Who qualifies for the NDIS?
The NDIS is available to people who have a permanent impairment or condition. To be eligible, a person must also be an Australian citizen, or a permanent resident, or hold a protected special category A permit that allows a person who is not a citizen to stay in a country on certain conditions, for the length of time stated in the visa.. The person must also be under 65 years old.
The NDIS access criteria require that a participant (i.e. a person who is accepted to the NDIS) has one or more intellectual, cognitive, neurological, sensory, physical or psychiatric impairments that – under the disability stream:
- is, or is likely to be, permanent;
- is likely to mean the person A document that sets out what a person wants to happen to their money and other property after they die. require NDIS support for life;
- affects the person’s The ability to understand and be held responsible by the law for your actions. It also refers to a person’s ability to understand and agree to something, such as to undergo medical treatment. Full legal capacity is reached at 18 years of age, when a child becomes an adult. for social or economic participation;
- results in substantially reduced functional capacity, or psychosocial functioning, to To promise to do or not do something, such as returning to court on a certain day, or to hand a document over to another party in a legal proceeding. An undertaking is enforceable by attachment or like an injunction. one or more of the following activities: communication, social interaction, learning, mobility, self-care;
or under the early intervention stream:
- is, or is likely to be, permanent;
- applies to a child who has a developmental delay.
For a person to qualify under the early intervention stream, it must also be shown that early intervention support is likely to reduce the person’s future need for support for their disability.
The early intervention support should also alleviate the impact of the person’s impairment on their functionality or strengthen the sustainability of their informal supports (e.g. building the capacity of the person’s carer).
In addition, early intervention support must be most appropriately funded or provided by the NDIS. (See also the NDIS website at www.ndis.gov.au.)
Eligibility for services
Intellectual disability services
Requests to a disability Formal delivery of legal documents to a person to tell them there are court proceedings against them which they must defend, or to make sure a witness in a case knows when they have to go to court to give evidence. provider for services for a person who has an intellectual disability may be made directly to the disability service provider. A formal assessment may not be required if a person’s disability is accepted as self-evident.
Other categories of disability
As with intellectual disability, requests for services for a person who has other disabilities may be made directly to disability service providers. A formal assessment may not be required if a person’s disability is accepted as self-evident.
Test for getting NDIS funding
NDIS funding is based on what is ‘reasonable’ and ‘necessary’ to achieve a participant’s goals, in addition to the support provided by family, friends, community services and other government support.
Provision of disability services
Types of disability services
Disability services include linking clients to services, preparing service plans, providing outreach support in people’s homes, arranging respite, supplying long-term accommodation, and providing recreational and vocational services. Although generally funded by the NDIS, disability services in Victoria are mostly provided by not-for-profit and non-government organisations.
Services continue to be provided by the DHHS for ‘Money or property promised to be handed over as a guarantee for repayment of a loan, or as a guarantee that a defendant will meet their bail conditions. residents’ or ‘forensic residents’ (for more details, see ‘Intellectual disability’ in Chapter 8.3: Disability and criminal justice). However, note that people who are neither security nor forensic residents may be subject to restrictive practices without To agree to something being done, to approve an action or arrangement. See also informed consent. in accordance with restraint and seclusion provisions in the Disability A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. (pts 7, 8) regarding restrictive interventions and compulsory treatment (see ‘Supervision of restrictive interventions’, below).
The current approach to planning is called ‘person-centred planning’. A person who has an intellectual disability must be offered assistance with planning by the disability service provider from whom they have requested disability services. The assistance must be provided within ‘a reasonable time’ after an The first step in agreeing to make a legally binding agreement. An offer must be accepted before there can be a legally enforceable contract. For example, a person can offer to sell their car for $5000 and a buyer can accept the offer and pay that purchase price. of services is accepted (s 55 Disability Act).
The NDIS process is intended to enable people with a disability to exercise choice and control in the planning and delivery of their supports. The NDIS Act (ss 31–50) provides the support-planning process for NDIS participants.
Appealing a NDIS decision
If a person is found to be ineligible to receive services under the NDIS, they can request an internal review of the decision. Internal reviews can also be requested for other NDIS decisions (e.g. decisions to provide less funding than is required). (See ‘Contacts’ at the end of this chapter.)
If a participant is not satisfied with the outcome of an internal review of a NDIS decision, they can apply to the federal Administrative Appeals A body set up to hear and decide disputes, usually with less formality and less strict rules of evidence than in a court proceeding. (AAT) to review the decision. Sections 99–103 of the NDIS Act set out the provisions for reviews of reviewable decisions and appeals to the AAT. For more information about applying for an AAT review, see www.aat.gov.au.
Complaints about disability service providers
NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (‘NDIS Commission’) is an independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. The NDIS Commission began operating in Victoria on 1 July 2019. It is the NDIS Commission’s job to regulate NDIS providers, provide national consistency, promote safety and quality services, resolve problems and identify areas for improvement.
The NDIS Commission is responsible for the:
- registration and quality assurance of NDIS providers;
- complaints process;
- management of reporting of incidents;
- new practice standards for the NDIS;
- NDIS Code of Conduct.
For now, the Victorian Disability Services Commissioner is responsible for issues relating to the provision of services to people with a disability who do not qualify for the NDIS.
Those who do qualify for the NDIS can complain to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (‘NDIS Commission’) (see ‘Contacts’ at the end of this chapter). This is a new independent Commonwealth body that will regulate the NDIS, register providers, and support the resolution of complaints about the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services.
Complaints about the NDIA
The NDIS is administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). Complaints about the NDIA are managed internally by NDIA officers or can be escalated to the Commonwealth Complaints Resolution and Referral Service (CRRS), the Commonwealth A public official appointed to investigate citizens’ complaints against government departments and statutory authorities. A specialised ombudsman resolves consumer complaints in a particular industry, for example the banking ombudsman for the banking industry. See also statutory authority., or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of a decision. (For the contact details of these organisations, see ‘Contacts’ at the end of this chapter). The CRRS also helps people with disabilities sort out complaints about advocacy services that are funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
Several disability advocacy agencies have been funded to assist Victorians to The review of the decision of a lower court by a higher court. If an appeal is successful, the higher court can change the lower court’s decision. against the NDIA’s decisions. The contact details for these agencies can be obtained from Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service (see ‘Contacts’ at the end of this chapter).
Complaints about the abuse of people with an intellectual disability
Complaints about instances of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability can be made (as appropriate) to Victoria Police, the NDIS Commission, the Office of the Public Advocate, the federal Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (see ‘Contacts’ at the end of this chapter).