The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is expected to support almost 500,000 Australians and help provide the means they need to live an ordinary life. The NDIS will provide support to help people with a disability reach their personal goals of independence, involvement, employment and wellbeing – the lives many of us already enjoy.
Disability management in Australia has, in the past, been uncoordinated, fragmented, reactive – and expensive.
The NDIS will cost a lot of money, over $20 billion, and needs special taxes on income earners to help pay its costs.
It is expected though, that the NDIS will benefit all Australians. It will avoid the currently existing “invisible” costs of disability including hospitalisation, carers who are lost to the workforce, unnecessary interventions, and self-management opportunities.
These historical costs are estimated to be far more than what is predicted to be spent on the NDIS. While it is hard to quantify the historical costs to Australia, government estimates have justified the cost of the NDIS as ongoing and sustainable.
For people to be approved to receive NDIS funding they must meet certain eligibility criteria, specifically:
- Have a significant and permanent disability
- Be an Australian permanent resident and/or citizen, and
- Be younger than 65 years.
After a person is approved they become a Participant, and will receive a planning visit by either the NDIS or an NDIS representative called a Local Area Coordinator (LAC).
From this point, a plan and a budget will be created allowing money to be spent in certain areas to help the Participant work towards achieving their goals. Only expenditures determined to be “reasonable and necessary” will be included in the plan.
To get started with the NDIS, people are advised to review the NDIS website as it details the process of getting NDIS funding. Alternatively, call the NDIS on 1800 800 110.
Once a person becomes an NDIS Participant, they can choose how to manage the money they receive from the NDIS – with choices including Self Management or using a Plan Manager. To keep their options open, and retain flexibility and control of how their NDIS funds are spent, NDIS Participants are recommended to request Plan Management.
Capital Guardians is an NDIS Registered Financial Intermediary offering services to both Participants who self-manage and Plan Managers.