Support Independent Living

How does NDIS affect the disability pension?

When the NDIS, or National Disability Insurance Scheme, rolled out in 2016, many Australians were concerned about how the new program would affect the existing disability support pension. Thankfully, the two models have been designed to work together.

Support services such as Instacare can help Australians living with a disability to manage their NDIS plan, and understand how it works in tandem with the Disability Support Pension (DSP).

Read on to learn more about the disability pension and NDIS.

What’s the difference between the NDIS and the DSP?

In short, the NDIS is intended to fund disability-related support, while the DSP is intended to help individuals living with a disability with their day-to-day living expenses.

The DSP is a Centrelink payment intended for people living with psychiatric, intellectual or physical conditions that prevent them from working. The NDIS is an Australian Government scheme intended to fund disability-related costs.

Generally, the NDIS provides funding for:

  • Transport to and from the community, economic, social and daily activities
  • Workplace assistance
  • Therapeutic support
  • Support with household tasks
  • Home construction and modification
  • Equipment training, set up and assessment
  • Vehicle modifications
  • Mobility equipment

The NDIS does not fund services or supports that are unrelated to a person’s disability, or that are funded by other systems.

In contrast, the DSP is a fortnightly payment made to eligible individuals living with a disability. This payment can be considered as a replacement for a typical working wage or salary. Payments received through the DSP can be used to make purchases unrelated to the receiver’s disability, such as groceries, eating out or entertainment.

Does NDIS replace disability pension?

No, the NDIS does not replace the DSP. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for only the NDIS, only the DSP, or both.

Not all people who receive NDIS support will be eligible for the DSP. Your eligibility for the DSP depends on several factors not considered under the NDIS, like your income, your partner’s income, or the value of your assets.

To receive the DSP, you must also be of working age (typically between 16-65) and an Australian resident. NDIS support is available for people outside of working age and is intended to help with special needs such as buying a wheelchair or receiving home assistance.

Does NDIS affect disability pension?

No, the NDIS generally does not affect the disability support pension. The two schemes can work together but are entirely separate.

Both the Australian Taxation Office and Centrelink do not consider NDIS payments as income. This means your disability support pension will not affect your NDIS payment when Centrelink considers your income and assets.

If you have a plan with the NDIS, you will not receive a Mobility Allowance, because the NDIS provides transport assistance funding.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to know more about NDIS, the DSP or any other disability-related services, please contact Instacare to speak with our NDIS Specialist. We will happily answer any questions you may have.