The Process

To access the NDIS, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) who runs the NDIS will need to know some information about your brother or sister, who they call ‘the participant’. Your brother or sister, or someone acting on their behalf, may be asked to fill in a form or tell someone the information over the phone. If your brother or sister currently receives disability supports, their provider may be able to supply this information on their behalf.

If your brother or sister receives no current services or supports, you will need to contact the NDIA when it is available in your area.
You can do this by:

  • Visiting the local NDIA shopfront office
  • Ring the NDIS on 1800 800 110
  • Visit the NDIS website www.ndis.gov.au

Your brother or sister or you may be required to provide further information or complete an Access Request Form. The emphasis here is on the FUNCTIONAL IMPACT of their disability not necessarily the diagnosis (meaning, how your brother’s or sister’s disability impacts on them on a day-to-day basis). It is essential, if there are multiple disabilities, to include them all.
On receipt of the completed Access Request Form, the NDIA:

  • May seek additional information about the disability from a current service provider.
  • Will confirm receiving the form.
  • Will begin the decision process to determine if the person meets the participant requirements within 21 days.

If your brother or sister is not eligible to be an NDIS participant they will be referred to a Local Area Coordinator, or other relevant contact, who will provide links with mainstream services and broader community supports. For example, this could be a local community group or local health services.

If your brother or sister is eligible for the NDIS, an NDIS Representative (a Planner or Local Area Co-ordinator) will contact your brother or sister (or you) to outline what the next steps are to create a First Plan, including making a time to meet. First Plans may be completed by phone or face-to-face. Both ways work well. If you would like a face-to-face meeting be clear about your reasons for requesting it.

This first plan will provide the reasonable and necessary supports your brother or sister can use to achieve their goals. As mentioned, you can ask for a re-assessment at any time with change of circumstances, but this may be scheduled based on priority.

If your brother or sister already receives disability services and supports, these should continue until they transition to the NDIS.
For more detail see www.ndis.gov.au/participants/firstplan.html

It is also a good idea for people with disability and families to start thinking about their goals and what they might want in their plan before they meet with a planner or LAC. There are various workshops being rolled out around the country to help families prepare for the NDIS.

For some tips for preparing for the NDIS see
http://www.everyaustraliancounts.com.au/10-top-tips-preparing-for-the-ndis/

or watch this video