The SALT Foundation

What is NDIS Funding? The Ultimate Guide for People Who Want to Know7 min read

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What is NDIS Funding? The Ultimate Guide for People Who Want to KNow

At its simplest, NDIS funding is money the government has set aside to support people with disabilities.

When you first try to understand NDIS funding, it can be overwhelming.

You’ll encounter acronyms (what does NDIS even mean?) and lots of jargon (funding categories, schemes). In fact, there’s so much information to absorb about what you can and can’t do that you wish you had someone to guide you through the information.

Well, that’s what The SALT Foundation is here to do for you… we’ll guide you through a complex topic and make it simple.

By the end of this post, you will understand the basics of NDIS funding and how it can support you.

First, what does ‘NDIS’ stand for? The letters are for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Second, OK, I understand the letters, but what do they mean? The NDIS is money that the Commonwealth and state governments provide to fund disability support.

If you have a disability—mental, physical, or intellectual—you may be eligible to access some of this money to get the help you need.

How does the NDIS scheme work?

Let’s talk about how the NDIS scheme will work for you.

The NDIS scheme has four steps.

First, an eligibility test. This is a simple series of questions to check whether you can get support through the NDIS.

It’s not too daunting. The NDIS website shows the five questions you need to answer to find out if you’re eligible:

  • Are you aged between 7 and 65?
  • Live in Australia and have Australian residency?
  • Usually need support from a person because of a permanent and significant disability?
  • Use special equipment because of a permanent and significant disability?
  • Do you need some supports now to reduce your future needs?

You don’t have to answer all these questions with a yes to be eligible. If you’re unsure if you qualify, call us on 1300 777 258, and we’ll be happy to work it out with you.

Second, an assessment. The purpose of the evaluation is to consider ways The Salt Foundation can support you.

Third, a care plan. The SALT Foundation will work with you to create a care plan based on your assessment. This document will outline the services and supports we’ve undertaken to provide for you.

Fourth, regular reviews. We will make sure we review your care plan to provide you with the care you need, as your needs may change.

Read more: How Do NDIS Supports Help to Build Independence?

How is the NDIS funded?

Let’s get down to the financial nitty-gritty (I promise I’ll keep the numbers and the jargon to a bare minimum).

NDIS Funding: A Joint Commonwealth and Victorian Government Scheme

The NDIS is a joint-venture between the Commonwealth and the state and territory governments. Both levels of government provide money for the NDIS.

The Commonwealth provides a bit more than half the funding available, while the state government provides the rest.

They review this funding arrangement every five years. Like many organisations, the Commonwealth and state governments are always looking at better, cheaper ways of doing things.

Raising and Distributing NDIS Funds

The Commonwealth government’s money comes from the Medicare levy, which has increased from 1.5% to 2% of taxable income.

The funds raised through the Medicare levy go into a special NDIS fund, DisabilityCare Australia. This fund repays governments for their NDIS expenditure.

When additional funds need to be called on, these must come from general budgets (there’s a reason to pay attention to federal and state budget nights) and through borrowings.

Just as with personal budgets, borrowing money solves a short-term problem while creating additional issues in the long-term.

But, for right now, the only thing you need to know is that the government has set aside money to help you — if you meet the eligibility criteria we discussed above.

NDIS funding categories

NDIS funds supports from three budgets:

  • Core Supports: These include such things as consumables, daily activities, and transport.
  • Capacity Building Supports: These supports help you reach your full potential and live independently. They cover eight subcategories:
    • Choice and control,
    • Daily activities,
    • Employment,
    • Health and wellbeing,
    • Home living,
    • Lifelong learning,
    • Relationship-building,
    • Social and community participation.
  • Capital Supports: These supports are one-off payments for items like assistive technologies and home modifications, such as installing rails.

The SALT Foundation offers NDIS services under Core Supports and Capacity Building Supports.

Keep reading: How NDIS Capacity Building Supports Can Develop Your Independence>>

The criteria for choosing what support you can access depends on what is reasonable and necessary. For instance, NDIS aims to help you live a full life as independently as possible. It’s all based on each individual’s needs. Those with high day-to-day needs may benefit from the NDIS’s Supported Independent Living.

Every participant who starts with SALT starts with an assessment. Because everyone has different needs, your assessment makes sure we understand your needs and desires. For instance, we will work with you to find the funding category that best suits you.

To help us help you, it’s a good idea to think through what supports you want and need. NDIS funding categories are your guide to doing that. Look over the categories and ask yourself, will this help me? Why?

However, you don’t need to worry too much about this. The SALT Foundation worker who carries out your assessment will guide you through the categories and make sure you understand them all.

What Can I Use NDIS Funds For?

Let’s drill down a little deeper into what you can spend NDIS funds on.

First, we’ll talk about what you can spend NDIS funds on. Second, we’ll talk about what you cannot use NDIS funds for.

The overarching purpose of the NDIS is to increase the independence of people accessing the scheme.

Read more: Empowering Independence with the NDIS

Above all, this list is to inspire you about what’s possible with NDIS funding.

What you CAN use NDIS funds for

For example, here is a list of a variety of uses for NDIS funding:

  • Daily personal activities,
  • Transport to enable you to take part in the community, social, economic, spiritual, and other activities,
  • Therapeutic supports, including behaviour supports,
  • Aid with household tasks, such as cleaning and maintenance, and help with the yard,
  • Assessments for aids or equipment, setting it up, and learning how to use it,
  • Home modifications,
  • Mobility equipment, and
  • Vehicle modifications.

This list isn’t exhaustive. Think of it as giving you ideas.

What You CANNOT Use NDIS Funds For

The cannot list is much shorter. For example:

  • Items that aren’t related to your disability
  • Day-to-day costs that are unrelated to your support needs
  • Items that could cause you or others harm—risky things.

To sum up, at The SALT Foundation, we assess each person to make sure they get the assigned funding in the right support categories.

Therefore, your care plan becomes the basis of the services we deliver. Your support worker will provide the services at the cost agreed upon.

At SALT, we take a person-centred approach to NDIS funding. For us, it’s about you and your choices and needs. We like to put you in charge of how you spend your funds.

If you have questions or you’d like to start your NDIS journey, please call The SALT Foundation on 1300 777 258, or fill out the form below and one of our team will be in touch soon.

If you’d like to explore further yourself, check out our NDIS Resources.

We're always here if you want to talk 1300 777 258.
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