So there has been a lot of talk about the NDIS, National Disability Scheme rolling out across the country but as a parent of a child with a disability I was still confused as what is the NDIS and how will this affect my son’s life moving forward. I then spoke to Kirstie about sharing some of my research to help other carers that will be doing the transition to NDIS as well.

What is the NDIS?

The (NDIS), National Disability Insurance Scheme is a new system of providing support to people with a disability, their families and carers. My son will be turning 7 in January at which point the block funding received is lost if not used and the only access he will have to any funding for therapy is through the allocation of Medicare items. The great news about the NDIS is an individualised and life-long approach for people to receive disability support. The scheme is being progressively rolled out across Australia under the management of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The rollout is due to be completed by 2020.

Why was the NDIS introduced?

Before the NDIS was introduced, it was widely recognised that disability support in Australia needed to change. An enquiry found that the support available for people with a disability varied according to a whole range of factors – and not everyone was getting a fair go. The Federal Government agreed that people with a disability deserved a fairer system, and more control over the services they receive. So in July 2013, the NDIS was introduced.

How do I know if my child or the person I am caring for is eligible for the NDIS?

If you are unsure whether you are able to access the NDIS, visit ndis.gov.au and complete the My Access Checker.

What does the NDIS mean for my child and family?

If eligible, the NDIS means gaining greater choice and control over the support services you receive. NDIS replaces block funding, Better Start and HCWA, to individualised funding for people with disabilities based on individual needs assessments.

Before meeting with a planner you can access the NDIS workbook and planning guide on the below link. This helps to get you started and thinking about what supports your child or the person you are caring for may need.

http://www.ndis.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/planning_guide.pdf

Can I buy resources with the NDIS?

Yes.

Funding will be received on an annual basis to purchase the services, aids and equipment that your child or the person with the disability have been assessed as needing from the service provider/providers of your choice.

Through the NDIS assessment and planning process, it is determined what reasonable and necessary supports are needed.

With the NDIS, you not only get to choose what type of supports you receive, you also decide when, where and how you receive them – and which service providers you’ll work with. The great news is the carer has control over how the funds are managed.

 What early intervention is eligible under the NDIS?

The NDIS will fund early intervention and other supports that improve a child’s functional capacity, or prevent deterioration of functioning.

This may include services delivered or supervised by clinically trained or qualified health practitioners that enable the child to live in the community and participate in education.

The NDIS will also provide support for children, families and carers required as a direct result of the child’s disability. These supports will enable families and carers to maintain their caring role, community participation, therapeutic and behavioural supports, additional respite, aids and equipment.

When does the NDIS come to Wollongong?

The NDIS will become available in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven district from July 2017

You can find more information on the NDIS website, visit www.ndis.gov.au or call the National Disability Insurance Agency on 1800 800 110 between 8am and 8pm (EST) weekdays.

CLICK HERE for information on how to buy resources under the block funding, HCWA or Betterstart, including some recommendations based on what I purchased for my Son with Autism Spectrum Disorder .