The NDIS is a social insurance scheme which will transform the way disability services are provided in Australia.
To give you some context, Medicare is an example of another social insurance scheme.
The concept for the NDIS was developed following a Productivity Commission report which addressed the lack of response and timely interventions of care and support for individuals and their families affected by disability.
The lack of integration between the aged-care, disability and health sectors has resulted in a fragmented and duplicated approach to care and services.
The NDIS will:
The NDIS will start in launch locations before being rolled out more broadly. The first stage of a NDIS will commence from July 2013 with launch sites in South Australia, Tasmania, the Hunter region in New South Wales and the Barwon region of Victoria.
The Australian Capital Territory launch will commence in July 2014.
This approach will ensure that the implementation of the scheme is informed by feedback from people with disability, their families and carers, service providers and community organisations.
The NDIS Launch Transition Agency (known as the Agency) will be established by the NDIS bill (known as the Bill) to deliver the first stage of the scheme.
The Agency will also carry out a range of functions including developing the community sector, building disability awareness and undertaking research.
The Australian Government has released a NDIS Consultation Paper on the Rules (known as the Rules) that begins to explain how the NDIS will operate. There are still operational decisions to be made prior to July 1, 2013
You can currently register for the NDIS if you live in a launch area. For more information and to register, visit the NDIS website to sign up for more information about launch sites and future participation in the scheme,
The criteria for eligibility considers a person’s age, impairment/s, whether the impairment/s is permanent or likely to be permanent and whether the person would benefit from early intervention.
Early intervention is a new concept to the funding model which will attempt to put measures in place that limit the deterioration of disability symptoms, enabling people with a disability to live fuller lives for longer.
In addition, to be eligible a person must:
The Agency is establishing a short, self-assessment /reporting tool that will ask you questions related to your demographic as well as questions related to what area in your life you may require support. This can be completed online or in hard copy.
Your GP, your MS Society, family members or the NDIS Agency can all provide assistance in completing this self-assessment.
The next step will be to have a conversation with an NDIS assessor and planner who will discuss your goals and the supports and services you need to achieve them. Any additional information you have that you can take to this conversation may help speed up this process.
Potentially, yes. One of the objectives of the bill is to provide preventative support to people with a disability that could mitigate further deterioration of symptoms. This suggests it is not limited to people with mobility issues. However this determination will be made in consultation with an NDIS assessor.
This will depend on whether you meet the disability requirements determined by the legislation. For example, you may be eligible for the provision of early intervention support that could help to mitigate, alleviate or prevent deterioration of your symptoms. You may also be eligible for funding that strengthens your support networks.
This could include support to maintain your goal to remain in employment, support related to daily living that a person would require, irrespective of whether they are working, or looking for work (including personal care and support to be ready for work).
The level of service that MS Australia provides varies from state to state, based on the diversification of funding. However, MS Societies will always aim to provide support to people affected by MS.
If you have been receiving services prior to aged 65 you will have continuity of your supports. If a person is diagnosed after the age of 65 at this stage you will not be eligible to receive funding under the NDIS. However there continues to be strong advocacy about the age qualifications for the scheme and it is anticipated that there will be exceptions to the rules under which the CEO of the Agency can overrule.
The main difference between the current funding system and the NDIS is that the current system is a state-based funding model whereas the NSDIS will be a national scheme. This national scheme will be underpinned by one set of high level principles and governed by specific legislation. The need for a new, better coordinated funding model for people with a disability was identified by the Productivity Commission in their analysis of current disability funding. The Commission found that essential services and supports for people with a disability are often grossly underfunded, provided on a crisis only basis and disempowering in nature.
They also identified a lack of integration between the aged-care, disability and health sectors that has resulted in a fragmented and duplicated approach to care and services.
The NDIS seeks to address these issues.
The current system is considered a welfare system (social security) where supports are rationed whereas the NDIS is a social insurance scheme and funds people based on need.
This will mean that instead of funding being allocated to service providers, individuals will be given direct access to funding which they can then administer either directly, or through a broker.
The Federal Government is currently looking at ways to effectively fund the full roll-out of the NDIS scheme. Late last year one billion dollars was set-aside to establish the National Disability Insurance Agency and the launch areas.
States and the Federal government have also agreed to fully fund the launch sites for the next three years.
We will await the release of the 2013-14 federal budget to see if more funding will be allocated to the NDIS rollout.
There a number of criteria within the NDIS rules and legislation to be considered in answering this question including the safeguards, capacity for financial management and who is managing funding for support under the plan developed with the NDIS Agency.
For example: If a participant nominates to independently manage funding under the plan and does not pose what is deemed an unreasonable risk to themselves, carers may not be required to be registered service providers.
The requirement for registering service providers is to provide safeguards for people with disabilities.
The NDIS agency will need to determine the level of care which can be deemed reasonable for informal carers to provide. Current funding to support informal carer programs such as respite will continue to be available. It will be appropriate for many participants to discuss their informal supports and family circumstances with the NDIS Agency. The Agency will also determine a reasonable level of care for informal carers to provide and what is considered necessary to strengthen and sustain these informal supports for funding recipients.
The NDIS is funded on an “as needs” basis, based on your specific and individual needs and the supports are funded on what is deemed ‘necessary and reasonable’ to achieve your goals. This is to ensure people are receiving the right services and support they require, when they need it. If circumstances change you will have another conversation with the agency to modify your plan. There is no foreseeable benefit in “stockpiling” your NDIS funding. It is best used in line with your plan.
The process for review of supports should be simple. You can initiate this process at any time with the NDIS agency or with a case manager. The review process is another conversation with the NDIS agency, and, it will consider other elements of your life in context, including informal care, the circumstances that have changed and your goals. The intention of the scheme is to be responsive to your needs and this includes timely responses where changes to support is required.
While eligibility requirements must be met in order to receive NDIS support, this does not necessarily mean an increase in paperwork. The eligibility process is anticipated to be 12 questions. One of the aims of the NDIS is to avoid duplication and prevent people repeating themselves and applications, therefore the Agency will encourage potential participates to provide existing current & relevant information and assessments.
No. Funds allocated to you are to provide the supports in your plan and enable to you to achieve your goals
The whole concept of the NDIS is to give people with a disability greater ‘choice and dignity’. You will have the ability to decide where you allocate your funding. As a result, you can choose your service providers based on your individual needs and values.
Service providers will most likely be approved or registered with the NDIS agency.
The NDIS Agency will consider applications for a person or entity to become a registered provider based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:
It will be the responsibility of the service provider to register with the NDIS. Once they are registered this information will be available online and the service provider can advertise that they are registered with as a NDIS provider.
Information about registered services providers will be publically available. There will be several avenues for you to access this information. If you wish, you can also approach the NDIS to appoint you a case manager. They will be able to assist you with this information. In addition, you can ask the service provider directly or access information from the NDIS website.
It is most likely that there will still be the same amount of registered providers under the new scheme however you will have greater choice in determining which provider is right for you. The NDIS will ensure you have the information necessary to make a sound decision on your service provider. It is anticipated that over time, new service providers will emerge, providing greater choice for people to allocate their funding. This will vary according to locality and market opportunities.
This will depend on your values and what you believe is the best value for money. You can select service providers based on the factors which are important to you and information you obtain from their web site, marketing information and/or interview.
This is the aim of the NDIS. While the service providers will not communicate with one another, you have the choice to request support to assist you in the coordination of your choice.
It is yet to be determined how new accommodation and respite facilities will be provided as the NDIS does not have capital funds to purchase or build new services. There is a specialist taskforce looking at broader residential options. Better residential options and a more responsive funding model may mean that some people will not have to leave their home and that they can put in place measures to live at home comfortably.
There is no legislation which requires neurologists and doctors to inform patients of the NDIS, however through education and information they will better understand the NDIS and how it can best benefit you.
There are many ways to access information about the NDIS. Your local MS Society will be informed and willing to help you access any of the information you might need.
The next significant events include:
Until the legislation is debated, all Australian’s, are invited to ‘have their say’ on the legislation and proposed scheme and MS Australia will continue to make representations in this space.
There are many ways to receive information about the progress of the NDIS. For example:
Service providers will be regulated as per their industry. As the NDIS agency will be an Australian Government agency, it will fall under the jurisdiction of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
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