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 theĀ NDIS Website.

Why is the NDIS supporting Mardi Gras?

We’re committed to building a more inclusive Australia in which LGBTIQA+ people with disability are able to participate fully in their communities.

As the NDIS rolls out across Australia, the NDIA is involved in a number of events and activities that help us to connect with a range of different communities to increase awareness and understanding of the Scheme.

The NDIA’s involvement in Mardi Gras provides an opportunity for us to connect with LGBTIQA+ people with disability so that they are informed about how the NDIS works and how the Scheme can support them to have choice and control over their own lives.

Why is it called the National Disability ‘Insurance’ Scheme? I don’t understand the use of the word insurance in this context?

The reason the word “insurance” is in the NDIS title is the Scheme is underpinned by an insurance-based approach, not a welfare based approach.

The insurance approach is a deliberate change from the previous welfare model which provided support to people with disability.

A welfare model takes a short-term view of the total costs of disability and provides limited choice for participants over their supports.

The NDIS takes a lifetime approach, investing in people early to improve their outcomes later in life.

All governments have agreed the best way to reduce long-term costs of disability in the Australian community is by increasing a person’s independence and lifting their involvement in the community and workforce.

This is why the NDIA’s purpose is to empower people with disability to choose and achieve their goals in inclusive communities and workplaces.

The NDIS is central to demonstrating Australia’s commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

It provides coverage for all Australians by pooling the risk of acquiring a disability and takes the risk of disability support costs away from individuals.

Like other insurance schemes, performance data is monitored closely, emerging risks are identified and strategies are implemented to ensure the Scheme’s sustainability.

We also carefully measure the medium-and long-term benefits of the NDIS to ensure the Scheme is sustainable and participants are building better lives.

The NDIS is also a critical part of the National Disability Strategy (NDS), which brings community, government and industry together to address the challenges faced by people with disability.

Can you clarify if NDIS will fund the difference in cost between private and group swimming lessons? My son is not able to cope in group lessons and needs 1:1 coaching because of his disability.

The answer to this depends on your personal circumstances.

Where it is reasonable and necessary, the NDIS will fund the difference between group swimming lessons and a 1:1 lesson when there is evidence that the child needs 1:1 support in the water due to the impact of their disability.

If your child does not need 1:1 support, other options might be funded, such as support worker to attend the class with your son.

Because every plan and every child is different, the best place to get an answer for your situation will be your local NDIS partner. For children 6 years and under this will be an ECEI partner, for children 7 years and older, it will be a Local Area Coordinator.

They will be able to give you individualised advice and explain what supporting information you might need to prepare for your planning meeting.

You can find the details for your local ECEI partner or Local Area Coordinator by clicking your state or territory on this page of our website.

What rate can support staff be paid? Is it negotiable?

Participants and providers should negotiate prices, like other suppliers and consumers, based on the needs and preferences of the participants and the specific supports required. This allows the participant flexibility and control over their budget for supports.

The ‘2017/18 Price Guide’ is a summary of NDIS price limits and associated arrangements (price controls).

It is designed to assist disability support providers, both current and prospective, to understand the way that price controls for NDIS supports and services work in the NDIS.

There is no requirement for providers to charge the maximum price for a given support.

To view the current pricing structure visit the Pricing and Payment page.

My son’s NDIS plan is Agency Managed. My Occupational Therapist sees him for 45 minutes each session but charges an hour because she says she does 15 minutes of paperwork after each session. Is she allowed to do that?

Yes. It is OK as long as the time spent relates to a service for the participant in question, and the participant has agreed to all arrangements in advance. Of course, the participant might not agree and choose a different OT instead.

Does School Leaver Employment Support (SLES) always have to be Agency managed?

No, SLES supports do not have to be agency managed. As with all reasonable and necessary funded supports, the delegate will consider all the information available to make an informed decision regarding approving self-management in a participants plan.

The delegate would discuss with the participant what their goals are, the nature of the services to achieve these goals and who is best placed to deliver these. It is important for participants to consider that progressing an employment goal requires service providers to have specialised skills related to employment capacity building.

Additionally, we ask providers to report the activities and outcomes of their service provision to the agency. This provides valuable information to the agency on the outcomes of the SLES initiative.

Regardless of the way a plan is managed, participants and providers are encouraged to enter into a Service Agreement detailing the individualised supports and the steps to achieving the participant’s goals.