Questions about accessing the NDIS
What are the access request phone calls about and why are we not being contacted by letter?
The NDIA is currently telephoning individuals due to transition into the NDIS. An “access request” is the first step in joining the NDIS and this phone call starts this eligibility process. Information will be sought about the person’s age, Australian residency status and disability. Telephone contact is being used to speed up the process of moving people into the NDIS.
If I don’t receive an access call from the NDIS, will I miss entering the scheme?
No. If you are receiving Disability Services’ funded supports now and have signed consent to share your information, your details would have been given to the NDIS. The Identitywa team is also tracking the individuals we support to ensure they have the information they need ahead of their scheduled transition to the NDIS and will provide any assistance required.
In the unlikely event that someone is overlooked, there is still no risk of missing out – there is no “closing date” for eligibility applications [access requests].
Note that the NDIS eligibility criteria does require people to be aged under 65 years when they make their access request.
Questions about managing the plan funding
Will I be responsible for managing my family member’s shared living funding from now on?
No, if your family member has Supported Independent Living (SIL) as a part of their NDIS package, the NDIA will pay your nominated accommodation provider directly.
Can I self-manage my Supported Independent Living (SIL) funding package?
Currently, participants cannot self-manage their SIL funding. Other aspects of the participant’s plan such as therapy, transport or consumables may be self-managed.
Can I still self-manage parts of my NDIS plan?
Self-managing means that the NDIS will pay you for the plan supports, then you engage and pay the provider directly. You can self-manage some or all of your plan supports (other than SIL). For example, you may want your supported employment provider to be paid directly by the NDIA but want more flexibility with your therapy funds and choose to self-manage those. Self-managing allows you to choose any provider, whether they are registered with the NDIS or not.
You can find out more about how self-managing works in the self-managing your plan factsheet. The NDIS website Question and Answers June 2018 also has helpful information regarding self-managing your plan supports.
Does an organisation who is nominated for plan management complete all of the responsibilities in regards to Taxation requirements?
Yes, if you have a plan manager they will pay for supports for you including taxes or other indirect costs associated with the support. This is only in relation to supports you have asked them to manage.
What happens in the event that there is a change in circumstances in regards to self-management?
You can appoint multiple plan nominees to self-manage funds, in this case it wouldn’t be a problem if one was unable to continue managing funds and another nominee could continue. If you need to change the way your plan is managed, you will need to complete a Plan Review Request form. If accepted, you will then need to request plan management or ask NDIA to manage your funds during your Plan Review with your ECEI, NDIS planner or LAC. This is best done face to face but can be done over the phone. The length of time between the review and the new plan can vary but a review only changing plan management type would generally be a lot quicker than a review for supports.
See Operational Guidelines 13.3 para 2
Questions about the annual planning process
If I am not due to transition into the NDIS yet, when can I start planning?
You should start thinking now about what you would like your future to be like. Identitywa has a range of planning supports – you can link in with the Identitywa Planning Officer for your region, access our website for information as well as use our NDIS planning templates. You can meet with our Planning Officers now if you would like to kick start your planning.
Can I nominate the provider to manage the planning process for us?
No. The individual with disability is the centre of the planning process. The person can have whomever they wish or need to support them with the planning process, and this may include a service provider.
Who organises my various service providers to attend my NDIS planning meeting?
The individual with disability is the centre of the planning process. The participant (or their advocate) will invite whomever they wish to the meeting.
Is there a limit on the number of people I can bring to the NDIS Planning Meeting?
No, there is no limit. But as with any meeting, the number of people attending may affect the efficiency of the meeting.
What happens if I make no progress towards my goal and want to change it?
Generally, a participant would not change their statement of goals and aspirations until the review date specified in their plan. However, there may be circumstances where a participant wishes to change their statement of goals and aspirations. This might be as a result of changes to where a person lives or their informal support arrangements.
When a person changes their statement of goals and aspirations, their existing plan is replaced with a new plan.
If the first plan is working well, must we have a review and do a new plan every year?
Yes. A scheduled plan review occurs as part of the normal planning cycle and usually occurs annually (or sometimes sooner). The NDIA Planner and the participant will have a planning session (also called a plan review meeting) to discuss their current plan goals and the outcomes achieved, future goals and what supports will be needed to work towards those. Sometimes plans may not change much if things are working well and the support you need to achieve your new goals is similar.
Can the annual review and planning be done by telephone?
Yes, participants have the option to have a plan review conducted over the telephone. Based on our experience, Identitywa recommends having a face to face meeting as it is a more effective forum for the NDIA Planner to gain a thorough insight to what matters to the individual and the supports required to achieve their plan goals.
My family member lives in an Identitywa shared living house. What is the planning process for this?
People living in a shared house must have Supported Independent Living (SIL) included in their NDIS plan. NDIS planning for people sharing their support will occur separately but at around the same time as each other.
The NDIS will ask Identitywa to submit a quote for SIL for each person who shares the support provided in the house.
The NDIS Planner working with the individual/family will discuss the range of supports the person needs. The supports approved for funding, such as therapy and supported employment, will be included in the plan along with the SIL funding.
How will my completed plan come to me and what do I need to do when I receive it?
Each participant should receive a copy of their NDIS plan after the plan has been approved (usually a slight delay if sent by post).
Through the myplace portal participants can view their NDIS plan and print a PDF copy. There is a step by step guide available on the NDIS website for participants that can help them navigate the portal.
Can the meeting with NDIS Planner occur at the family home – or does it have to be held at Midland office?
Your planning meeting cannot be done at home and is most effective in person, which will be in an NDIS office. In person planning meetings offer the best opportunity for you to discuss your current situation and needs with your planner, making sure you get the most out of your plan. Although you can do your plan over the phone it may not provide the best opportunity for your planner to get to know you and understand your needs.
Questions about managing things before the NDIS
Will there be a gap in service between my current funding stream and the NDIS funding?
When you become a participant in the NDIS you develop a plan containing your goals and the reasonable and necessary supports that you need to achieve them.
The Department of Communities (Disability Services) and the NDIA have been working together to co-ordinate the cease date of Disability Services’ funded supports with the commencement date of the NDIS funded supports. Identitywa’s recent experience is that individuals have not been experiencing a break in service.
It is important for you to respond in a timely way to requests made of you from the NDIA, Disability Services or service providers, such as signing consent forms, so that the service transition process is not hampered.
I am not transitioning into the NDIS for some time and do not have adequate supports. What can I do?
Many block funded services are still available in regions yet to move into the NDIS. Identitywa still offers short breaks in our two children’s houses and one adult house for people not yet in the NDIS. Disability Services’ Local Coordinators are continuing to source supports where reasonable as well as provide information, linkages and referral services.
Will my current Department of Communities Local Coordinator assist me in advocating with the NDIS in regards to planning?
If you have a plan and are linked to a Local Coordinator, your LC will facilitate the transfer of your current plan to the NDIS as the region you live in rolls into the Scheme. The LC will not take on an advocacy role.
Some people don’t know the funding source of their current supports – is this important or is it more important to capture the funded hours support now?
It is most important to capture all the types of supports you currently receive and/or need. Identitywa will inform people we support of the current services they are receiving from us. You can also use the participant Booklet 2 to record your current situation and supports.
Questions about supports in the plan
Will my child receive funding for the therapy that I think she needs?
Participants will receive all reasonable and necessary supports that are associated with their plan goals. The NDIA will make a decision about what is reasonable and necessary – ideally this will match what you think your child needs. You may wish to take with you to the planning meeting, your therapist, therapy assessments or therapy plans to demonstrate your child’s need.
Right now, NDIA works with children under the age of seven and their families. Later in 2018, this role will be undertaken by Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) “partners” which are non-government service providers.
Will NDIS fund SIL for an individual to live on their own?
It is unlikely that the NDIS will fund 24/7 supports to an individual living on their own. People who experience a change in needs and require an increase in support to 24/7 care may need to consider moving to a shared care, host family or co-resident arrangement. For most people, 24/7 rostered support for a single person would not meet the value for money criterion for reasonable and necessary support.
What will happen with employment services?
Assistance to enter or re-enter the workforce is an important support. Disability Employment Service (DES) or Job Services Australia (JSA) providers remain the primary source of assistance to prepare for, find and maintain employment for many people with disability.
For individuals not eligible for DES or JSA support, Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) would have provided people with supported employment opportunities or help to gain training and experience to work in open employment. As the NDIS rolls out, individuals who have an approved NDIS plan will no longer receive support through ADE funding. Instead, the funding required for a person to obtain this kind of support will come through their NDIS plan. People receiving support through organisations such as Workpower, Activ, and Intelife can continue to do so if they choose. (The full list of “Specialist support employment” registered providers can be found on page 47: https://www.ndis.gov.au/medias/documents/wa-provider-list-groups/Provider-WA-by-Group.pdf )
Can I get NDIS funding to access the Special Needs Dental Health Service?
No. This is a health related support so it won’t be in your NDIS plan. This support remains the responsibility of the Health system so the service you receive should remain unchanged.
Will I still receive health related supports when I transition to the NDIS?
The health system remains responsible for the provision of clinical services and treatment of health conditions such as visits to the GP, medical specialists, medical care in hospital, surgery. Being a NDIS participant does not affect your access to health services. NDIS fact sheet – healthcare supports
The Scheme will fund supports required as a result of the person’s disability. These could include aids and equipment such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, adjustable beds and orthotics.
Can I ask for more community access support in my NDIS plan than I am currently getting now?
Individuals can request a higher level of support. When considering your request, the NDIA Planner will need to ensure it meets the reasonable and necessary criteria including that it assists the person to pursue their goals, objectives and aspirations; represents value for money; is likely to be effective and beneficial for the participant, and takes into account what it is reasonable to expect families, carers, informal networks and the community to provide.
In support of your request, you will need to demonstrate against the criteria above how the higher level of community access support is reasonable and necessary within the context of your goals and circumstances.
Primary and secondary diagnosis – will they take both into consideration?
Yes, the person’s individual goals and needs are the primary consideration when creating a plan. This means that the impacts of primary and secondary diagnosis will be taken into account when assessing the level and types of supports required to achieve goals.
Questions about how the Scheme works
What is myGov and why do I need to create an account?
myGov is a secure website for individuals to access their government services such as the Australian Taxation Office and Medicare. It is also where NDIS participants or their nominee access the “Myplace” portal to view their NDIS plan and manage their disability supports. Participants (or their nominee) will require a myGov account to sign in to the Myplace portal. Visit myGov to find out how to create your myGov account .
What do the funding bodies mean by ‘a no worse off principle’ when my first plan transitions?
Governments made a commitment that individuals receiving disability supports before becoming a participant in the NDIS, will achieve at least the same level of social and economic participation (or undertake the same range of activities) through the NDIS. There are rules built into the NDIS that ensure that people will not be disadvantaged by accessing the scheme.
Where the NDIS does not fund the kind of support you previously received under another program, the NDIA will seek to identify alternative supports or refer you to other service systems.
The best way to make sure nothing is missed in your plan is to start preparing early. Taking time now to understand what you are receiving from your service providers will assist in ensuring that you have what you need in your first NDIS plan.
What does interface with the community services and mainstream systems mean?
Community & mainstream service systems are the services that are available to all Australians, such as schools and universities, hospitals and medical services, public transport, public housing for people on low incomes. These services need to make reasonable adjustments to ensure accessibility by people with disability. The NDIS complements not replaces these supports.
Sometimes there are grey areas which are difficult to decide whether a support is the responsibility of the NDIS or another service system. You can find fact sheets under section 10.8 here: NDIA Fact Sheets and read the full document outlining the division of responsibilities: Principles to Determine Responsibilities of the NDIS and Other Service Systems
When will LACs be available in WA?
The NDIA provides some LAC functions currently. In July 2018, the NDIA tendered for service provider organisations to undertake the Local Area Coordination role and the Early Childhood Early Intervention Services in WA. These services are expected to be available to participants in early 2019.
What is the role of the Local Area Coordinator in the NDIS compared with the role of Local Coordination in the Department of Communities (Disability Services)?
The NDIS Local Area Coordination function will be delivered from 2019 onwards by non-government service providers. It is currently being provided through the NDIA.
LACs will help people with a disability and families, by:
- Providing information and options about support in your local community
- Linking you with the NDIS – accessing the Scheme, implementing your plan, self-managing your funds and plan review
- helping you understand what you can expect from mainstream supports, eg education, health, housing, transport, training and employment
- helping sustain informal supports around you – this is family, friends and local community members.
NDIS Local Area Coordinators do not provide case management or act as an advocate for the person with disability. LACs cannot approve NDIS plans.
Disability Services’ Local Coordination will wind back as the NDIS rolls out across WA.
My child is 5 and I’m seeking Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) supports. Does this change when they turn 7?
The ECEI approach is for children aged 0-6 years who have a developmental delay or disability. ECEI supports families to help children develop the skills they need to take part in daily activities and achieve the best possible outcomes throughout their life.
The NDIS is currently engaging Early Childhood Partners (non-government organisations) in WA to deliver the ECEI approach. Your EC partner will work to understand your child’s support needs, monitor your child’s progress, provide helpful information and connect you and your child with the most appropriate supports in your area. Until EC partners are engaged, you should contact the NDIS directly.
The EC Partner will also help you to request NDIS access if your child requires longer-term early childhood intervention supports. If your child becomes an NDIS participant, the Early Childhood Partner will work with you to develop an NDIS plan.
For children turning 7 years of age who are not already a NDIS participant but whose permanence of disability and impact on functional impairment has been confirmed, will be assisted by the EC Partner to request NDIS access.
Will my carer allowance impact on my brothers NDIS funded plan?
No, the NDIS is separate to Centrelink, an NDIS funded plan will be based on a person’s individual needs and goals.
Will the subsidy currently received for utilities continue when we access NDIS?
Financial support for day-to-day living, such as utility fees, will not be covered by the NDIS. The Operational Guide 10.1 states ‘a support will not be provided or funded under the NDIS if “the support relates to day-to-day living costs, for example rent, groceries or utility fees that are not attributable to a participant’s disability support needs”. If there are additional utility costs related to a person’s disability i.e. excessive power used by assistive technology, then this may be covered. Pensions normally received will not be influenced by the NDIS (except for mobility allowance). For example if you are receiving a Disability Support Pension you may receive Energy Supplement payments which will remain unaffected by the NDIS.
Continuity of support for people over 65 years – will supports continue after the person turns 65 years?
Some individuals currently receiving specialist disability supports, will not be eligible to join the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Governments have committed to continuing the disability support arrangements accessed by people who are not NDIS eligible.
Most often, this will affect people who are aged 65 at the time the NDIS rolls out to their residential area.
Individuals affected can choose either to:
- Continue to receive their existing support in their current arrangements – there will be an administrative change for their provider but the support they receive now can continue unchanged.
- Access the support they need through the Aged Care System.
It is not possible to access both continuity of support and aged care program funding. If you are considering a move to the Aged Care System, it is important to fully understand what support you will be able to access prior to formalising that decision.
Although the detail of arrangements for people who do not meet the age or residency requirement of eligibility (not Australian citizens nor permanent residents) are not yet known publicly, the Governments’ commitment to continuity of disability support still applies.
Will there be any out of pocket costs when we roll into NDIS?
If you need to get an assessment or diagnosis as part of your transition this may be an out of pocket cost. If your plan is managed by the NDIA or you are receiving plan-management from a registered provider, they will pay your providers directly and there should not be any out of pocket costs. If you are self-managing your funds you can chose to either:
- receive an invoice, then make a Payment Request (on myplace), then receive funds within 48 hours and pay providers or
- pay your provider and get a receipt, then make a Payment Request, then be reimbursed for funds within 48 hours
If you chose to be reimbursed for services, you will be out of pocket for 24-48 hours. If you choose to access services or equipment that exceed your allocated funds for a particular support the additional costs will be out of pocket.
Child has been approved for education assistant supports – where does this funding come from under NDIS?
Funding for Education Assistants will be the responsibility of the education provider.
According to the National Disability Insurance Scheme 7.14 (Supports for Participants) Rules 2013, the ‘NDIS will not be responsible for personalising either learning or supports for students that primarily relate to their educational attainment (including teaching, learning assistance and aids, school building modifications and transport between school activities)’.
The NDIS will continue to roll out across WA, with all eligible people being able to access to the Scheme by 30 June 2020. See the metropolitan area roll-out map here.