Most people know the National Disability Insurance Scheme as NDIS. It provides support to people with disability, as well as their families and carers. The Australian and participating states govern and fund it along with territory governments. There are support packages individualized for those who are eligible. The NDIS support includes:
- access to mainstream services;
- access to community services; and
- maintenance of informal supports.
Mainstream services include health, housing, and education. Community services are sports clubs and libraries. Family and friends are the informal supports.
Objectives and principles
The NDIS Rules are legislative instruments created under the NDIS Act. Established in 2013, this act also established the National Disability Insurance Agency. It is the agency that administers the NDIS. Objectives outlined in the act include the following:
- support for the independence of people with disability;
- support for the participation of people with disability in society and economy;
- providing necessary reasonable supports for participants;
- giving people with disability choice and control over their pursuits and goals;
- enabling people with disability to exercise choice and control in the planning and delivery of their supports; and
- providing high-quality and innovative support to people with disability.
Not everyone is eligible to receive individualized support from the NDIS. There are certain requirements one must meet. The person should:
- live where NDIS is available;
- be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or holder of Protected Special Category Visa;
- be under the age of 65 during the access request; and
- meet the early intervention or disability requirements.
Individualized supports are available for funding in several areas. These include funding for:
- personal daily activities;
- transport to community, social, economic, and daily life activities;
- workplace help;
- therapeutic and behaviour supports;
- household tasks aid for maintaining home environment;
- skilled personnel help;
- design modification and construction of home;
- equipment for mobility; and
- modifications of vehicle.
The NDIA meets with NDIS participants so they can agree on a set of supports. These should be reasonable and necessary. These will be part of their NDIS plan. The participant can manage the funds provided under an NDIS plan according to the NDIS Act. There are others who can manage it for the participant. These are the NDIA or a registered plan management provider. A nominee of the participant can also manage it.
The NDIS will represent a new government program that is essential. The Australian government will be responsible for over half of the annual cost of the scheme. That is about $11.2 billion.