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Important Things to Know about the NDIS

Important Things to Know about the NDIS

National Disability Insurance Scheme is a jointly governed scheme, funded by the Australian government and participating states and territories. NDIS is an initiative that provides support to disabled people, their families, and carers. Introduced in July 2016, is fully implemented in 2019, except in Western Australia where it is still being trialed.

The NDIS support services also help people with disability to:

  • Maintain casual relationships, such as family and friends
  • Access civic services, such as libraries and sports clubs, and
  • Access conventional services, such as health and education.

Also, unlike other social policy programs, such as Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and Income Support Payments. National Disability Insurance Scheme is an uncapped scheme.

Objectives and Principles

Established under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, now supports over 500,000 Australians with a disability to access the services and supports they need. The NDIS Act also formed the rules for NDIS which later set out the operational details of the NDIS.

The objectives that NDIS Act outlines for the NDIS scheme include:

  • Stimulating the endowment of high-quality and innovative support to disabled people.
  • Providing rational and needed support, including early intervention support.
  • Supporting the independence and societal and financial participation of disabled people.
  • Help disabled people to exercise their choices to pursue their goals.
  • Facilitating the expansion of a nationally consistent approach to access to, and the planning and funding of support for disabled people.

Who May Access NDIS Individualised Support Packages?

In order to receive individualized support under the NDIS, you have to meet certain access requirements. The person should be:

  • Under 65 years of age at the time of access request.
  • Must be living in an area, where NDIS is available.
  • Meet the residency requirements.
  • Meet the disability requirements.

Also, these access requests are placed to the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency), the independent statutory agency established by the NDIS to administer the NDIS. The eligible candidates are known as ‘NDIS participants’, and remain eligible for life.

What Individualised Supports are available?

Areas that are available for individualized support include education, employment, social participation, living arrangements, health and well-being, and independence. They may include funding for:

  • Vehicle modifications
  • Modification of design and construction of a house
  • Daily personal activities
  • Therapeutic support including behavioral support
  • Mobility equipment
  • Transportation to enable disabled people to participate in the community, economic, social, and daily life activities
  • Household tasks
  • Equipment assessment, set up, and training by skilled personnel.
    •  

There are other detailed examples given on the National Disability Insurance website that can give you a clear picture of the kind of support provided to the participants.

Once the NDIA identifies a set of support as ‘reasonable and necessary, they are then included in the National Disability Insurance Scheme plan of the participants. And as mentioned above in the objectives and principles of the NDIS act, participants are entitled to ‘exercise their choices to pursue their goals. Also, the funds provided under an NDIS plan are managed by NDIA, a registered plan management provider or a nominee of the participant.

What is the Cost?

The cost of the NDIS has increased substantially over the past 5-6 years. While the annual running cost was reported to be $21.6 billion in 2019-2020, the estimated cost in the year 2022-2023 is $35.8 billion. The federal government will spend more on the NDIS this year than Medicare, aged care, and support for state government hospitals.
Also, as per the most recent NDIA annual report, the expenditure will increase gradually to 1.3 percent of GDP in 2044-45, reflecting the increased cost of support as National Disability Insurance Scheme participants age over time.

How it is Funded?

Funding has always been the subject of debate between the Australian government and other participating states and territories. Whereas, the guaranteed future funding for disability services was part of the logical grounds of the NDIS established.
Also, the productivity commission noted that ‘a vagaries of governments’ budget cycles’ will handle the current funding for disability and proposed that the entire costs of the scheme must be financed by the Australian government, be it from the general revenue, or a levy ‘hypothecated to the full revenue needs of the NDIS’.

Also, the funds for the National Disability Insurance Scheme are also taken from the Medicare levy, which increased from 1.5% to 2% in July 2014. This revenue raised goes directly to the Disability Care Australia Fund, which then reimburses it for the NDIS expenditure. However, the productivity commission states that the increased Medicare levy does not aim to fulfill the funding requirements of the National Disability Insurance.

Finally, any National Disability Insurance Scheme funding must come from the general budget revenue or borrowings instead of offset by the above sources.

Final Words

Whether you are a registered service provider in Adelaide or want to be an approved NDIS provider in Sydney?. These important things about National Disability Insurance Scheme support services will help you in many ways.

Check it our latest blog on Finding Quality NDIS Service Providers in Sydney

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