There is a lot of confusion and misconceptions around NDIS in Australia; it’s about time that these are cleared up. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a government-funded program that provides support to people with disabilities. It was introduced in 2013 to provide better support for people with disabilities, and to help them live independently. But what does this support look like? Here are some common misconceptions:
It’s a one size fits all approach that doesn’t meet everyone’s needs
Firstly, this is one of the biggest misconceptions of all about NDIS. The support provided by NDIS is flexible and can be tailored to each individual’s needs; this means that no two NDIS plans are the same. The support provided by the NDIA is also not just about helping people with physical needs, but also about providing support for people with mental health needs, or other needs such as education and employment.
Depending on the individual, an NDIS plan can include funding for things like personal care, assistance with daily living tasks, transport, equipment, home modifications, and more. So, it’s really about providing whatever support an individual needs to live their life the way they want to.
The application process is impossibly difficult
Again, this is just not true. The application process for NDIS is no more difficult than any other government application process. In fact, it’s probably easier than most, because NDIS service providers in Townsville are very helpful, and they want to make sure that you get the support that you need.
It’s only for people with a severe disability
The NDIS is for people of all ages who have a disability. It doesn’t matter what kind of disability you have, or how severe it is. If you need support to live your life, the NDIS can help you. Who can define what ‘severe’ means? If a disability is impacting your life in some way, you could be entitled to help.
You must be referred by a doctor
No, you don’t need a doctor’s referral to access the NDIS. However, you will need to provide medical evidence of your disability when you apply. This could be a diagnosis from a GP, psychiatrist, or paediatrician, or a report from another health professional such as an occupational therapist.
You must choose certain providers
The NDIS gives you choice and control over who provides your support. You can choose to use a registered provider, or you can self-manage your budget and choose your own providers. For instance, you could choose NDIS services with PHASE and other solutions that meet your needs most closely.
It’s impossible to tell whether somebody is eligible
Eligibility for the NDIS is not based on how your disability was caused, or whether it is permanent. To be eligible, you must:
- be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or meet the residency requirements)
- be aged under 65 when you first enter the scheme
- have a disability or condition that is likely to be permanent (that is, will last for six months or more)
- require support now that will reduce your need for support in the future
Although there are all sorts of minutiae, this is the crux of the eligibility requirements. With this, we have hopefully cleared up some misconceptions around NDIS eligibility. If you or somebody you know is still unsure, the best way to get clarity is to contact the NDIA directly. One of the great things about the NDIS is that it provides people with disabilities greater control over their care and support. Why not get started today?