What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australia-wide funding and support mechanism for people with significant and long-term disabilities. It was legislated in 2013 to replace the National Disability Agreement (NDA), which was itself an update on the previous Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement.

Why was the NDA replaced?

Under the previous NDA, funding and support for people with disabilities was administrated at the state/territory level, and several problems were reported.

Because the NDA was largely funded by individual states, there was wide inconsistency in terms of how funding and support was provided to recipients, not only from state to state, but within states too. Inconsistency of care was particularly noted for people moving across and between states.

A review also found the NDA to be unclear in terms of who was eligible and what recipients were eligible for, and wide-scale problems with the payment system were reported.

Perhaps most importantly, the NDA was heavily criticised for taking too much of a ‘top-down’ approach; in other words, the Government deciding what disabled people needed, rather than focusing on the needs and wishes of disabled people themselves.

What’s new about the NDIS?

After several years of bureaucracy, the NDIS was initiated in 2013 – at first in a few trial regions, and eventually rolled out across the whole of Australia.

One big difference between the NDIS and previous legislation is that this Scheme is jointly funded by the national, state and territory governments in an effort to ensure consistency across the whole country.

Perhaps the most important difference, however, is that the NDIS seeks to take a ‘bottom-up’ approach. Recognising, firstly, that disabled people are indeed people, with their own minds, preferences, needs and wishes, the Scheme considers personal choice and individual perceptions of need very highly.

Working directly with disabled people, their families and carers, NDIS support coordinators have face-to-face discussions to establish what the disabled person’s personal life goals are, and what they feel they need to achieve those goals. Care plans are created and, depending on the disabled person’s abilities and preferences, can be managed by the disabled person themselves, by a nominated person such as a family member or carer, by an NDIS-approved care provider like First Support, or by NDIS.

Care plans that care

If you, or your loved-one is seeking NDIS support, be reassured that First Support is an NDIS-approved provider.

With its staff of more than 100 experienced professionals and specialist disability living accommodation, First Support is able to help disabled people and their families – including those with very complex medical, behavioural and emotional needs – to plan and implement highly personalised care that helps disabled people to fulfil their life goals in the way they want to.