Navigating the NDIS can be daunting, especially if the NDIS marks the first time you or your loved one are accessing supports and services. The Inform Online NDIS 101 series aims to take some of the confusion out of understanding, accessing and using the NDIS by providing straightforward information and resources.
The NDIS provides individualised support for people with disabilities, their families and carers through NDIS Plans. These plans provide funding for supports and services. Plans can be self-managed or managed by the NDIA or a registered plan manager.
Am I eligible?
The first step towards accessing support through an NDIS Plan is finding out if you are eligible. To access the NDIS, you must meet certain eligibility criteria.
- Aged under 65
- Living in Australia and be an Australian citizen or have Australian residency
- You must meet the disability requirements
If you meet these criteria and are therefore eligible for NDIS funding, you become a participant. If you do not meet these criteria, you can still receive help to access government and community services.
What happens next?
Once your eligibility has been confirmed, the next step is to make an Access Request. You can do this by calling the NDIS on 1800 800 110 and either making a verbal request or filling out a paper form. And if you need help filling out that form or making that verbal request, you can get assistance from your nearest Local Area Coordinator, Early Childhood Intervention partner or your nearest NDIA office. Find your nearest coordinator or office here.
Planning for the future
Once your access request has been processed, the next step is creating your plan. Your NDIS plan outlines what your goals are and what kinds of help and supports you need. Whether you want to be more independent, go to university or get a job, NDIS plans are designed to help you achieve your goals.
To create your NDIS plan, you’ll meet with an Early Childhood Early Intervention Coordinator, a Local Area Coordinator, or an NDIA Planner. During your planning meeting, your planner will ask you questions about your community supports, your day-to-day life and what you would like to achieve.
Because these are important questions, it’s a good idea to spend some time thinking about these questions before your meeting.
Making your plan work for you
One of the most important principles of the NDIS is that participants have choice and control. That means that participants control their funding, so you get to decide the how, where and when of your supports.
There are several options when it comes to how your NDIS plan is managed:
- self-managed: participants manage their plan themselves
- use a registered plan manager
- have the NDIA manage the plan
- a combination of the above
The NDIS provides resources to help participants get their plan started.
If you’re unhappy with your plan, you can request a review of the decision by contacting the NDIA.
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