Are You Eligible to Receive NDIS Funding?
If you are under 65 years of age and have a disability, you may be entitled to services which are paid for under the Federal government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS is designed to provide to persons with a disability “necessary and reasonable” services and support so they can live as independently as possible. The person must be are an Australian citizen or resident, or permanent visa holder to receive funding. The NDIS is controlled by the government’s National Disability Insurance Agency.
Here’s more information on the NDIS website.
What is a Disability?
Unfortunately, this bureaucratic scheme is complex to understand and navigate. For example, if you are eligible to receive NDIS funding, in good government-speak, you will be called a “participant” in the scheme. Unfortunately, even basis principles such as what is a disability, are complex to determine. “Disability” is described as total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions – examples are not being fully able to do activities you may wish to, or being restricted in interacting with your environment. You would think this very broad definition would apply to many, however, before the scheme is fully operational already we are seeing bureaucratic decisions restricting people that most would consider having a disability, as not being eligible.
What Support is Available?
It is also unclear what “necessary and reasonable support” practically means. The government wishes to ensure the person with a disability does not receive support in excess of what they need, but the person with the disability may have a very different opinion to government officers on what is “necessary” and “reasonable”.
As the scheme rolls out nationally, and the reality of obtaining service provision and payments under the NDIS starts to impact, you may need “someone in your corner” to provide advice and to speak on your behalf, and ensure your rights are respected.