Do you have questions about what is an NDIS plan? Well, at Care Support Network, we have all the answers.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a funding scheme introduced by the Australian government and administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to provide support to people living with disability. It is currently in the process of being rolled out around Australia and is projected to be fully operational nationally by 2020.
NDIS Plans: A Quick Definition
An NDIS plan is a comprehensive document that details all your needs, goals and disability supports required. It also includes details of the funding you receive or may be eligible to receive. As your situation and life evolves, so will your NDIS plan. Everyone has a tailored, personalised NDIS plan because everyone’s circumstances are different.
Why Has the NDIS Been Introduced?
Currently, there are 4.3 million Australians living with disability. Once the NDIS has been fully rolled out, it is projected to provide supports and services to over 460,000 Australians under the age of 65 who are living with permanent and significant disability. The NDIS will provide support to people who may have never previously received the disability support they needed. Beyond supporting those with disability, the NDIS also helps their family and caregivers.
The approach the NDIS takes is one that plans for the future; it invests in people with disability early so that their outcomes in life can improve later on. The goal of the NDIS is to help people achieve their goals, whether that be independence, education, employment, community engagement, health or wellbeing – or all of the above.
The NDIS recognises that everyone’s circumstances, and therefore their goals, are different, which is why flexibility is an integral part to the scheme. The design of the NDIS means you can choose and manage the supports which best suit you and will propel you to achieve your goals.
This world-leading system is designed to be equitable and sustainable, providing consistency and certainty for people with disability as well as their families and caregivers.
Who is Eligible for an NDIS Plan?
To be eligible for an NDIS plan you must:
- Have a permanent and significant disability that significantly affects your ability to participate in everyday life
- Be under the age of 65 when first entering the NDIS
- Be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent visa
- Live in an area of Australia where the NDIS has been introduced (which will be everywhere by 2020)
The NDIS is not means tested, which means that no matter what assets you possess, you will still able to access the scheme.
How Do I Apply for an NDIS Plan?
If you meet all the eligibility requirements, you can apply for an NDIS plan by making an Access Request by contacting the NDIA. They will send you the information you need to verify your request and how you can set up an NDIS plan. If you need assistance filling out the Access Request form or calling the NDIA, you can call Care Support Network to get some NDIS pre- planning assistance.
The Access Request process involves:
- Confirming your identity and/or a person’s authority to act on your behalf
- Confirming that you meet the eligibility requirements to access the NDIS
- Questions regarding your consent to enter the NDIS and about seeking information from third parties, for example, if you currently receive disability supports and we would like to contact your provider, you must first provide consent
Some additional information about your disability and how it impacts your daily life may also be required after you make the Access Request. This may be in the form of copies of existing information, such as letters or reports. Alternatively, you can also ask your current health professional to fill out and sign a form.
Once the Access Request process is complete, and you have been deemed eligible to access the scheme, NDIS will contact you to organise a planning meeting. When you receive confirmation from the NDIS that you are eligible for pre-planning assistance, it is time to contact Care Support Network.
With our NDIS Pre-Planning services, we help you unlock the complexities of the NDIS system, so you are empowered to know what to ask for and what you are entitled to receive.
What are the Different Kinds of Plan Management?
Through the NDIS, whenever you access a service or support using your NDIS fund, a financial transaction is made. Each transaction must fall within the guidelines of the NDIS and so must be tracked and accounted for. Who you entrust with your plan management is responsible for tracking your budget and ensuring that your service providers get paid.
There are three different kinds of plan management to suit your needs and circumstances. They are:
- Agency Managed – Agency managed plans are directly managed by the NDIA. They sort out the payment and budget tracking for you; however this option is quite inflexible as it means you are only able to seek support from NDIS registered providers, and you must also seek NDIA approval before any NDIS-related purchase, no matter how big or small.
- Self-Managed – Self-managed plans are incredibly flexible but also require a lot of responsibility. Self-managed plans allow you to seek services from non-NDIS registered providers, but you must organise service agreements with your providers yourself. This type of management is best suited to someone who is good at managing money and dealing with complex paperwork.
- Plan Managed – This involves a third-party, such as Care Support Network, managing your funding on your behalf. It allows you the flexibility of a self-managed fund without the administrative burden. Funding for Plan Management is included in your NDIS plan, over and above any funding you receive for the services you need.
You may also choose to use a mixture of different NDIS management types for different aspects of your NDIS fund, or you may choose to change it in the future.
Care Support Network NDIS Plan Management
If you have any more questions around what is an NDIS plan, or would like to consult Care Support Network about providing you with plan management services, feel free to get in contact with us today:
Phone: 1300 177 577