Accessing the NDIS Permanent and significant disability One of the requirements needed to access the NDIS is evidence of what the NDIS calls a permanent and significant disability. The NDIS defines a permanent and significant disability as having all of the following factors:
The person has an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent (i.e. it is likely to be lifelong)
The impairment of the person substantially reduces their ability to participate effectively in activities, or perform tasks or actions
The person’s impairment affects their capacity for social and economic participation
The person with disability is likely to require support under the NDIS for their lifetime
During the NDIS Access process people with disability need to complete some documents to show they are eligible for the scheme. The “Evidence of Disability Form” is one of these documents. People with disability who currently receive supports via designated State or Territory Government programs, will enjoy a streamlined process to access the NDIS.
People in “Defined Programs” will be contacted directly by the NDIS National Access Team, who should already have most of their relevant information. It is hoped that this means people already approved for support in their State or Territory will get into the NDIS quickly. Similarly, the NDIS Access process includes a “List A” of conditions that the NDIS accepts will mean people will be eligible for the NDIS.
People with an impairment or condition on List a will also get a streamlined accede to complete Part C of the Evidence of Disability Form. This makes the NDIS Access process a quicker and less stressful experience for those with List a conditions. There is also a “List B” of conditions, which usually include permanent impairments where the functional capacity of the person is variable, and the NDIS requires further assessment and evidence of their disability before the person can be accepted as an NDIS Participant.
This does not mean people with List B conditions are not eligible for, or won’t get into the NDIS; it simply means they must complete more of the Evidence of Disability Forms than those with a List a Condition need to. It is important to know that the NDIS places more importance on the “functional capacity” of a person with disability, rather than their specific diagnosis of disability or illness.
This means the NDIS looks at what supports a person with disability needs to live an “ordinary life: and not the health effect of their disability or illness. As a result, when people with disability are collecting evidence to access the NDIS, it may be just as appropriate to collect it from allied health professionals such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists, as from doctors or other medical professionals.
How will the process work when the NDIS is available?
People with disability who are already accessing services from a State or Territory Government may be automatically eligible for NDIS, meaning they meet the access requirements. The NDIS calls these state and territory government services “Defined Programs” For example people with an Individual Support Package (ISP) in Victoria, or people in NSW accessing services from EnableNSW.
The purpose of Defined Programs is to make the transition easier for people who are already eligible for similar support programs they have been accessing through states and territories. For example. Those who are in Defined Programs do not need to fill out as much paperwork as those who are not. Another benefit of the easier access to the NDIS for those in Defined Programs is that it will make the process of accepting the large number of new NDIS Participants easier to manage for the NDIS itself. Those people with disability who are not in any Defined Programs, or are not accessing any services at all will need to go through the standard NDIS Access process.
It is important to know that the NDIS is not income support. The Disability Support Pension (DSP) is for Australians with a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability unable to work for more than 15 hours per week because of their disability. The only change with a DSP will be mobility allowance as this will now be the NDIS responsibility and should be included in your plan…
Once the National Access Team of the NDIS has confirmed a person with disability meets the initial NDIS Access requirements, or the person is in a Defined Program, they will become an NDIS participant.
After this process, a different NDIS representative (LAC) will contact the NDIS participant to go through the process of getting an approved NDIS First Plan. Three steps are needed before the NDIS participants receives an approved NDIS First Plan:
Getting Plan Ready (working out support needs)
The Planning Conversation
NDIS Plan Approval
Please note the first plan will focus primarily on specific support needs of the participant. The second plan will add aspirations, getting a job, etc.