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The National Disability Insurance Scheme

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The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing support for Australians with a disability, including their families and carers.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) makes the NDIS happen. You can also get in touch with Westhaven for more information, or read our top tips about getting ready for the NDIS.

We’ve answered some of your questions you might have about the NDIS:

About the NDIS

How does the NDIS work?

The NDIS pays for reasonable and necessary supports that you need to enjoy an ordinary life. 

In simple terms, the NDIS has the following steps:

  1. Think about your needs and goals
  2. Meet with your personal support planner
  3. Meet with the Local Area Coordinator
  4. Develop your plan and manage your supports.
  5. If you need paid supports, NDIS will provide you with this support as part of your NDIS plan.
  6. You approve your plan
  7. Start living the life you want.
  8. Review your plan every year or when your circumstances change.

How will the NDIS help me?

The NDIS gives you greater choice and control of your life. 

Support the NDIS pays for can help you:

  • Be more independent, such as changing your bathroom so you can shower yourself.
  • Join in the community, such as getting a job or joining a social club.
  • Get equipment, such as a wheelchair or a communication device.

When will the NDIS be available in Dubbo and Nyngan?

The NDIS will start in Western NSW on 1 July 2017.

If you do not currently receive government disability support, the NDIS will start for you from 1 July 2018. If you have urgent or exceptional circumstances, you can discuss your situation with the NDIS on 1800 800 110.

Do I have to stay in Dubbo to access the services I want?

The NDIS is a national scheme. Once you have a plan you can move anywhere in Australia and access your supports and services.

Your plan will move with you wherever you go.

Eligibility

Am I eligible for the NDIS?

  • You must be allowed to live in Australia forever as an Australian citizen or permanent visa holder.
  • You must be under 65 years old.
  • You must have a permanent disability that fits the NDIS rules.
You can also phone the National Disability Insurance Agency directly on 1800 800 110 to ask about eligibility for the NDIS.

What are the disability requirements for NDIS?

You may meet the disability requirements if your disability is likely to be with you for life and substantially impacts how you manage everyday activities. This means you need help from other people or special equipment to do certain things.

You can read more about the rules on the NDIS website.

What are the early intervention entry requirements?

Children under 18 years old may meet the NDIS requirements if:
  • they have an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent
  • there is evidence that getting supports now (early interventions) will really help them for the future.
Children under 6 years old with a developmental delay may also be eligible. You can read more about the rules in detail on the NDIS website.

What happens if I don’t fit the NDIS rules?

No one will be disadvantaged in the move to the NDIS.

If you access disability services, but don’t meet the NDIS access requirements, for example, if you're over 65, you may be eligible to receive continuity of support. This means you will continue to receive support consistent with your current arrangements.

If you do not receive disability services now and do not meet access requirements you can still talk to an Ability Links linker to help you. You can also still talk to the state and territory government disability services about supports you may need. 

Westhaven can still help you with information, call us to talk about your circumstances.


Applying for the NDIS

How do I apply for the NDIS?

If you already receive government disability support, you will go through a simple process based on your current supports, particularly if you already:

  • live in supported accommodation
  • participate in a community access service such as a day program
  • have a disability case manager
  • access respite services.

The steps of the NDIS application process will generally be:

  1. The NDIA will contact you to complete your access request.
  2. The NDIA will also start the process to meet a local area coordinator (LAC). A local area coordinator is a person who tells the NDIA what you need.
  3. The NDIS will send you a letter or call you to complete your access request. You can ask for them to send you a form instead if you don’t want to complete it on the phone.
  4. After you have completed your access request and are eligible, NDIA will arrange for you to meet with a local area coordinator. You can ask Westhaven to have one of our support planners help you plan for your discussion with the local area coordinator.
  5. Discuss with the local area coordinator what you want. If you would like other people to be part of this discussion, you need to tell the NDIA.
If you do not currently receive government support, contact the NDIA for an access request form on 1800 800 110.

My NDIS plan

What is an NDIS plan?

Your NDIS plan is a document that lists your goals and the supports you need. If you need paid supports they will be listed with a budget amount you can spend on those supports. The NDIS plan is your plan and it's all about you.

When can I start planning?

You can start preparing for your NDIS meeting at any time, it’s a good idea to think about your aspirations for the future, your goals and the supports you use now and what gaps you have in those supports before you meet with them. Westhaven offer free pre-planning to develop a support plan to take with you to your NDIS appointment. Call and book in with our support planner.

Managing my NDIS plan

I currently use services from another provider. Can I use some services from Westhaven too?

You can purchase services from as many service providers you wish, as long as you have the funding in your NDIS package for the supports. You can have services from Westhaven and other providers at the same time. It’s your choice who provides your services.

If you already receive services from Westhaven and you would like to keep your services the same, you can. 

Can I choose the Westhaven staff that I want?

Yes you can. Westhaven can arrange to have the staff you want to support you.

What if I run out of NDIS hours or money?

The NDIS recognises that sometimes your needs will change. When this happens, talk to the NDIA about a change in your circumstances.

Your plan will be reviewed every year to make sure it meets your support needs. Talk to NDIA and your Westhaven support planner about how your plan is working for you.

Westhaven accommodation

Apart from shared living, what other accommodation support does Westhaven provide?

Westhaven can support people to be in the accommodation that best meets their support needs. That could mean:
  • community housing
  • private rental
  • your own home
  • specialist disability accommodation.
From support all day and night, to a few hours a week, Westhaven can support you the way you need and want to be supported.

What is Specialist Disability Accommodation?

Sometimes people need all different types of supports, the same is the case for the place you live.

Disability Specialist Accommodation is accommodation that caters for people with significant functional impairments or with high support needs. You may be in disability specialist accommodation if you have high needs and aren’t able to live in your own home in the community or you need a house that provides more space to move around if you have mobility issues.