Support For People Through The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports people with disability. It gives individual funding packages to people who are under 65 and living with permanent and significant disability. The NDIS is available for everyone. It doesn’t matter how much you earn and it doesn’t affect Centrelink payments.
The Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission can help people who need legal assistance about the NDIS. If you have any questions about the NDIS see the frequently asked questions below or contact the Legal Aid Helpline on 1800 019 343.
Frequently asked questions
What does the NDIS law say?
The law says that:
• People with disability have the same rights as other members of society.
• People with disability should have their privacy and dignity respected.
• People with disability and their families and carers should know what it happening with funding for support.
• People with disability should be supported to make choices and have control in their lives.
• The role of families and carers should be acknowledged and respected.
How do I apply for the NDIS?
You have to make an Access Request. You can fill in a form or talk to someone on the phone. Call 1800 800 110 for more information.
To get support from the NDIS, you have to:
• Be under 65 when you make your Access Request.
• Be an Australian citizen or have a permanent or special category visa.
• Show that you have a disability that is caused by an intellectual, cognitive, neurological, sensory, or physical impairment.
Your disability must be permanent or likely to be permanent. You need to show that your disability makes it hard for you to do one of these things:
• interact socially
• learn things
• move around
• care for yourself
• manage parts of your life.
Your impairment must affect your ability to have social relationships or work or volunteer. You have to show that you need support for the rest of your life.
If your situation doesn’t fit all of these points but you still need support, you might be able to access the NDIS through the early intervention pathway. This pathway is used by people with a condition that will get worse over time, or children who lives with conditions such as autism or developmental delay. You need to show that getting support now will help you in the future or stop you getting worse.
How do I get funding for supports?
After you get access to the NDIS, you will get an NDIS plan. A plan is a document that tell you what supports you will get funding for. NDIS plans have two parts:
1. Statement of goals: this is a list of things you want to achieve. You decide what the goals are. Some examples of goals are to improve my mobility; to get a job; to improve my communication; to improve my fitness. Your statement of goals belongs to you. You can change your goals at any time.
2. Statement of supports: this is a list of things that will be paid for. The National Disability Insurance Agency decides after talking to you. All supports have to be reasonable and necessary. This means that supports have to:
o help you pursue your goals
o help you have social relationships or work or volunteer
o be value for money (bring enough benefit to you for the cost)
o work well and help you
o fit with the support people in your family and community provide you
o be something the NDIS should fund (and not another system like the health or education system).
What if I disagree with a decision?
If you don’t agree with a decision made about you, you have the right to appeal. Under NDIS law, appeals are called reviews.
You have 3 months to ask for a review. You can fill out a form. You can also ask over the phone or by visiting an NDIS office.
First an independent person in the National Disability Insurance Agency will look at the decision again. This person will usually be a senior staff member. You will get a letter saying what they have decided.
If you still think the decision is wrong, you can appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The tribunal look at decisions made by government agencies to make sure they follow the law. The tribunal is like a court but less formal. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal is not connected to the National Disability Insurance Agency.
It doesn’t cost anything to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. You can get free legal help with this process.
How can I get legal help?
The Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission has a specialist NDIS legal service. We can:
• give you advice about your rights
• help you apply for the NDIS
• help you get the supports you need
• represent you in court.
Our service is free, confidential, and respectful. To make an appointment, call the Legal Aid Helpline on 1800 019 343.
Here are some explanations for words used in the NDIS
Access Request To ask the National Disability Insurance Agency if you can get funding from the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) An independent body that reviews decisions made by government agencies. It is like a court but less formal.
disability reduced capacity caused by an intellectual, cognitive, neurological, sensory, or physical impairment.
permanent and significant disability A disability that is lifelong and has a substantial impact on your ability to do everyday activities
early intervention pathway Providing support to a person as early as possible to reduce the impact of disability and build skills and independence
Plan A document that says what supports the NDIS will pay for
goals Things you want to achieve
Supports Things that help a person in their daily life, help them participate in community, and help them reach their goals
internal review When the National Disability Insurance Agency looks at a decision they made, to make sure they made the right decision. They have to think about the information you gave them and what the law says
independent person Someone who didn’t make the first decision
National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) The agency that makes decisions about who can access the National Disability Insurance Scheme
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Funding to support people with disability
participant A person who can access the National Disability Insurance Scheme
reasonable and necessary A support that
• helps a person pursue their goals
• helps a person engage in social and economic life
• is value for money
• will be effective and beneficial
• considers what is reasonable for people in your family and the community to provide
• is appropriate for the NDIS to fund