How does NDIS work?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an initiative of the Australian Government through which people with a disability are provided with access to funding. This funding is used to pay disability service providers for the services that are required.

This article provides a brief history of the NDIS and outlines how the scheme works. We also cover eligibility criteria and an overview of the types of services which can be funded for NDIS participants.
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    When did the NDIS start?

    The Australian Government legislated the NDIS in 2013, and then commenced delivery of the initiative, at trial sites, for three years. The intent of the NDIS was to standardise access to disability services and supports all around Australia. The NDIS meant big changes and reform to disability services in Australia and the Government worked with disability service providers, social services, advocates, support workers and, most importantly, people with disability, to design and plan for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The NDIS was rolled out right around Australia by 2020, with state and territory governments working together to make the NDIS a reality. The NDIS now provides disability supports to more than half a million people who are a permanent resident in Australia. The National Disability Insurance Agency is responsible for the management and administration of the program while the NDIS Commission handles policy, practice and complaints.

    National Disability Insurance Scheme Australia

    The NDIS is a national scheme that works by providing funding to NDIS participants, which is used to purchase services. The NDIS works through the provision of funding directly to participants, to be put towards the agreed services. Eligible people are given a voice in their service allocation and get to decide how plan funds are spent. A planning meeting is held to discuss the disability support that is required. The funding you are allocated through the NDIS must be used to arrange the services identified in your plan. These services will help you achieve the goals identified in the plan.

    Am I eligible for the NDIS?

    The NDIS is a scheme designed for eligible Australians who are living with a permanent and significant disability. A list of disabilities covered by the scheme is available online. You can find out if you’re eligible to receive NDIS funding by visiting the NDIS website or contacting the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on 1800 800 110. Alternatively, check out our blog on NDIS eligibility. If you are looking for information and support for a child (aged less than nine) with a disability, speak to your GP or community health service in the first instance.

    What is the criteria for the NDIS ?

    The criteria for the NDIS include
    • Age – you must be older than nine but aged 65 years or under
    • Residence- you must live in Australia and be an Australian citizen, or a permanent resident or hold another eligible visa
    • Disability- you will have a permanent and significant disability which impacts your day to day living. The disability may be physical, intellectual, cognitive, neurological, visual, hearing or psychosocial. Alternatively, you may require early intervention type supports.

    How to organise NDIS funding

    When you make an application to the NDIS, you may be asked to provide evidence of the nature of your disability, and indicate if you are a recipient of the disability support pension.

    How to manage NDIS funding

    There are three options for the management of your NDIS plan.
    • Self-managed funding
    • Plan-managed funding
    • NDIA managed funding

    Self-managed NDIS funding

    When you choose self managed funding, you have the responsibility of making claims for funding and managing payments to providers. You must stay on top of the allocated monies and be able to manage your budget. Your financial information can be accessed and used from within the NDIS portal. Additional funding can be obtained at the time of your plan review.

    Plan-managed NDIS funding

    When you opt for plan-managed funding, you are allocated funding within your plan to pay a plan manager who will assist you. This means that someone will take care of the financial management of your plan. They will handle invoices, payments and reporting, and keep you informed about your budget and spending. Your plan manager will discuss your plan with you and help you distribute plan funds to your providers.

    NDIA-managed NDIS funding

    The third option for the patent of your invoices for services is to elect to arrange NDIA-managed funding. The agencies providing you with services can bill the NDIS directly.

    What is in an NDIS plan?

    Your NDIS plan will include several different sections. These are outlined below. Information about you The first part of the plan has your information, including the nature of your disability, where you live and who you live with. This section outlines your usual daily routine and your workforce or social participation. It also outlines the equipment and assistive technology you use at home to help you manage your disability.

    Information about other important people The next section of the NDIS plan includes information about the people in your life who are involved in your care and who provide you support. This could be your carer or carers, along with family and friends. Including these people in your plan is useful because it clearly demonstrates all of the social supports and connections you have in your life and as part of the wider community. Information about existing supports and services Next up is coverage of any other supports you have in place, funded by other agencies, like the local council or community clubs. This could be social support groups, day program disability services, transport or therapy services. This section also covers existing social programs and hobbies, such as visiting the library or going to shared interest groups. Information about your goals Then comes the information about your goals- what you would like to do and achieve with your life. By outlining what is important to you and what you would like do, it makes it easier to make a clear plan about how you can make those things happen. Each of the services you are allocated should be in response to the goals you have identified. Information about your service allocation Finally comes the information regarding what funding you have been allocated. The funding is allocated across one or more of the three support budget types. The allocation is based on what has been assessed as the reasonable and necessary supports for you.

    What services are not covered by the NDIS?

    Establishing clear goals is an important part of participation in the NDIS. Services that are deemed to be reasonable and necessary supports for an eligible person are likely to be funded. There are some services that can not be funded under the national disability insurance scheme. These include services which are:
    • The responsibility of another government department or another agency
    • Not related to a person’s disability
    • Are day to day costs not related to requirements
    • Might cause harm or pose risk to the participants or other people

    How is funding provided through the NDIS?

    The services you have been allocated in your plan will be matched up to one of three support budget types.
    • Core Supports – to help you with the activities of daily life, and to achieve your goals for the future
    • Capital Supports – which has two types of funding for assistive technologies or home modifications
    • Capacity Building Supports – to help you become more independent and improve or develop positive behaviours

    What are NDIS core supports?

    Core Supports make it easier for you to carry out the tasks of daily living- the things you do every day such as get up, bathed, dressed and ready for the day. Daily activity assistance can also be used for household cleaning services or yard maintenance to keep your home and garden clean and tidy. Core Supports can also enable your social and community participation, and include transport support so that you can get where you want to go. Some consumables such as continence aids and products and tools and accessories to help you eat or move around.

    Capital Supports

    Capital Supports include the equipment you require to move around and community. Allocated monies under this stream can be used to fund assistive technologies such as communication devices, wheelchairs or adaptions to your vehicle in the form of vehicle modifications. Some types of accommodation are also included in the Capital Supports category. The NDIS also funds hearing supports such as hearing aids, for NDIS participants aged 26 and over who are not eligible for the other hearing support services.

    Capacity Building Supports

    Continuing to learn and grow is something that we all benefit from. The intent of Capacity Building supports is to help you gain achieve your goals by increasing your skills and confidence. This could be through assistance with plan management to manage you NDIS funds, or for support to join in with groups, classes or education programs. It covers assistance to increase your social and community participation or improve your relationships with other important people. You may elect to have assistance with activities related to your health and wellbeing, such as support to join a gym or enjoy other forms of exercise. You might even like to receive diet advice and guidance on how to prepare meals you enjoy. Under this category, you may have support to move from school to TAFE or university, or undertake further education. You may also be eligible for support to look for, get and retain a job. Sometimes early intervention supports in the areas of education and employment make a big difference to opportunities in the future. Arranging and sustaining suitable living arrangements is also another important aspect of your life. It’s important that you are happy and comfortable at home. Support funding from the NDIS can be used towards some support around housing and helping you learn the skills to self manage independently at home.

    NDIS Information on myplace

    The NDIS participant portal is called myplace. The portal can be accessed via the NDIS website, and can be linked to other government services such as Centrelink and Medicare. When you log into the portal you can have easy access to the information related to your NDIS funding. You can:
    • Access your current plan in as little as 24 hours after it has been approved, or any previous plans
    • Check your contact details
    • Read messages from the NDIS
    • Create and view payment requests
    • Create and manage your service bookings, which are used to reserve plan budget for products or services to be delivered by a provider
    • Upload documents if you need too, such as assessments or service agreements
    • Share your plan, or parts of your plan, with your service providers
    • Find disability service providers

    Related Questions

    You may have already had some support from other community providers or agencies, especially if your child has received support before turning seven years old. Staff from these agencies may be able to help you find and lodge a request for NDIS assistance.

    Your regular GP or other consulting specialist may also be able to talk to you about what disability services you require, and if the NDIS is right for you. You can also contact us at Nursed Care to learn more out our NDIS Coordination Services. Visit our services page for further information.
    Our NDIS workforce have all the training required to work within the National Disability Insurance Scheme. We provide services to people who are eligible for the NDIS, as well as the wider community.

    We can help you even if you are not eligible for the NDIS. You do not need to be an Australian Citizen to access our services. Some of the early intervention supports we offer include:
    • Domestic assistance
    • Short or long term health or nursing care
    Other disability services we provide include:
    • NDIS Plan Management and support coordination
    • Home Modifications
    • Respite and short term accommodation
    • Community and social participation services
    Contact us today to learn more about our work in the community and how we can help you achieve your goals!

    Need qualified care?

    At Nursed, we offer a full range of care and disability support services, assisting you to live the life you want to live. Contact us today.

    Connect with Us

    Our friendly staff are eager to help you live your best life. Whether you need new accommodation, supports, home modifications or simply want to join our day programs we’ll ensure you’re looked after. 

    Contact Us V2