NDIS FAQs

If you’re new to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), about to start your planning, or have your first plan and want to know how to put it into action, you may find the following information really useful.

My child has recently been diagnosed with disability, where do I start?

If your child (0-8 years) has recently been diagnosed with disability and you’re not sure where to get support, or if you can access the NDIS, Northcott’s Early Links program can:

  • Provide information for you to understand your child’s diagnosis and disability
  • Link you to services in your community that can support you and your child
  • Support you to become more involved in your community
  • Work with your whole family to maintain resilience and wellbeing for everyone

You can find out more about Northcott Early Links here.

Northcott is also a NSW Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Transition Partner. Working on behalf of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), Northcott can support you and your young child to:

  • Connect with services such as playgroups or community health centres in your local area
  • Have access to some short-term early intervention
  • Request NDIS funding if longer-term support is required. If your child is eligible, we will work with you to develop your NDIS plan

We offer the ECEI service in:

  • South Western Sydney
  • Southern Highlands
  • Far North Coast
  • Mid North Coast
  • New England
  • Illawarra Shoalhaven
  • South Eastern Sydney
  • Western Sydney

When is the NDIS available?

The NDIS is a national scheme being introduced in stages across the country between now and 2020. In NSW, half the state is already working under the NDIS and the remaining half commenced the transition to the NDIS in July 2017.

Where is the NDIS currently available?

You can apply for the NDIS if you live in the following areas:

  • Hunter New England
  • Southern NSW
  • Central Coast
  • Northern Sydney
  • South Western Sydney
  • Nepean Blue Mountains
  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Where will the NDIS transition between now and July 2018?

The following areas commenced transition to the NDIS in July 2017:

  • Northern NSW
  • Mid North Coast
  • Sydney
  • South Eastern Sydney
  • Illawarra Shoalhaven
  • Murrumbidgee
  • Western NSW
  • Far West NSW

Are you or the person you care for eligible for the NDIS?

For an individual to be eligible for the NDIS they must:

  • Live in Australia and have Australian residency
  • Be under 65 years of age
  • Have disability that is likely to be permanent (lifelong) and that prevents them from doing everyday things by themselves
  • Be a child under six years of age with developmental delay. The delay means the child usually needs more support with self-care, communication, learning or motor skills than another child of the same age

Still unsure if the NDIS is available to you yet?

To check when the NDIS will be available in your area, or if you or the person in your care is eligible, call the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on 1800 800 110.

Already a customer of Northcott?

If you or the person in your care is currently getting support from Northcott in an area transitioning now, or soon to the NDIS, it’s quite likely that the NDIA will have your information and will make contact with you soon. However, give us a call on 1800 818 286 and we can check this for you.

How can you prepare for the NDIS?

Once you know that you or the person you care for is eligible for the NDIS and it is available in your area, you can start to prepare for the NDIS.

Where should you start?

  • The best place to start is to think about short and long-term goals for you or the person in your care
  • When thinking about goals, focus on really practical things. Examples might be:
    • Make new friends
    • Learn to speak more clearly to participate in more activities at school
    • Travel on the bus independently
    • Be more self-sufficient
  • Think about what support will enable you or the person in your care to achieve these goals. For example:
    • Access to a speech therapist who can support with verbal communication
    • Access to a worker who can teach practical travel skills
    • Access to a worker who can provide respite for you, or the person in your care
  • If you or the person in your care is getting support from people or organisations now, it’s good to make sure you are really clear on what they provide. For example:
    • Does your therapist travel to you for therapy sessions?
    • How much time do they support you outside of sessions? It’s important to understand this so you can tell the NDIS how much time your therapist devotes in total.
  • Once you have a good understanding of your goals and current supports, you will be better prepared to confidently talk about your options in your NDIS planning meeting

What is the process to get an NDIS plan?

Once you know that you or the person in your care can access the NDIS, you will be contacted by a NDIA Local Area Coordinator (LAC) to have an NDIS planning meeting. This will either be over the phone or in person. They will talk with you about:

  • Your goals or goals for the person in your care
  • Supports you or they may have now
  • Things you need because of your or their disability to reach identified goals

After the planning meeting, the NDIA will put the plan together and send it to you.

How and where can you find supports to put the plan into action?

Once you have the plan, the first thing you need to do is understand what is in it. Your plan will have:

  • Information about you or the person in your care
  • The funding you can use to access the supports you or they need
  • Information about how to manage the plan

The funding you can use to access the supports you or the person in your care needs is in separate budgets in the plan. For example, there may be a budget called ‘Improved Daily Living’ which will indicates how much money can be spent on therapy. There might also be a separate budget called ‘Core Supports’ that can be used to support access to the community.

What is ‘Support Coordination’?

A plan may have funding for something called ‘Support Coordination’. This is funding for someone who can assist to get your plan or the plan of someone in your care started. They can also assist with decision making about who you want to provide supports for you or the person in your care. If ‘Support Coordination’ is in the plan, a Northcott Support Coordinator can work with you to get the plan up and running.

Looking for support to make sure you get the most out of the plan?

At Northcott, we offer Individual Plan Advisors who can:

  • Support you to understand your plan or the plan of someone in your care
  • Explain what Northcott services you can access with the funding in the plan
  • Identify and link you with other community supports if you or the person in your care needs them
  • Support you to get the most out of your plan or the plan of someone in your care

If you would like to speak with one of our Individual Plan Advisors, contact us:

Phone: 1800 818 286

Email: northcott@northcott.com.au