Accessing the NDIS

Two young boys hugging

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is rolling out  now and will be available across all of New South Wales by 30 June 2018.

The NDIS offers choice and control over what supports are best for you. The scheme recognises that every person’s needs and aspirations are unique so a flexible approach is needed to make supports as accessible as possible.

Before you sign up for the NDIS, you should start thinking about the types of supports that would be best for you. You can start with this handy checklist.

More information on what supports are available under the scheme can be found on the National Disability Insurance Agency NDIS website.

What happens to my current supports?

Under the NDIS, you have an opportunity to make your own decisions about what supports you need and who provides them.

Your current support arrangements will continue until you move to the NDIS. At that point, staff from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will meet with you to discuss your ongoing support needs and how these can be met through the NDIS.

What is continuity of support?

No one will be disadvantaged in the move to the NDIS.

People who had been receiving state-funded specialist disability support but are not eligible for the NDIS will maintain the same outcomes they received before the NDIS through arrangements including Information Linkage and Capacity building supports. They will transition to alternative arrangements over time.

What is Information, Linkages and Capacity Building?

For many people with disability, support starts with having easier access to information. This means knowing where to find out about supports and how to tap into supports already available in the community.

Information, Linkages and Capacity Building are services that will help you:

  • Find supports available in your local community.
  • Access supports or join in local community activities such as study, sports socialising or other interests through Local Area Coordinators.
  • Build individual capacity through support such as diagnosis advice, peer support and skills development.
  • Deliver information, training and support for mainstream and community supports in your area.

Under the NDIS, who should I contact in crisis situations?

Following the transition of disability services from the New South Wales Government to the NDIS, your first point of contact will be the NDIA via  the NDIA website or by calling 1800 800 110.

During the rollout period, the NSW Government is working closely with the NDIA to ensure that processes and expertise are established to be able to handle crisis situations.

Where can I get help in making decisions about my future?

Assistance with decision making for people who need to access the NDIS is available primarily via the National Disability Insurance Agency.

There are a number of new and existing services that can help you understand your rights, make informed choices and plan for the future.

There continues to be a National Disability Advocacy Program, funded by the Commonwealth, which will ensure that you continue to receive access to advocacy support outside the NDIS.  Help in making decisions on your future is available through this program.

What is the role of nominees?

Under the NDIS, nominees can be appointed to help people with disability who need someone to speak on their behalf. Nominees have a duty to support the participant in making his or her own decisions wherever possible and to build the participant’s capacity for decision-making.

For more information on how a nominee is appointed, who should be appointed, the term of appointment, duties, and cancellation and suspension procedures, please refer to the national NDIS website.

How can families and carers stay involved?

Families, carers, guardians an nominees of people with disability continue to play a vital role under the NDIS.

Families and carers can be involved in developing the individualised support plans that will enable participants to reach their goals and access the assistance they need.

If someone needs support with decisions and there is no family or guardian who can advocate for them, an application can be made to have the Office of the Public Guardian appoint someone who can support the participant’s decision-making and work with them and the NDIA to develop the best plan.

Collection of information to support client transition to the NDIS in NSW

To help prepare for the rollout of the NDIS in NSW, some personal information about the people participating in the NDIS has been shared with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) – the government agency managing the NDIS.

Sharing this information has helped the NDIA decide whether people automatically meet the disability requirements for access to the NDIS.

The information also ensures that the NDIA knows the best way to contact people about starting their planning process when the time comes to move to the NDIS.

If you are a carer, or a person with disability currently receiving supports from or funded by Ageing, Disability and Home Care, you do not need to apply for the NDIS.

Family and Community Services (FACS) is providing your contact information to the NDIA and the agency will contact you directly when it is time to move to the NDIS.

FACS is able to provide this information to the NDIA because of a ruling, called a public interest direction, made by the NSW Privacy Commissioner.

This ruling permits the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by FACS from its funded service providers and other agencies, such as the Department of Education and Department of Health.

The ruling controls how the information will be used and places obligations on FACS to ensure that only necessary information is collected.

The privacy of people is important to FACS and all data will be stored securely.

You can read about how public interest directions work, how health public interest directions work and the new rules for FACS client information and the NDIA (PDF, 68kb) on the Privacy Commissioner’s website.