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New to NDIS

NDIS stands for National Disability Insurance Scheme. The scheme aims to provide support to Australians with disability, through individually tailored funding packages.

To meet the NDIS eligibility criteria, you will need to:

  • be under 65 years of age when you apply
  • be a permanent resident or citizen of Australia
  • have one or more permanent disabilities

Speak with us on 1300 84 74 66 for more information and to discuss your eligibility.

Vision Australia is a registered NDIS provider. We meet strict government quality and safety requirements and offer specialised services for people who are blind or have or low vision.

We will speak to you about your individual goals and aspirations and link you in with a range of supports that will help you to achieve them.

The NDIS will fund ‘reasonable and necessary’ services and supports that will help you to achieve your goals. These services and supports must relate to your disability and mustn’t include day-to-day living expenses such as food or groceries.

This can include services such as:

  • Assistive technology
  • Gardening
  • Cleaning
  • Orientation and mobility services
  • Orthoptics
  • Occupational therapy
  • Pediatric support
  • Seeing Eye Dogs – purchasing a seeing eye dog and ongoing training
  • Support workers and
  • Development of skills to build your independence

Services from Vision Australia do incur a fee. There are several ways you can fund the support, services and products you need including through the NDIS. Please contact us on 1300 84 74 66 to discuss your funding options.

You can contact the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on 1800 800 110 or your local NDIS partnerand ask them to support you to connect with local disability supports or apply to the NDIS if eligible.

Using your plan

There are three support categories in your plan. They are:

  • Core: This is funding that can be used for support for everyday activities, but does not necessarily have to be related to skill building. You might use your core supports budget for things such as social support and consumables for low risk technology.
  • Capital: Long term investments such as complex assistive technology and home modifications
  • Capacity Building: Focused on building skills e.g. improved daily living skills, group therapy, support coordination, orientation and mobility.

Depending on your circumstances, you may have a plan duration of up to three years, though it is likely that your first plan will be for one year only.

A long plan duration would suit participants who have support needs which are unlikely to change and/or who are focused on achieving longer term goals. We can chat with you about whether a longer plan duration would suit your goals and needs.

Complex assistive technology covers items costing more than $1500. It also includes items that are complex to set up or use, or which have been custom made or specially configured for you.

The NDIA requires you to have an assessment before you can purchase complex assistive technology under your NDIS plan. This helps to ensure that the equipment you are buying is suitable and will meet your needs.

If you have unspent funds by the end of your plan, they will not roll over to your next plan. We can help you to make the most of the funds in your plan to ensure you are getting the most out of it.

Billing depends on how you choose to manage your plan. If you are self-managed, invoices will be sent directly to you by your providers.

If you are plan-managed, your providers will send invoices to your nominated plan manager, who will pay them on your behalf. If you are NDIA managed, invoices will be sent to the NDIA, who will pay them on your behalf.

The frequency of billing depends on your providers and the frequency of services you use.

At your planning meeting, you can request your plan to be sent to you in your preferred format. The NDIA offer a range of accessible formats. Speak to your Local Area Coordinator to find out what formats are available.

Changing Your Plan

There are various ways that your plan can be reviewed:

Scheduled Plan Review

When you reach the end of your current plan, you will participate in a plan review with the NDIA. This is an opportunity to talk about how well your supports are working for you, and to think about any goals you may want to work towards during your new plan.

Your plan budgets may increase, decrease or stay the same after a plan review, depending on your individual circumstances and goals. Your first plan review will generally take place after one year, but you can request a longer duration for your subsequent plans if you think your support needs are unlikely to change significantly.

Change of Circumstances Review

If something changes for you during your plan that effects your needs or the supports you require, you will need to let the NDIA know. This might include things like changes to your support needs, changes to care arrangements you have with family and friends, or changes in your living situation.

You can phone or email the NDIA to discuss your needs, visit your local NDIS office in person, or complete a Change of Circumstances form online. You can apply for a change of circumstances review at any time during your plan.

Internal Review of a Planning Decision

If you disagree with a particular decision that the NDIA has made about you or your plan, you will need to apply for what is called an ‘internal review’. You can apply for an internal review for a number of reasons, including:

  • If your request to access the NDIS is denied; or
  • You are unhappy with the amount or type of funding you received in your plan.

You can request an internal review by contacting the NDIA via phone or email, or by visiting your local NDIS office. If you need assistance to understand how a plan review works or what you should ask for, give us a call on 1300 84 74 66 or request a call-back.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of an internal review, you can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for an external review of the decision. The AAT is an independent tribunal that is separate from the NDIA. You must go through the NDIA’s internal review process before you can apply to the AAT.

For information about applying for an AAT review, visit the AAT website.

You can find more information on the NDIS website, including details on the national rollout. Visit www.ndis.gov.au or call the National Disability Insurance Agency on 1800 800 110 between 8am and 8pm (EST) weekdays.

You can also contact Vision Australia by calling 1300 84 74 66.