The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): A Guide On NSW
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is Australia’s first federally-implemented scheme specifically designed to administer disability care across Australia. In NSW, over 140 000 people are expected to begin utilising the scheme as it grows in scope. Of this number, 40 000 are expected to be children and young people. The scheme is managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), which is the primary body and organisation responsible for determining eligibility for the scheme. The occupational therapy NDIS has been in operation throughout most of NSW since 2017. So, if you think you may be eligible for some of the services offered, here is a quick guide on how to gain access and benefit.
Who can access the NDIS?
To become a participant in the scheme, a person must have a permanent disability that affects their ability to perform fundamental activities in their daily lives. The condition must be “lifelong”; however, it can obviously vary in terms of intensity and severity. In addition to this, you must also be:
- under the age of 65 when you first enter the system
- be an Australian citizen or have a permanent visa (including Protected Special Category visa)
How do you join the NDIS?
You can apply to join the scheme at any time, regardless of where you live in NSW. Even if you haven’t ever received government support for your disability, this doesn’t preclude you from joining the system. You can easily hop onto the website and consult the PDF Factsheet on how to join. If you are unsure, here is a quick overview:
- Step 1: Find out whether you are eligible
- Step 2: Call the NDIS
- Step 3: Complete an access request form
- Step 4: Meet with a representative from the NDIA
- Step 5: Use your plan, which has been approved and assembled by the NDIA
Where can you go for extra help?
If you suffer from a disability, it is important to consider all your options if you need support. Sometimes help might be closer than you think.
Family and others that you trust
It’s always advised to speak to close family and friends regarding your treatment. If your social worker or occupational therapist is unavailable, then your guardian or close family friend could be the person you need to talk to just to help you through various procedures.
Your service provider
Don’t forget that your service provider is always there to help. If you are unsure as to which part of the NDIS framework applies to you, then don’t hesitate to get in contact with your disability support provider. On top of this, don’t forget that the NDIS is always available to help.
How does the NDIS help children?
The primary age bracket that falls within the scheme’s capabilities is 7-65. However, that doesn’t mean that children younger than 7 are excluded from the system. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The system allows for more personalised and tailored care to be provided to children aged 0-6. Known as the Early Childhood Early Intervention program, the ECEI is available to those children under the age of 7 who may suffer from a development delay.
The benefits of ECEI
The benefits of ECEI are varied. Firstly, every child is different, so it makes sense that a more standardised approach would be less efficient. Thus, the ECEI focuses on providing tailored initiatives and support to assist young children and their families. The various programs focus on building the child’s sense of awareness, autonomy, social skills and confidence in various social situations. Once the child’s support needs have been highlighted and accounted for, it is much easier to monitor all progress from this point onwards when using the NDIS.