Introduced in 2013 and fully launched in 2016, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (or NDIS) provides funding and connections to support services for Australians with a permanent and significant disability. Separate from the Disability Support Pension provided by Centrelink, participants are set up on a plan to help them become more independent and to offer assistance or products for daily life in order to reach personalised goals. However, it’s no secret that understanding and navigating the scheme can be confusing and often leads to many questions. So, today we are here to help separate the myths from the facts, focusing this time on NDIS eligibility.
MYTH: My Disability Support Pension will be replaced by my NDIS plan.
FACT: The Disability Support Pension and the NDIS have different eligibility requirements and are under separate entities (Centrelink and National Disability Insurance Agency respectively), meaning that accessing the NDIS will not replace your DSP. However, your DSP mobility allowance through Centrelink will cease as you will have access to transport funds through your NDIS plan.
MYTH: I am not eligible for the DSP so I won’t be eligible for the NDIS.
FACT: If you are not eligible for the DSP then you still may be able to access the NDIS. As stated previously, eligibility requirements are different so you can access the NDIS as long as you meet the NDIS specific requirements. Also, if you are not able to access the NDIS then you still may be able to receive the DSP.
MYTH: I don’t qualify for NDIS support because I was not born with my disability.
FACT: NDIS support is not reliant on whether or not you were born with your disability. Rather, you can obtain NDIS funding if a disease or medical condition has caused you permanent impairment leading to significant disability. Whether it is physical, cognitive, neurological, visual, hearing or psychosocial does not matter either as long as it is permanent and significant.
MYTH: Not many of my physical symptoms are visible meaning I can’t get NDIS support.
FACT: Obtaining an NDIS plan is more about how your disability affects your everyday functionality rather than the visibility of your condition. If many of your symptoms are not visible but do affect your day-to-day function and lifestyle then you may still be able to access the NDIS.
MYTH: My long-term mental condition doesn’t meet NDIS requirements.
FACT: Mental health conditions resulting in psychosocial disability may meet NDIS requirements as people who live with it may experience severe effects and social disadvantage. Through NDIS funding, participants with this can have access to psychosocial recovery coaches. So, as long as you meet the other eligibility requirements, you will still be able to receive support.
Knowing whether or not you qualify can be a little tricky, so if you’re still confused the NDIS have provided an eligibility checker that can be found here which will give you more information on what you can do and where you can go for support if you do not qualify but need help. Or, if you have any more questions that aren’t answered in this blog and want to speak to one of our friendly staff, give us a call on 0412 947 432 or send an enquiry through our contact us page. We’re always happy to assist.