The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a relatively new funding scheme for people with disability. It has been designed to be a single national system for people under 65 with a permanent and significant disability, regardless of where they live. People under 65, who access NDIS, can elect to stay in NDIS after they turn 65. Please note the information here is based on NDIA information and it will vary in WA, where the scheme is operated by the State.
It can seem a little daunting at first but, if you are supporting your brother or sister to access the NDIS, try to get as much information as you can, take it a step at a time and seek extra help if you are struggling with understanding the process. Many NDIS planners, involved in helping to develop Plans, have lived experience of disability themselves. We hope the information here is a useful starting point for you. We also have a Q and A section where you can send in your own questions and we will attempt to have them answered. Or you can join the forum for siblings on this website and ask questions there. There are also various information sessions run by the NDIA and other agencies which we will include in the forum events section.
What is the NDIS?
The NDIS is a way of funding support to people with disability. The NDIS aims to give people with disability better choice and control over services and supports to suit their needs and goals. A Participant Plan is developed for each person and it outlines the supports the NDIS will fund. It is different to previous disability supports in the following ways:
- Instead of agencies being given block funding to provide services to people with a disability, the person with a disability is now provided with their own funding to buy the services they choose.
- Previous disability supports were funded by States and so services often depended on where someone lived. The new national approach aims to be more consistent.
- It is designed to be fairer, more efficient, and provide a one-stop-shop for people to access support, equipment and developmental opportunities.
Roll out schedule
The NDIS is being rolled out in stages around Australia. The system would not be able to cope if it was all rolled out at once. There is information on the NDIS website about the schedule. Detail on state-by-state roll out can be found on the NDIS website
When fully rolled out, the NDIS will support around 460,000 Australians with a permanent and significant disability to lead a better life. Regardless of whether your brother or sister is receiving any supports now, they will need to transition to the new system eventually or they will not be funded for any supports. If your brother or sister is happy with current supports, these should be able to continue, but there will also be a choice to change or to go with another provider.
You can start the ACCESS process six months before the roll out in your area.
Starting your NDIS Plan
Once your brother or sister receives their Participant Plan, they will be contacted by an NDIS representative to put their plan into action. Some of the things you or your sibling will need to do are,
- Read and understand your plan
- Register online for MyGov
- Connect with a person/organisation to help you implement your plan.
Your brother or sister, along with support people like yourself or parents, can get help to get started from a Local Area Coordinator, a Support Coordinator or an Early Childhood Partner. The First Plan is the starting point of an ongoing relationship with the NDIS. This NDIS video tells you more about Starting your first Plan.