The prospect of applying for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is as daunting as it is essential but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare, or even difficult, as we set out to show you.
If you have put off applying for the NDIS but know you have to start the journey, it’s best to start it sooner rather than later as your application can take some time to go through the channels and be either approved, requested to supply additional information, or rejected.
If It is rejected, that just means you can reapply, and re-submit with more information to support a successful application.
But first, What is the NDIS?
There are around 4.3 million Australians who have a disability. Within the next five years, the NDIS will provide more than $22 billion in funding a year to an estimated 500,000 Australians who have permanent and significant disability.
For many people, it will be the first time they receive the disability support they need.
The NDIS can provide all people with disabilities with information and connections to services in their communities such as doctors, sporting clubs, support groups, libraries and schools, as well as information about what support is provided by each state and territory government.
But as you are getting your head around how to navigate the scheme, you also have to learn a new language and interpret many acronyms!
So - to start with, it’s best if you can talk to someone who is either involved as an NDIS participant or your nearest Local Area Coordinator (LAC, yes, another acronym … there are a few so stay with me!)
LACs help you:
You can find out more about the role of LACs HERE and to check on the closest LAC to your town or region, head to:
One area that can cause confusion is the difference between an LAC and a Support Coordinator (SC). Both people will support you to get what you need, but they work in different ways.
Where an LAC is someone from the NDIS or an NDIS-partnered organisation who helps you to implement your plan, a SC is an NDIS-funded support for people who need extra help implementing their plan.
This could be because your plan is more complex and you require a bit more support to get what you need.
A SC will coordinate services from a range of suppliers or providers, address service delivery issues and develop the capacity and resilience of your support network.
A SC can also provide case management support at a support coordination or specialist coordination level.
Find out more about Support coordination here.
To find out if you are eligible for the NDIS you can follow this link. Once you have determined that you meet the eligibility requirements you can:
To find your nearest LAC or NDIS office, visit https://www.ndis.gov.au/contact/locations.
As part of the Access Request process, you will be asked:
You may be asked to provide some additional information after you make your Access Request which could include information about your disability and how it impacts on your day-to-day life.
You can provide copies of existing information, including letters or reports, or you can ask your treating health professional to fill out and sign a form.
If you make your Access Request over the phone, you can email or post copies of your existing information, including letters or reports, to:
But it really is best to talk to the people involved in the NDIS before embarking on this long journey. Get support early to help you transition on to a plan as painlessly as possible.
Remember, provide enough information to substantiate your application, but don’t overwhelm the NDIS with too much information or paperwork.
Ensure you have clear goals and be prepared to provide further proof and evidence if required .
For additional support, there are several specialist Disability Advocacy Services that may also be able to assist you with navigating the NDIS access Process and Supporting you on your NDIS journey. You can search for Disability Advocacy Services in your area at Disability Advocacy Finder
The process can be lengthy so be prepared for that.
Suggestion to add to this - For additional supports there are a number of specialist Disability Advocacy Services that may also be able to assist you with navigating the NDIS access Process and Supporting you on your NDIS journey. You can search for Disability Advocacy Services in your area at: https://disabilityadvocacyfinder.dss.gov.au/disability/ndap/