If you’re still figuring out where the NDIS fits into your life, take a look at our Frequent Asked Questions. If we don’t answer your question below, call us and we’ll talk you through it – 1300 554 260.
When is the NDIS available?
The NDIS is available nationally now.
Where is the NDIS available?
The NDIS is available throughout all areas that CareSouth service:
- Batemans Bay
- Wagga Wagga
- Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Am I - or the person I care for - eligible for the NDIS?
For an individual to be eligible for the NDIS they must:
- Live in Australia and have Australian residency
- Be under 65 years of age
- Have a disability that is likely to be permanent (lifelong) and that prevents them from doing everyday things by themselves
- Be a child under six years of age with developmental delay. The delay means the child usually needs more support with self-care, communication, learning or motor skills than other children of the same age.
To check if you or the person in your care is eligible, call CareSouth on 1300 554 260 or the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on 1800 800 110.
What can I find a Local Area Coordinator?
A LAC is a representative that will help you to develop your NDIS plan. Uniting is the LAC in the regions that CareSouth service. They will help you to develop and understand your plan, as well as connect you with community services and programs etc.
What is the difference between NDIA and NDIS?
The NDIA is the National Disability Insurance Agency. They oversee the NDIS.
The NDIS is the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It is because of this scheme that you are able to receive a package from the NDIA to help improve your capacity and independence.
Can I request an in-person planning meeting?
YES. Most planners will arrange to meet with you in person for your first plan. However, there may be some who would like to review your plan over the phone. You can request an in-person meeting at any time. If you are contacted from your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) but would prefer to meet with a representative from the NDIA instead, you can also request this. It may just mean you need to wait for a little longer to get your planning meeting. If you have high, complex needs you can also ask for a senior planner to complete your plan.
Can I start planning before my NDIS meeting?
YES! Your planner will advise you to bring supporting documentation with you before your planning meeting. You can ask your doctor, any specialists, your school, service providers etc. to provide you with a letter of support. You can also bring with you any copies of assessments that have been completed, usually within the last 12-18 months. Any letter should cover your diagnosis, what the recommendations are, and the frequency required. It should also highlight any further supports that may be needed for the family unit.
What will the NDIS cover?
This is a really tricky question to answer as every person is different.
The official answer is NDIS will cover what they determine is reasonable and necessary.
For example, if you needed Community Support, the NDIS would pay for the person to support you, but they may not necessarily pay for the activity itself. If you needed assistance with personal care within your home, they would provide that support. The whole idea of the scheme is that it improves individual skills and capacity. They want to make it easier for people to access the community around them, not just disability-specific service providers, but the actual community as a whole.
The NDIS will cover supports for family members, in the form of training and counselling. They will also provide assistance with any equipment that is required to help an individual function daily, so think wheelchairs, home modifications, splints etc. However, they will not cover anything that should be covered by the education department or health department (they do not like double-dipping).
Equipment, consumables and home modifications are all done via a quote - usually by an OT and the quoting process usually requires them to list the actual dollar amount in people’s plans as $1.
Do I have a choice about which staff members will support me?
YES. The great thing about the NDIS is that you (or your advocate) have control over who you work with and who you don’t. The NDIS is more about tailor-made supports than expecting one size to fit all. You can ask for a different support worker at your current service if you are not happy with the person providing the service. Or, if you don’t like a service that is being provided to you, you can give four weeks’ notice and terminate that support (assuming that’s in line with what you signed to in your service agreement). The other option is to ask for a different worker at the current service instead of terminating. Under the NDIS you have more control over what you want.
The only glitch is:
If you have an NDIA managed plan, you can only use NDIS registered providers. This means that any support staff, therapist etc., must all register with the agency, and not everyone does.
What is ‘Support Coordination’?
This is funding for someone to help you get your plan in place. They can advocate in your community for you and connect you in with your local community. They can also help you understand your plan and budget.
If ‘Support Coordination’ is in your plan, a CareSouth Support Coordinator can work with you. If it isn’t in your plan, speak to our staff about adding it to your plan.
What are the differences between being NDIA-managed, Plan-managed and Self-managed?
- This is where the NDIS manages your package
- You can only use NDIS registered providers
- Little flexibility
- Good for people who have smaller packages, have service providers who are already in place and who are registered with the NDIA and don’t want to look after the finances themselves
- This is also known as ‘financial plan management’
- An addition in your plan to allow for a financial intermediary to oversee payments for you
- You can use either NDIS registered or non-NDIS registered people
- Good for people who want to use a therapist, but who also have a family friend to provide supports within the community (as an example)
- Think of this like running a small business
- You generally have to pay for things and services up front and then you claim back through the portal
- You are able to negotiate rates of pay and so can sometimes get more value for money
- You need to keep copies of invoices etc. in case you are audited
- You are in complete control – finding staff, finding therapists etc.
Do I need a separate bank account to manage my NDIS package?
No. Although, we do recommend keeping a spreadsheet to keep a record of all your expenses under the NDIS.
Can you claim Medicare and health fund rebates for children’s services that we use under our NDIS plan?
No. What falls under the health department must stay under health. For example, if you get a health care plan to see a psychologist, but there is a gap that has to be paid, you have to pay the gap. You cannot use your NDIS package to pay for the gap.
What kind of supports can my child access through the NDIS’ Early Childhood Early Intervention and are they only short-term?
If you have a child who is between the ages of 0-6 and a teacher, doctor, therapist etc. has noticed that your child hasn’t reached some of their milestones or you are concerned about their development, you can apply for an ECEI package – an Early Childhood Early Intervention package.
My child has been diagnosed with a disability; what should I do next?
If your child has been diagnosed with a disability and you’re not sure where to start, contact CareSouth on 1300 554 260. We can help you with:
- Understanding their diagnosis and disability
- Connecting you with services in the community that support you and your child
- Becoming more involved in your community
- Working with the entire family to maintain resilience and wellbeing
How can you prepare for the NDIS?
Once you think you – or the person in your care - can access the NDIS, you will need to apply via the NDIA website. You will be contacted by a NDIA Local Area Coordinator (LAC) to have an NDIS planning meeting. This will be either over the phone or in person. They will talk to you about:
- Your goals or goals for the person in your care
- Supports you currently have in place or supports that you need to put in place
- Things you need because of the disability, to reach identified goals
We’ve developed a pre-planning booklet that’s available on our website. By working through it, you’ll get an idea of areas you might need help with and we’ll get an idea of how we can help you.
After the planning meeting, the NDIA will put the plan together and send it to you.
How and where can you find supports to put the plan into action?
Your first step should be to understand what’s in your plan. It will have information about the person on the NDIS (either you or the person you care for). It will also list the funding you have access to along with information on how to best manage your plan. To keep things easy to understand, each area of your life that has NDIS funding attached to it will be separated into its own little budget. For example, ‘Community participation’ will have a separate allocated budget to ‘Improve daily living’.