About the NDIS
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the Australian Government’s way of providing support for people with a permanent and significant disability. The scheme is administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
The NDIS provides all Australians under the age of 65, who have a disability that is likely to be permanent and significant, with the supports they need to live an ordinary life. The NDIS funds supports that are reasonable and necessary for you to achieve your goals.
Transitioning to or accessing the NDIS for the first time can feel overwhelming. Arabon Care is here to take the pressure off the NDIS preparation process.
You may apply to enter the NDIS six months prior to the scheme rolling out in your area. It can take 6-12 months for an eligible person to enter the NDIS once it starts in your area.
Here’s our step-by-step guide to get you started on your NDIS pathway.
1. Determine your eligibility.
To access the NDIS, you will need to meet certain eligibility criteria, for example:
Residency / Citizenship - you must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident or hold a Protected Special Category Visa, and you must live in Australia in a location where the NDIS is available.
Age - you are under 65 years of age.
Disability - your disability is likely to be permanent and means you usually need support from others or equipment to do everyday activities for yourself.
You can use the NDIS Access Checklist to help work out if you are eligible. Call Arabon Care on 1300 ARABON if you have any questions.
2. Contact NDIA for an Access Request Form.
If you currently receive State Government-funded support:
If you already receive supports from the State Government, you will receive a letter then a phone call from an NDIA representative when it is time to transition to the NDIS. If you have not yet received a call from an NDIA representative and have questions about your transition to the NDIS, you can call 1300 ARABON and we will step you through the process. While you will not need to complete an Access Request Form you will be asked to attend an NDIA Planning Meeting. Arabon Care can help you gather the required information and define your goals for your NDIS plan in preparation for your NDIA Planning Meeting. If you receive a call from an NDIA representative, Arabon Care recommend that you request a face-to-face Planning Meeting at a future date, to give you time to prepare for the session. (Go to Step 4 – Pre-Planning).
If you do NOT currently receive State Government-funded support:
You can contact the NDIA to discuss your interest in participating in the NDIS, or contact us on 1300 ARABON and we will assist you through the process. We can get an Access Request Form on your behalf and assist you with compilation of the required information, including mapping out your goals for your NDIS plan. (Go to Step 3 – Complete an Access Request Form).
3. Complete an Access Request Form.
Complete your Access Request Form with as much detail and evidence as you can about your disability (such as medical reports, letters from your specialist etc.).
Arabon Care’s Support Coordinators are happy to assist you with completing the request form, if you require. Contact us on 1300 ARABON.
Once you have returned your completed Access Request Form, the NDIA will contact you to schedule a time for a planning meeting. A planning meeting is your opportunity to tell the NDIA what support or services you require to assist you to live the life you choose. You should take the time to thoroughly prepare for this meeting. It’s what we call Pre-Planning.
Pre-planning is about taking the time to think about what support you need to help you achieve your goals and enable you to live the life you choose. It’s a good idea to talk to your family and those around you, as you start thinking about your goals and longer-term ambitions.
You may like the assistance of one of Arabon Care’s Support Coordinators for your pre-planning activity.
Our experienced consultants will help you prepare for your NDIA Planning Meeting by taking the time to get to know you. We will talk through your goals and aspirations, the support and services you currently receive, and those you would like to receive in the future. We will prepare a budget and plan pack which you can then take along to your planning meeting with the NDIA. You can also choose to have our consultant attend the meeting with you.
5. NDIA Planning Meeting.
You can request this meeting to be face-to-face at the NDIA or in your home or over the phone. You can choose who attends the meeting with you including having an Arabon Care Support Coordinator there to support you.
At the Planning Meeting, the NDIA will document all the supports and services you currently receive as well as any gaps or unmet needs.
Following the meeting, the NDIA Local Area Coordinator will contact you by phone to advise you of the outcome of your application, and will post you a paper copy of your approved plan.
6. Putting your NDIS plan into action.
Once your plan is approved, it is time to put it into place. Refer to the NDIS factsheet on Starting Your Plan. Your first plan will be in place for 12 months.
Depending on your situation, you may choose to self-manage your plan. Or, you have the option of having a Support Coordinator funded in your plan – this is where Arabon Care can help you put your plan into action.