What is The NDIS?

What is The NDIS?

The NDIS, or the ‘National Disability Insurance Scheme’, emerged from years of discussion and an 18 month long investigation into the unmet needs of Australians living with disability, their families and carers, which highlighted the need for reform. The push for change coming from the disability community itself. 

According to a study by the ABS1 in 2018, 17.7% (4.4 million) Australians have some form of disability.

The NDIS defines disability as the ‘total or partial loss of a person’s bodily or mental functions (The Disability Act 1992). It describes the impairment of a person’s body or function, a limitation in activities or a restriction in participation when interacting with their environment.’

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a relatively new scheme funded by the Australian Government. It provides funding and support to Australians (and the families and carers of) under the age of 65, living with ‘permanent and significant’ disabilities, to access any ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports directly associated with their disability in order to help the participant in their daily life and achieving their life goals.

The NDIS provides the necessary funds, and the participant (or guardian of) is free to choose the providers which supply the necessary services or goods.

The rollout of the scheme began in July 2016. As of August 2020, the NDIS has 400,000 participants, over 150,000 of which are receiving support through an NDIS plan for the very first time.

The primary objectives of the scheme include assisting its participants in accessing mainstream services (health, housing & education); accessing community services (sports clubs and libraries); and maintaining informal supports (family and friends). Unlike Medicare, the PBS and other income support payments the NDIS is not means tested.

To learn more, check out our blog post What Does The NDIS Do?

Check out our Youtube video What is the NDIS?