How do I become NDIS approved?
The Australian government offers a range of help and support for people with disabilities. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), launched in 2013, was intended to provide a more flexible, responsive method of assistance than its predecessor, the National Disability Agreement (NDA).
To be approved for NDIS, individuals need to satisfy several different criteria. While, broadly, people previously in receipt of assistance under NDA will be eligible for a transfer to support offered by NDIS, this isn’t always the case. If you want answers to the question, “How do I become NDIS approved?”, read on for details of the eligibility requirements and the application process.
NDIS Eligibility requirements
To be eligible to apply for NDIS, applicants need to:
- Be an Australian resident, or citizen, or have leave to remain.
- Be between 7 and 65 years old.
- Satisfy the requirements for early intervention or disability.
What are the requirements for disability or early intervention under NDIS?
There are three main criteria under which people are potentially eligible for NDIS. Note that applicants don’t have to satisfy all the criteria to be eligible.
Applicants are eligible if they “usually need support from a person because of permanent and significant disability”. There are many keywords to consider when deciding if your disability meets the criteria.
For example, short-term injuries from which you are likely to recover (such as a broken leg or routine surgery), would not be eligible for NDIS support. The disability needs to be permanent (so no hope of recovery) and be severe enough to affect everyday life.
Alternatively (or as well as), applicants may be eligible if they, “use special equipment because of a permanent and significant disability.” This may relate to equipment required to carry out everyday activities, drive, access education or social events or various other circumstances.
If you “need some supports now to reduce your future needs” (otherwise known as early intervention), then you may also be eligible for NDIS. Examples that might fit these criteria include corrective equipment or therapy to improve physical outcomes and activities which are designed to improve sensory processing or related skills.
How do I apply for NDIS?
If it appears that you satisfy the eligibility requirements, the next step is to complete and submit an
NDIS Access Request Form. The form can be completed online, on paper or over the phone. The information requested through the Access Request Form is what decision-makers use to determine if you meet the relevant criteria to access NDIS support.
As well as information that can be used to confirm your identity, you will also need to submit information to support evidence of the nature and extent of your disability. Supporting letters from medical specialists, for example, or reports from schools, clinics, daycare centres or similar can all help to demonstrate your eligibility for NDIS assistance.
Note that the evidence needed from external agencies varies depending on the type of condition: NDIS has a list of the various types of evidence which are most appropriate, depending on the condition which is causing the disability. Once submitted, applicants can expect to have a response from NDIS within 21-days. This may be an approval, a rejection, or a request for further information to inform the decision-making process.
Remember, that if you are already in receipt of support through the NDA, you will not lose out as a result of NDIS. NDA users will be either transferred to NDIS or, if more appropriate, allowed to keep their existing entitlement, provided the original support criteria are still being met.
If you aren’t sure how to apply for NDIS or are having difficulty completing the form, please contact us at Instacare and we are able to support you throughout the process.