How does NDIS funding work?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides funding to Australians who are aged under 65 years and who live with particular types of disability. (Aged care funding takes over upon turning 65.)
The NDIS can be pretty confusing so we will provide a brief explanation here and answer some frequently asked questions.
The NDIS is different to the Disability Support Pension, which provides income support via Centrelink for people who are unable to work due to a disability. The NDIS provides extra funding for costs such as the purchase of a wheelchair or to pay for various kinds of assistance in the home or out in the community.
What is an NDIS service provider?
Registered NDIS providers can be individuals, businesses, sole traders or non-profit organisations. NDIS registered providers are those who are registered with the NDIS and in order to gain their registration, they have to meet specific government requirements.
Now, if your NDIS funding is managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), you can only use NDIS registered providers for your support.
On the other hand, if you self-manage or have a Plan Manager who manages your payments for you, you can choose to work with support providers who are not registered.
What can NDIS funding be used for?
The NDIS funds a range of supports, some at home, some out of the home. You may need assistance with everyday activities such as personal grooming, meal preparation and light housework. You can use your NDIS funding for support around being transported to social, community and economic activities or to go to medical or other appointments. You can receive workplace assistance that will help you to find or maintain employment or to pursue studies or training.
Therapeutic supports include physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, audiology and behaviour support, to name a few. Your funding can also be used for home modification design and construction, vehicle modifications and mobility equipment.
What it can’t be used for is support that is not related to your disability, day-to-day living costs unrelated to your support needs and items that fall under the responsibility of another government or community service.
Does the NDIS fund mental health?
Does the NDIS fund mental health?
Yes. People with a psychosocial disability related to a mental health issue, (usually a severe and persistent mental illness) have the
right to benefit from the scheme as long as they meet the access requirements.
How can I find NDIS providers?
You’ve made an excellent start by landing right here, on this page. Mable is an online platform that connects people who live with a disability with independent support workers who can provide a wide range of support services.
Mable is different from traditional providers of NDIS support workers. First of all, as it’s purely an online platform, you can search more than 9,000 profiles where each worker lists their photo and information such as their experience, qualifications, availability, cultural background, languages they speak and personality type. Being based online keeps our costs down which means the savings are passed on to you.
Another difference with Mable is that you choose who provides you with support. Instead of an organisation sending you workers they have chosen, you get to find those with whom you feel a good match.
How do I know if I’m eligible for funding?
Eligibility depends on a person’s disability. The NDIS covers people impacted by a permanent, lifelong disability that significantly diminishes their physical, psychological, intellectual, cognitive, sensory, neurological and/or social functioning. You must be aged between 7 and 65 and be a resident of Australia.
To get a clearer picture on your eligibility for support through the NDIS, you can visit the NDIS website to find out make an Access Request.
What is the difference between unregistered and registered NDIS providers?
Firstly, the most important thing you need to know is that ‘registered’ and ‘unregistered’ does not refer to a service provider’s professionalism, nor the quality of the support you should receive.
Under the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, registered providers must meet the NDIS Practice Standards. Both registered and unregistered providers must adhere to the NDIS Code of Conduct.
Not all people who provide support to NDIS participants need to register with the NDIS Commission, however these people are only able to provide support to Plan Managed and Self Managed NDIS Participants. Registration can provide some assurance to NDIS participants that the NDIS provider’s services and supports meet the level of quality and safety stated in the NDIS Practice Standards.
The NDIS Commission’s role is to regulate NDIS providers, provide national consistency, promote safety and quality services, resolve problems and identify areas for improvement.
Most independent support providers offering their services on Mable are not registered with the NDIS Commission. However, all independent support workers on the Mable platform have police and reference checks, plus they are all covered by a comprehensive suite of insurances. As mentioned above, independent support workers must also adhere to the NDIS Code of Conduct. Many may also have their NDIS worker screening (which is displayed on their profile). You can also ask an independent support worker to undertake NDIS worker screening and link their registration to Mable.
Get the assistance you need and deserve through the NDIS
If you haven’t yet applied for the NDIS, there’s no better time than right now. Even though it can take time to be approved, the sooner you submit your application and begin the process, the sooner you will have your eligibility determined.
Until your funding begins to flow, you can still access the support you need, however the responsibility for the fees will lie with you.
You can even establish a relationship and a routine with your new support workers before your NDIS application is approved. Remember that you can choose multiple workers so that more of your needs are covered. Aside from essential support such as mobility, grooming and transportation to appointments, you can enjoy additional services that will get you socialising and even pursuing your goals.
How long before I can get my funding?
Once you submit a valid access request, the NDIA must respond within 21 days. In terms of when you will start receiving money, there is no easy answer. It could take a week, three months or as long as 18 months.
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