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National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a way of working with people with disability that supports them to:

  • identify their strengths and needs, plus any goals or aspirations they would like to start working towards, and capture these elements in their NDIS plan
  • explore pathways and strategies to reach the goals outlined in their plan
  • choose the supports and services that best suit their needs
  • develop stronger links with their local community
  • build on natural supports such as friendships, neighbours and local community groups.

The NDIS is nationally consistent in terms of eligibility, reasonable and necessary supports and portability across the country, yet unique in governance and service delivery.

The NDIS will fund reasonable and necessary supports that help people with disability achieve their goals. The NDIS will not fund supports and services that are funded under mainstream services, but they will help the person with disability connect to those services to ensure continuity of support.

Eligibility

There are age, residence and disability requirements that must be met in order to participate in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

People with a disability as a result of their mental health condition may qualify for the NDIS. Reimagine Today is an excellent resource for carers and people living with mental health conditions to navigate the NDIS.

Not sure if the person you care for is eligible? The Am I Eligible? checker will give people with disability an idea of their potential eligibility for the NDIS.

People who do not meet the eligibility requirements may be able to access other supports and services by contacting their local Department of Communities office, using the Local Support search.

For more information, go to Accessing the NDIS section of the website.

Support for families and carers

Families and carers have an important role in the lives of people with disability. The NDIS recognises the importance of the caring role and aims to work with families and carers to support family wellbeing.

Through discussions with your planner/Local Area Coordinator, funding could be provided for parents and carers to undergo training in matters relating to caring for the NDIS participant or access respite support.

More information on how the NDIS can work with families and carers can be found on their website here.

We have provided some helpful resources below to help you navigate the NDIS as a carer.

Carer Checklists and Toolkits

Carer Checklists can help you think about the type of care and support you currently provide for the person you care for and may help you consider all aspects of the person with disability’s needs. These documents are useful in helping you prepare for the planning meeting and can be provided to the Local Coordinator.

Download the Carer checklist 

Download the Mental Health Carer checklist

Accessing mental health supports if you’re not eligible for NDIS

Accessing the NDIS if you have a psychosocial disability

Extra resources for psychosocial disability and mental health can be found on the Mental Health and the NDIS webpage and the Reimagine resources webpage.

Carer Statements

As a carer, you have the option to submit a Carer Statement during the planning meeting. This could be particularly important for carers of people with psychosocial disability. It can provide additional insight into the impact a person’s mental health condition has on their ability to participate in everyday activities and on the wellbeing of the family.

A carer statement (in written or verbal form) may include:

  • How the caring role affects you
  • Whether you are able and willing to keep caring for the person with disability in the same way into the future, and what the impact of your caring role has on your own personal needs and goals, for example; work, study, travel, social, cultural or religious engagement activities.
  • Other informal supports the person with disability has, such as family or friends
  • Any other information that would be important for the Local Coordinator to know when assessing supports required.
Young Carers

The NDIS can offer support to young carers as the siblings or children of NDIS participants. Each NDIS participant will have their own plan that fits their goals, personal circumstances and disability needs. The NDIS consider young carers as -“informal supports.” If you are supporting your brother/sister/parent or other family member to live an “ordinary life” you may need to include how you help the person you care for whilst undergoing an NDIS planning or review session. This will mean you can be supported.

More information about support through the NDIS as a young carer is explained in the resources and toolkits below.

Additional booklets and factsheets regarding joining and understanding the NDIS can be downloaded on the NDIS website here.

The digital referral form can be accessed here.

To learn more about the NDIS visit Carers WA’s E-learning platform. The courses will expand your knowledge around the NDIS and allow you to recognise the opportunities the NDIS can provide.

WECIL UK Pen Pal Program

Developed by Carers WA, the Pen Pal Program is a joint initiative between Carers WA and West of England Centre for Inclusive Living (WECIL UK).

We have partnered with WECIL UK to create a pen pal program that provides opportunities for international connections between young people with disability aged 10 – 25.

The aim of the WECIL UK & Carers WA Pen Pal Program is to help create a peer-to-peer support network for young people while building friendships and having fun. The idea is for you to share stories of how you experience disability and how it differs regarding the supports and opportunities that are available to you, internationally.

Matches are made based on similar age, gender, shared interests and also disability should you wish.

If you are interested in getting involved in this program please complete the Expression of Interest Form and return it to us at ndis@carerswa.asn.au

Please be patient as the matching process can take some time.

If you would like to know more about WECIL, visit their website here.

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