You’re eligible for the NDIS – now what? Here’s how to begin your journey to accessing the best supports for you through the NDIS.
To be eligible for the NDIS, you need to meet these three conditions:
- Have a permanent and significant disability – this means a disability that is expected to be lifelong and that has a significant impact on your daily life
- Be under 65 years of age
- Live in Australia and either be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, or hold a Protected Special Category Visa.
If all of these apply to you, you’re ready to go!
Applying for the NDIS
Once you’re ready to get started, you’ll need to complete an Access Request Form
. This can take some time, as you’ll need to gather evidence of your age, citizenship, and disability to demonstrate that you meet the three requirements above.
You can work with a current health professional to obtain the required evidence of disability – this could be your GP, occupational therapist, speech therapist, psychologist, physiotherapist, or any other health professional who has been working with you for at least six months. They should be the most appropriate person to provide evidence of your primary disability.
You can find out more about the process of applying for the NDIS on the NDIS website
Once you’ve received a response from the NDIA confirming your eligibility and how much funding you’ve been allocated, it’s time to think about the supports you’d like. The NDIS can fund supports that are ‘reasonable and necessary’. This means they must relate to your disability and help you achieve your goals. It’s important to spend some time thinking about what you want to achieve, your needs, interests, and talents, so you know what kind of supports you might like. Your supports could help you become more independent, or assist you to participate in work, study or the community.
At Rise, our NDIS support coordinators
can work with you to decide what you’d like to achieve, and provide you with the information and options you need to make an informed decision about your supports.
If you are eligible, a staff member from the NDIA will contact you to organise a time for a planning meeting. In this meeting, you’ll be able to discuss your needs and goals and come up with an NDIS plan which outlines the steps and supports you’ll need to reach your goals, whatever they may be.
Before your meeting, spend some time thinking about where you are in life and where you’d like to be. Some things to consider could be:
- Your hobbies and interests
- Things that you find challenging in your everyday life
- What you’d like to achieve in one year and three years
- Activities you do currently, and activities you’d like to do
- The people that support you now
- How much support you might need
- Anything else that could help you, such as specialised equipment or home modifications
Write or draw these things on a big piece of paper, or talk about them with someone you trust. Make sure you are clear on what you’d like your NDIS funding to help you with.
You’ll also want to think about how your NDIS plan will be managed, as your planner will discuss this with you in the meeting. There are three ways your plan can be managed: by you, by the NDIA, or by some combination of the two. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with these options and have an idea of which one you might want to choose ahead of the meeting. This article
explains each of these options in more detail.
You can bring a friend, family member, or current service provider along to your meeting with you to provide support and help you feel comfortable. They are allowed to help you by explaining your needs or asking questions. You can also opt to have your meeting over the phone if you prefer.
If you’re unsure how to plan and prepare for your meeting, Rise can help. We understand that everyone is different and can work with you to explore what matters to you. Find out more here.
Your plan review
Over time, your needs and circumstances will change, and it’s important that your NDIS supports are adapted to meet you where you are. You’ll generally have your first review twelve months after starting on the NDIS, and one review each year after that. Before each review, have a think about what worked and didn’t work in your current plan. Is there anything you’d like to change? Do you feel like you need more or less support?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help with any of the steps above. The key to a positive NDIS journey is being organised and prepared for each stage. If you know what you want, it’ll make things easier – after all, this whole process is about supporting you to live your
Need help? When it comes to understanding, managing and using your funding, Rise can support you every step of the way. For further information please contact Mandy on 0436 686 897
or at firstname.lastname@example.org