The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an exciting time of change but it can also be overwhelming.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) monitors frequently asked questions that are coming through on social media, posting responses up on their website. We are reposting this information to help keep you up to date.

For more information, please visit the NDIS Website.

What is considered a consumable in my NDIS plan?

Consumables are everyday use items you require to manage your personal disability related needs. Many of them are disposable items or are consumed (such as specialised food supplements). These can include continence products, home enteral nutrition (HEN) products and low cost assistive products for eating and drinking.

They are funded from the Core budget of a plan and have their own support category. The NDIS AT and Consumable Code Guide lists commonly used assistive technology (AT) and consumable supports.

More information on Assistive Technology, and what is considered consumables, can be found on the Assistive Technology page of our website.

How long do you have to wait to be approved access to the NDIS?

After you have submitted a valid access request, the NDIA must respond within 21 days. This is set out in the NDIA Operational Guidelines.

If all the information the NDIA needs to approve your access if provided, your access could be approved within 21 days.

In some cases, the NDIA will need more documents or assessments which means it might take a bit longer for your access to be approved. You can find the timelines for this in the access section of the Operational Guidelines.

Once your access is approved and the NDIS is available in your area, someone from the NDIA or one of our partners in the community will contact you to begin developing your NDIS plan.

You can find out when the NDIS is available in your area by clicking the links on the Our Sites page of our website.

We have our planning meeting soon for our child. Do you have any tips or info I should know before our meeting?

To get ready for the NDIS and your child’s first plan, start thinking about immediate support needs and what the current and future goals for your child might be. Not everything will be achievable right away, so think about those key services, equipment or support that your child needs right now. It is important to have a good idea on what you want from your child’s first plan, and resources such as the getting ready for your planning conversation booklet (PDF) can help you prepare.

You are the expert when it comes to your child, and this first step with the NDIS can be a whole new experience with a lot of things to think about. If you feel that you need some more support prior to your child’s planning conversation, you can reach out to a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) in your community.

Will the NDIS fund an integration aide in an independent school?

The NDIS is intended to meet people’s disability support needs, not to replace other mainstream services, such as education.

Schools are responsible for making reasonable adjustments to personalise learning and support for students that primarily relate to their educational attainment (including teaching, learning assistance and aides, school building modifications and transport between school activities).

Students with disability in Independent schools are eligible for funding from the Australian Government and state and territory governments.

There are a range of programs and levels of funding available for students with disability within the Independent school sector although each carries criteria to determine eligibility for support.

An Independent school may also fund an integration aide for students with disability from their budget.

Find out more about students with disability in independent schools on the Independent Schools Council of Australia website (external).

How can I ensure I use my NDIS funding for what I want and not what someone else wants?

As an NDIS participant, you have choice and control over how you use the funds in your NDIS plan to achieve your goals and live the life you want.

Participants over the age of 18 generally decide what supports they need and how they use them. However in some circumstances, another person can be appointed as the participant’s ‘nominee’ or representative either by request of the participant, or if the NDIA identifies the need (read more about Nominee Rules or check out the NDIS Act). Keep in mind, it is the nominee’s duty to ascertain and communicate your wishes, and promote your personal and social wellbeing.

During your planning conversation you will be asked to develop a participant statement which should be written in your own words, and be focused on your goals. Your planner will work with you to develop a plan that helps you to achieve your goals using a range of supports (PDF) including community, informal and funded supports.

Remember, your plan focuses on what you need right now and also gives you time to think about your longer term supports and goals.

Find out more about protecting your NDIS funds, avoiding risk and ensuring your safety and wellbeing.