What is the NDIS?
NDIS stands for National Disability Insurance Scheme. It is the new way of providing support to people with disability in Australia.
The NDIS provides people with disability with the support they need to live an ordinary life.
Unlike previous systems, the NDIS provides people with disability with the choice of how, when and where that support is delivered to them. NDIS participants are in the driver’s seat, and can choose what works best for them.
The kinds of support that are funded through the NDIS are things that help people with disability live the same kind of life as others in the community. They include things like wheelchairs, home modifications or therapies like speech therapy or occupational therapy. The NDIS also funds things like personal care or assistance to get out and participate in activities in the community.
The scheme is currently being rolled out in stages across the country. By 2020, approximately 460,000 people with disability will receive help through the NDIS.
You can read more about the NDIS on the NDIS website.
Why is the NDIS so important?
The NDIS is a ground-breaking, once-in-a-generation change to the way people with disability are supported in Australia. It is a social reform on the same scale as the introduction of Medicare or compulsory superannuation.
The NDIS is fundamentally different to previous systems in three ways.
1. NDIS support is based on individual need. There is no need for people to prove they are more deserving than anyone else. Everyone who has a disability that has a significant impact on their daily life will receive “reasonable and necessary” supports to help them live an ordinary life.
Under the previous system – a shortage of funding many people missed out, and those that did get help rarely got enough. The NDIS is supposed to change all this and give people reassurance that help will be there when they need it.
2. The NDIS puts people with a disability in control. People with disability can use their NDIS funds to chose how, when and where support is delivered, and in the ways that works best for them. This is different to the previous system, where people with disability had little choice and had to take whatever was offered.
3. The NDIS is an insurance scheme, not a welfare system. The scheme will invest and invest early in people with disability, to improve outcomes later in life. This is not only good for people with disability, but also reduces the cost of the scheme over the long run.
The NDIS is there for every Australian. Disability won’t happen to everyone but it can happen to anyone, anytime. All Australians deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing that support will be there if they need it. And all Australians will benefit from the more diverse, inclusive community that the NDIS will help build.