What’s the goal of the NDIS? To help people with disability have the same things as everyone else. A job. Make friends. Pursue. hobbies and interests. Join community events.
The way the NDIS goes about this is by giving people with disability choice. You choose how to use your NDIS funding and which providers you choose to deliver supports.
Before the NDIS, the power was in the hands of service providers. They’d decide what you needed and how they were willing to serve you.
Here’s a definition of independent living for participants: get what you want the way you want to get it.
Take the power back into your hands.
Read more: Empowering Independence with the NDIS
15 Categories You Can Get Included In Your NDIS Plan
Let’s look at the funded supports you can get in your NDIS plan.
The first thing you need to know is there are three NDIS budget categories:
Core supports: Helps with everyday living.
Capacity building supports: Builds your independence.
Capital supports: Funds onetime purchases like assistive technology or living arrangements through specialist disability accommodation.
Of these, capacity building supports are most oriented towards empowering you.
Within these budgets are a total of 15 support categories that state the things you can get support for. The categories are:
Assistance with Social and Community Participation.
Coordination of Supports.
Improved Living Arrangements.
Increased Social and Community Participation.
Finding and Keeping a Job.
Improved Health & Wellbeing.
Improved Life Choices.
Let’s now explore each of these
1) Assistance with Daily Life
Support workers to help with tasks like housecleaning, grocery shopping, and personal care.
A support worker can drive you to places like appointments or to do your shopping.
These are things you need every day, like continence pads. Remember, the NDIS won’t fund everyday living expenses, only those that are disability-specific.
4) Assistance with Community and Social Participation
Helps you take part in community activities.
5) Assistive Technology
Supports that help you get around, either on your own or with the help of someone else.
6) Home Modifications
Makes your home more accessible.
7) Coordination of Supports
Support coordination helps you organise and manage your support services.
8) Improved Living Arrangements
Help to find somewhere to live.
9) Increased Social and Community Participation
Develop the skills you need to get active in your community.
10) Finding and Keeping a Job
Get help to get work. This includes school leaver employment opportunities.
11) Improved Relationships
Lets you work with a psychologist to help you build stronger relationships.
12) Improved Health & Wellbeing
Advice about how you can get into your optimal physical state.
13) Improved Learning
Support to study with a longer-term view of gaining employment.
14) Improved Life Choices
Funds a registered plan manager who looks after paying for the services in your plan. An alternative is self-management.
15) Improved Daily Living
Build skills to become more independent and more active in the community.
7 Principles That Guide NDIS Funding Decisions
Every NDIS participant’s plan is unique to them.
What supports will you receive? How much funding will you get?
Your support needs are what the NDIA will consider in determining your funding. The National Disability Insurance Agency says there is no upper limit on the amount of funding you can receive. That’s if it’s reasonable and necessary and related to your disability.
For everyone, now and into the future.
Enabling you to pursue your goals.
Uses evidence-based best practices.
Favours early investments.
Provides fair support accross the services who can help you.
Offers fair support of your disability needs.
Fair help from multiple programs.
Let’s look at each of these.
1) For Everyone, Now and Into the Future
NDIS participants and carers need to engage with life. In a way that is sustainable.
2) Enables You to Pursue Your Goals
You start your NDIS journey by identifying your goals and you continue it as you work to achieve them.
3) Uses Evidence-based Best Practices
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) wants your supports to be effective.
4) Favours Early Investments
Making a larger investment in someone upfront can mean less money needs to be spent later.
5) Provides Fair Support Across the Service Systems
Considers whether receiving the supports is the responsibility of another government agency.
6) Offers Fair Support of Your Disability
Makes sure you have a reasonable amount of support to take part in everyday life.
7) Fair Help from Multiple Programs
Doesn’t duplicate funding you’re receiving from other sources.
4 Helps for Starting Your NDIS Plan
You have four places to turn to get support around starting your plan:
Early Childhood Partners
Local Area Coordinators
Here is how each of these launches you onto your NDIS journey.
1) Early Childhood Partners
If the plan is for someone under seven years old, you’ll work with an Early Childhood Partner.
2) Local Area Coordinators
Local Area Coordinators (LACs) can show you how to use the myplace portal. In the portal, you’ll find your NDIS information. LAC’s also help you find service providers.
3) Support Coordinators
Support coordinators help in two circumstances. Firstly, you don’t have Early Childhood Partners or LACs in your area. Secondly, you need more help to organise your supports.
Use of the NDIS Plan to Work Towards Your Goals
A support coordinator helps you to use your NDIS plan to make progress towards your goals. Making progress on your goals helps you become more independent. You get skills, and be included in the community, employment, and studies.
4) Implementation Meeting
You can arrange a meeting with your NDIS contact to talk about how to use your plan. This meeting can be arranged within 28 days of your plan’s approval.
how to prepare for your meeting
You’ll get more out of your meeting if you go in prepared. Here are some tips.
Decide if you want someone you trust to come with you.
Make a list of questions you want answered:
How do I use the myplace portal?
What are the plan budget and rules?
What can I and can’t I buy with my funds?
What supports can I get through the NDIS and what do I get from mainstream and community services?
How do I find service providers?
What are service agreements and how do I go about service bookings?
Is there anything else I need to know that would be helpful in understanding the NDIS?
No matter which of the four options you choose to get started, make sure you get your questions answered.
Your goal is to make sure you’ve got your head wrapped around understanding the NDIS.
Conclusion: Progress Towards Your Goals for Independence
In a broad sense, the goal of everyone on the NDIS is the same. That goal is to have what everyone else has. But your specific goals are unique to you and what’s important to you.
Here are three takeaways from this article:
The NDIS funds support needs in 15 categories — which can best help you reach your goals?
The National Disability insurance agency uses seven principles when making funding decisions.
At the start of your NDIS journey, you have four ways to get help.
Let’s throw it over to you.
NDIS participants and carers, how has the NDIS helped you become more independent?
And if you’re not yet on the NDIS, what goals would you like to work on?
Please comment and share this article on your socials.
Daniel G. Taylor is a mental health speaker. Daniel teaches people affected by mental health personal development principles so they can reach their goals and achieve their potential. He lives with bipolar disorder and has developed a lot of tools and strategies for staying well long term. He’s the author of “Staying Sane: How to Master Bipolar Disorder for Life” and a contributor to “Mastering Bipolar Disorder: An Insider’s Guide to Managing Mood Swings and Finding Balance” edited by Kerrie Eyers & Gordon Parker (Allen & Unwin, 2010).