a financial intermediary to be funded in your plan. This is someone who can manage the invoicing and claims on your behalf. You can also have a significant person in your life identified as the plan nominee. This means that person can manage the invoicing and claims for you. This person does not have to be a legally appointed guardian or administrator so could be a trusted family member or friend. They do not get to make decisions on your behalf.
You can also choose to have the NDIS manage your plan. This means the providers that you engage have a service agreement with you about how support is delivered but claim directly from the NDIS for the services they provide.
Can I employ my own staff?
Yes. If you self-manage your funding you can employ anyone - but you need to ensure that you make arrangements for insurance and staff entitlements, such as long service leave.
There is information available from NDIS about how to self-manage a plan and there will be more information about how you can employ your own staff in the Quality and Safeguards framework when it is finalised and published.
Who can help me find appropriate providers in my area?
The NDIS has a list of registered providers available on their website. You can search for a provider by choosing the support type you want and entering your postcode. The list will show you which providers are closest to where you live.
Can I choose any provider?
Yes. You can choose who delivers your support and services under NDIS. Many providers are registered with the NDIS. This means they have met the criteria set out by the NDIS including demonstration of business registration and insurance and a commitment to meet quality and safeguards standards. You can find registered providers on the NDIS website and search for your requirements by entering your postcode and the service type you are looking for.
Can I use the same providers I have now?
Yes. You can continue to use your current provider for all, or some, of the support you choose to put in your plan. You might want to talk to your current provider about more services or changes to the way in which your support is delivered. Service providers should be registered with the NDIS; this ensures that they are required to meet quality and safety standards that are consistent with current requirements.
What if I don't like the provider that I choose? What can I do?
You can choose the provider that delivers your support. You will negotiate a service agreement when you choose a provider and this may include how you change providers or cease services if you are not happy. If you choose to change providers, then you will be responsible for engaging an alternative or talking to the NDIS about changing your plan.
You are responsible for advising providers that you engage of any changes to your plan, when your plan is reviewed, when you want to access more or less service or support, when you want to change how support is delivered, or want to start or stop accessing services.
I am the carer of a person with a disability. What does the NDIS mean for me?
The NDIS acknowledges that families and carers need support to continue to support a person with disability.
The best way to ensure that carers are supported is to ensure that the person with disability has the support they require so that family and carers can live their lives. This may mean additional support at times when family or carers are at work or pursuing educational options. 'Respite' for the person with disability means they can undertake activities independently of family and build capacity so their needs are reduced over time. The provision of equipment or technology can also increase independence and reduce reliance on others.
NDIS plans focus on the whole of life support a person requires. This includes maximising outcomes for the person, their family and carers.
For information on the NDIS you can visit the National Disability Insurance Scheme website or call 1800 800 110. www.ndis.gov.au/