Funding & support options – NDIS & My Aged Care

The NDIS and My Aged Care are how the Australian Government funds disability support and aged care services and programs. 

While they share similar goals, there are significant differences between the two systems’ target demographic, funding criteria, and level of control that participants have over their care.

NDIS

NDIS stands for National Disability Insurance Scheme. It provides support to individuals with permanent and significant disability. Its goal is to enable people with disability to live as independently as possible by providing funding for a wide range of services, including healthcare, rehabilitation, and community participation programs.

MY AGED CARE

My Aged Care provide care and support for older Australians (aged 65+, or 50+ for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people). Its funded services include in-home care, respite care, and residential aged care. Its focus is on providing care and support to older Australians to support older living.

You might have heard about changes to funding announced through the NDIS Review report. At this stage, these are just suggestions and do not impact how services are funded. If this changes, SibPlan will be updated to reflect this.

More about funding and support from the NDIS

The NDIS identifies and refers to people who receive disability funding support as ‘participants’. It provides funding to participants in three key areas:

Core Supports Capital Supports Capacity Building Supports

Funding for things participants need for everyday life, such as:

  • Assistance with daily living
  • Transport allowance
  • Consumables
  • Assistance with social and community participation

Funding for significant, ‘one off’ items that participants require to support them in daily life, such as:

  • Assistive technology
  • Home modifications
  • Specialised disability accommodation

Funding to help participants build skills to become more independent, such as:

  • Support coordination
  • Improved living arrangements
  • Increased social and community participation
  • Finding and keeping a job
  • Improved relationships
  • Improved health and wellbeing
  • Improved learning
  • Improved life choices
  • Improved daily living

Managing an NDIS plan

If your brother or sister has a NDIS plan, there are three options for managing their plan funds: self-managed, plan-managed and agency-managed.

Self-managed NDIS plans Plan-managed NDIS plans Agency-managed NDIS plans

When a NDIS plan is self-managed, the administration and management of how the plan is used is entirely up to your brother or sister, who the plan was created for, or their appointed nominee.

When a NDIS plan is managed by a third-party fund or plan manager, the administration, payment for services and administration of the plan are the responsibility of the appointed plan manager. The plan manager may also provide other tools and resources to support your brother or sister in their NDIS journey. There is a charge for plan management, which is funded by the NDIS and needs to be included in your brother or sister’s NDIS plan.

When a NDIS plan is agency managed, it is managed by the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency). This type of management is sometimes called NDIA managed. When a plan is agency managed, your brother or sister can only access supports from NDIS registered providers. This can mean they may not be able to access smaller, privately owned service providers. With an agency managed plan, any supports provided to your brother or sister are claimed directly through the NDIA portal by the provider.

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NDIS Navigator

 

Hireup’s NDIS Navigator is a free service for NDIS participants who currently don’t have support coordination. Its coaches are available via zoom or phone and can help you and your brother or sister to understand their NDIS plan.

Visit the NDIS Navigator.

Talking about disability: when circumstances change

As we know, life is full of change, and your brother or sister’s needs will evolve over time. If you aren’t sure, the information below is a guide to help you identify when to contact the NDIS about a change in circumstances. A change in circumstances can involve one or more of the following:

 

  • Personal changes: Changes in health, medical condition, or disability-related needs are significant reasons to update the NDIS. If a disability worsens, or if new health conditions arise, it’s crucial to let them know.
  • Change in living situation: If there is a move to a new address, living arrangement, or accommodation, the NDIS should be informed as a participant’s support needs may differ in a new environment.
  • Changes in goals and aspirations: The participant’s goals and aspirations may evolve over time. If there are new objectives or priorities, the NDIS plan should be adjusted to align with them.
  • Changes in how a plan is managed: Selecting the best way to manage a NDIS plan is the participant’s/nominee’s personal choice and depends on individual preferences and circumstances. If the current management of a plan is not working for the participant/nominee, then it is important to request a change.

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Making changes to a NDIS participant plan


Your NDIS appointed local area coordinator or the NDIS can explain how to request changes to a participant plan. There are also advocates they can put you in touch with who can help you and your brother or sister with this process.


Learn more about the role of a local area coordinator.

Read about changing your plan on the NDIS website in Plain English.

More about funding and support from My Aged Care

My Aged Care provides access to a range of government-funded services that are designed to help your brother or sister live independently if they are aged 65+ (or 50+ for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders), and do not currently have a NDIS plan.

If your brother or sister began receiving NDIS funding before they turned 65, they can continue to receive NDIS services even after their 65th birthday.

Typically, your brother or sister will not be able to access funding from My Aged Care and the NDIS at the same time.

Funding from My Aged Care can assist with:


  • Home modifications to make it easier and safer for them to move around
  • Aids to make everyday tasks easier
  • Personal care at home to help with grooming, hygiene and self-care
  • Physio, podiatry and other therapies
  • Transport to attend appointments and keep social
  • Nursing, so that medical needs and other healthcare is supported in their home. 
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NDIS vs My Aged Care – which is better?

 

Neither is better than the other. It’s all about what is best for the individual in question – in this case, your brother or sister. It’s important to carefully consider both options and make sure that current and future supports – whether through the NDIS or My Aged Care – will continue to meet your brother or sister’s needs in the long-term. If you’re unsure, seek advice from NDIS, My Aged Care, or your brother or sister’s healthcare team.

What you can do

Support your brother or sister to make their own decisions wherever possible

The NDIS specifies that adult participants aged 18+ have the right to make their own decisions about their business with the NDIS. It says that wherever possible, NDIS participants should make their own decisions about things that affect them, either independently or with supported decision-making.

Understand and facilitate supported decision-making for a person with disability

Every person has the right to make their own decisions, but sometimes, we need support. When someone needs help to make decisions, it’s called supported decision-making. And is based on making decisions with someone not for them.

Support with decision-making can come from family, friends, and other peers. Support can also come from service providers or other people, such as advocates. Supported decision making looks different for each person.

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Easy Read & video

The Council for Intellectual Disability has created information about supported decision-making for people with intellectual disability. It’s called ‘I can make decisions’ and includes a downloadable two-page Easy Read document in pdf format, and a three-minute video.

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Guide to NDIS decision-making

The Victorian Office
for the Public Advocate’s ‘Guide to NDIS decision-making’ and explores when a decision can be made by, with or for an adult with significant cognitive disability.

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Lived experience video

Check out this NDIS
video where Luke from Inclusion Australia talks about supported decision-making
for people with disability.

Understand how representative decision-making works

If a person cannot make decisions for themselves, even with support, the NDIS will explore who else can make decisions on their behalf. This is known as representative decision-making, and the appointed person is called a nominee. The role of a nominee is voluntary, which means they don’t get paid.

There are two different kinds of nominee: a plan nominee and a correspondence nominee (both can be appointed, depending on individual needs).

A plan nominee is someone appointed who can make decisions in consultation with the participant, about the preparation, management or changes to a plan and manages funding for the plan.

A correspondence nominee can make some decisions about a participant’s business with the NDIS. This does not include those decisions made in preparing or changing a plan, managing the funding supports of a plan or decisions made by an appointed plan nominee. Participant communications are sent to a correspondence nominee and the NDIS will tell a correspondence nominee when they contact the participant directly.

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NDIS info and advice

A participant’s plan may need to be changed for many reasons, including appointment of a nominee. If the participant’s situation changes or their disability support needs change, contact your brother or sister’s local area coordinator, or the NDIS.

Read more about guardians and nominees on the NDIS website.

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Lived experience blog

To read more about representative decision making and NDIS plans, including plan nominee and correspondence nominee scenarios, read our staff member Nat’s guest blog on the Lighthouse Disability site.

Read Nat’s blog about representative decision making and NDIS plans.

Establish a Circle of Support for a person with disability

It is important to remember that there are alternatives to seeking formal legal orders (which might include guardianship and administration), such as establishing a Circle of Support to support you and your brother or sister with decision making.

A Circle of Support involves a group of people in your brother or sister’s life, who they know and trust, coming together to support formulating, promoting and achieving the goals of a person with disability. The circle acts as a community to support and provide practical advice, solve problems and generate creative ideas to contribute positively to a person’s life.

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Blog

A Circle of Support for a person with disability can be whatever you make of them.

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Microboards

 

A Microboard is a similar concept to a Circle of Support but is legally incorporated to become a not-for-profit organisation that supports just one person. A Circle of Support often progresses to become a formalised Microboard.

Complete our personal profiles for future sibling planning

To ensure you can support your brother or sister to make important life decisions that are right for them, it’s important that you first ensure you understand what they want, what is important to them, and how they see themselves living their life for the foreseeable future.

That’s why we’ve created two helpful personal profile documents – a personal profile for your brother or sister, and a personal profile for you. Completing these profiles will help you to gain clarity on their wants and needs, keep track of relevant information and decisions, and enable you to reflect and plan ahead. It’s something you can do with your brother or sister, and you might even find it fun!

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