Here are your top questions on the NDIS.
Q: I have had paraplegia for years now. I receive support from MASS (Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme) and CAEATI (Community Aids Equipment and Assistive Technology Initiative) for my equipment so I don’t need the NDIS.
A: If you are under 65 years of age when the NDIS is phased in where you live (before 2019 in Queensland) you will definitely need to approach the NDIA for support. Your future equipment needs will be covered by the NDIS (not MASS and CAEATI) so you will need an individual support plan to outline all your needs, including things like continence products, replacement wheelchairs, tyres and running repairs. If you have never received disability support before, the NDIS will also offer you support in other areas of your life, such as personal care and domestic support, accessing the community and building a career path if you need these supports.
Q: If I choose for a registered plan provider to manage my plan, how will I cover the cost?
A: You will not be expected to cover this cost from your package. Instead, you will receive additional funds to pay for the services of a registered plan management provider to manage your package.
Q: I will be nearly 65 years of age when the NDIS starts in Queensland. Would it help if I moved into a launch site?
A: Unless you have a genuine reason to move into a launch site (such as for a work transfer), the NDIA will not process your application any earlier. If you turn 65 years of age before the NDIS is phased in where you live, you will need to approach the aged care system for support.
The aged care system has undergone significant reform to streamline accessibility to the system via the Aged Care Gateway (www.myagedcare.gov.au and 1800 200 422). There is only one assessment process and you will be linked to registered providers who offer supports.
Spinal Life Australia will advocate for the needs of people with disability who have no option but to seek support through the aged care system.
Q: What happens to my Carer Allowance if my partner receives support from under the NDIS?
A: Your Carer Allowance is income and income is not affected by eligibility for the NDIS. However, you will still need to maintain eligibility for the Carer Allowance and any other payments you receive from the government.
A National Carers Gateway has been launched specifically to help carers access practical information and advice and connect with services in their local area.
Q: What is Mobility Allowance and will the NDIS impact it?
A: Mobility Allowance provides financial assistance for people with disability, illness or injury aged 16 years or over who cannot use public transport without substantial assistance and need to travel to and from their home for work (including volunteer work), training or job seeking. You cannot receive the Mobility Allowance once you have a plan with the NDIS. However, if you do not become a participant in the NDIS you will continue to receive Mobility Allowance.
Q: Will my employment affect my eligibility for the NDIS?
A: No, your eligibility for the NDIS is not income tested.
Q: Will the NDIS impact my Health Care Card?
A: No. If you have a Health Care Card you will keep it.
Q: What happens if I complete my plan but do not get something right? Can the plan change?
A: Yes, you can change your plan at any time and add items you may have overlooked. Also, if your needs change and you require more support, you can contact the NDIA to have your plan reviewed.
Q: How often will the NDIA review my plan?
A: The NDIA will review plans annually.
Q: How will the NDIS impact the Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession Scheme?
A: This is a concession administered by the Queensland Government. There is no information at this stage to suggest it will be impacted by the NDIS.
Q: How will we know when to register as a participant for the NDIS?
A: The NDIA will advertise widely when the NDIS is being phased in. Spinal Life will advise clients and existing Disability Services clients will receive a letter from the NDIA when it is their turn to transition.
Q: Do I have to employ my own personal support workers if I self-manage?
A: No. If you self-manage you can still purchase personal support from a service provider such as Spinal Life Australia or you could choose to engage your own staff.
Q: What is the difference between the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS)?
A: The NDIS is for anyone who has already had their injury. The NIIS is for Queenslanders who sustain a catastrophic injury, such as a spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury, severe burns or multiple amputations, after 1 July 2016.