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 SLES?

School Leavers Employment Supports (SLES) is a reasonable and necessary support for Year 12 school leavers. It assists them to transition from school into employment.

Supports may include work experience generally in open employment, job site training, travel training and activities, which contribute to achieving an employment outcome and linkages to ongoing employment support.

Participants can have SLES and other reasonable and necessary funded supports in their NDIS plan. The participant will also have choice and control over how they use funded supports; how they reach their plan goals with the funded services and which service providers they use.

Students wanting to access SLES need to meet NDIS access requirements to become an NDIS participant.

In 2017, SLES will be available to Year 12 school leavers with disability in:

  • New South Wales
  • Victoria
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Australian Capital Territory
  • In 2018, Queensland and the Northern Territory are due to transition to SLES.

In Western Australia, the School to Work Transition Project is funded under SLES program.

For more information, visit the School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) page on the NDIS website.

Is there an allowance for the upkeep of a modified vehicle i.e. rego, petrol, service etc. for a person with a disability where there are no other options for transport and the person with a disability needs the vehicle to reach the goals on the plan?

The costs associated with registration and service of a vehicle, and ongoing petrol costs are considered everyday living costs for ordinary Australians and are not specifically related to a participant’s disability. They are therefore not funded by the NIDS as per part 5.1 (b) and (d) of the NDIS (Supports for Participants) Rules 2013.

NDIS will fund maintenance and repairs of the vehicle modifications as these are related solely and directly to a participants disability support needs.

Who approves a plan?

All plans are approved by the NDIS.

In some cases the person you have developed your plan with or had you your plan review conversation with will be able to approve the plan, while in other cases they will send the draft plan to a colleague who will review and approve the plan.

If your circumstances or needs change you can talk to us about having your plan reviewed at any stage.

What is the NDIS process for a child diagnosed as ASD? Who makes such a diagnosis, and how exactly does the NDIS award funds for therapy for children with ASD?

The NDIS has engaged Early Childhood Partners around Australia to deliver the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach. Early Childhood Partners are experienced in working with children (birth to six years) with developmental delay or disability, and their families, to determine each child’s current developmental presentation and impact on daily life functioning. This then assists the determination as to what supports the child requires to bring about meaningful and positive outcomes for them and their family.

Consideration is given to what is, or should be, available through informal supports, community and mainstream supports. Then funded supports are explored within the framework of the reasonable and necessary criteria in the NDIS Act. An Early Childhood Partner will also determine whether there are substantial functional limitations requiring a coordinated long-term multidisciplinary service response.

As such, for a child, aged 0 to 6, a diagnosis is not required to meet the NDIS Act access requirements.

You can contact an Early Childhood Partner if concerns about your child’s development have been identified. You can find Early Childhood Partners on our website.

As every child is different, your Early Childhood Partner will tailor supports to your child’s individual needs and circumstances.

Early Childhood Partners may also:

  • Connect you and your child with the most appropriate supports in your area, such as the community health centre, educational setting and/or a playgroup.
  • Provide some short-term early intervention where it has been identified as the most appropriate support.
  • 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 tailored to the child’s individual needs.
  • If you have ASD and you are over the age of six, you will need to meet the NDIS’s residency and access requirements. For more information, visit the People with disability page on our website.

What is reviewable and what is not?

  • Decisions under the NDIS Act which can be reviewed are known as reviewable decisions.
  • The majority of decisions made by the NDIA under the NDIS Act are reviewable decisions.
  • Decisions that can be reviewed include those relating to access, plan reviews, plan nominees and plan decisions.

A list of which types of decisions can be reviewed can be found on our website.

Can I use funding to get a personal trainer/gym membership to work on my teenage son’s gross motor skills?

As it is everyone’s choice to go to the gym, the NDIS will not fund gym memberships, however it may fund personal assistance to participate at a gym, for example changing into sports clothes, manipulating equipment and positioning the participant to undertake the activities.

The NDIS might also fund specialised sporting equipment or equipment modifications and assist the participant to travel to the gym, where it is not reasonable to expect the family or the community to provide transport, and where the participant is not able to independently use public transport.

The NDIS also assists organisations to adjust to the specific needs of their member/NDIS participant, where the adjustment is not part of their universal obligations under reasonable adjustment (for example, training for a team captain to assist his or her football team to adjust to the needs of a team member who has an intellectual impairment).

It’s important people understand, the NDIS will fund “recreation supports” only relating to the participant’s disability, not expenses ordinarily funded from a person’s income.

For more information, check out the Operational Guidelines on the NDIS website.

I’ve just received a phone call at 6.30pm from a mobile phone from someone saying she was from Australian Health Care Associates wanting to do a 15 minute survey with my daughter or me, her carer, to answer questions to make sure there will be sufficient funding in the future from National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). She said they had been contracted by NDIA to do the research.

Between July and September the National Disability Insurance Agency will be surveying around 6,000 participants and their families and carers to see how they are progressing in different areas of their lives.

This survey will be conducted over the phone by Australian Healthcare Associates. The survey will be used to monitor individual and Scheme progress over time and to help identify the types of supports that lead to good outcomes.