Updated: Feb 2
Live your best life regardless of NDIS eligibility
As of January 2019, around 250,000 Australians were receiving support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This includes approximately 78,000 people receiving life-changing support for the first time.
And that’s fantastic.
Unless you’re one of the Australians with disability who doesn’t qualify. Even after requesting an internal review.
If you’ve already appealed the declined NDIS decision and still don’t meet the NDIS eligibility requirements, don’t give up.
We’ve collated a list of the various services and support available outside the scheme, so you can still live your best life and achieve everything you set your mind to.
You’ve been declined access to the NDIS, what now?
It’s okay to feel a bit frustrated, but the good news is – you still have options.
1. Talk to your Local Area Coordinators (LACs)
Even if you’re not eligible for the NDIS, your Local Area Coordinators (LACs) might still be able to help. It’s important to note LACs aren’t a part of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). This means they stand to serve the community as a whole, not just registered NDIS participants.
As highlighted by Scope Australia, Local Area Coordinators have three key roles. They:
Link people to the NDIS
Link people with disability, their families and carers to information and support in the community
Work with their local community to make sure it is more welcoming and inclusive for people with disability
LACs aim to build trusting and understanding relationships with people with disability, their families and carers. They can source information about support available in your local community, provide advice, and connect you with mainstream services outside the NDIS. This includes physical and mental health, early childhood development, education and vocational training, employment, housing, and aged care.
2. Seek alternative Government support and funding
If NDIS funding isn’t available, there are other government-funded options available.
You may benefit from some of Medicare’s offerings, such as:
Disability Support Pension if you’re unable to work due to your disability
Work Assist to help you stay in work if you risk losing your job through illness, injury, or disability
Mobility Allowance if you require transport assistance
Child Disability Assistance Payment if you get Carer Allowance and look after a child with disability or a serious illness
You can also seek a Mental Health Care Plan for appropriate support and treatment. If you organise a plan, you are entitled to a Medicare rebate on up to 10 individual sessions or group appointments with a psychologist, social worker, or occupational therapist in a calendar year.
The Australian Government has recently introduced the Mental Health Gateway ‘Head to Health’, which helps people with mental health conditions navigate relevant services via online and telephone support.
If employment is a key goal, there are a couple of options to consider.
Under the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, you can apply for the Supported Wage System which increases employment opportunities for people with disability through giving employers the opportunity to pay a productivity-based wage.
There’s also the Job Access Employment Assistance Fund to provide financial help to buy work-related modifications, equipment, Auslan services, and workplace assistance and support services.
3. Ask for disability advocacy support
As defined in the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP), disability advocacy refers to the ‘speaking, acting or writing with minimal conflict of interest on behalf of the interests of a disadvantaged person or group, in order to promote, protect and defend the welfare of and justice for either the person or group.’
Their number one aim is to ensure the needs of Australians with disability are met.
To locate support services close to home, you can use the online Disability Advocacy Finder.
If you have any complaints or require advice about poorly-delivered services, you can contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
4. Seek informal support from friends and family
Don’t underestimate the power of a strong network around you.
Start by revisiting your pre-planning documentation and the goals you wrote down. As highlighted by Reimagine, set yourself small goals you can achieve by yourself to work towards a meaningful and contributing life.
When you feel ready to work towards larger and more complex goals, you can then explore what support options are available. Then ask family and friends for advice. Or seek people from online or local support networks with the same (or similar) disability as you.
What happens if you’re too old for the NDIS?
Currently, the NDIS does not support people with disability over 65 years old. Unless you start with the NDIS before reaching this milestone age and choose to keep receiving services under the scheme as you age.
For the over 65 demographic, you can look into My Aged Care - the Australian Government's ‘starting point on your aged care journey’. They can help you find and access the government-funded services you need.
On their website, My Aged Care highlights the Commonwealth Continuity of Support (CoS) Programme. This Programme ensures older people with disability who aren’t eligible for the NDIS are still supported.
Eligibility is based on an individual’s circumstances and criteria and is only available for pre-identified clients and service providers. However, if it turns out you’re not eligible for the CoS Programme and aged 65 and over, there are other support options available when entering aged care.
How can I increase my chance of receiving funding at my next pre-planning session?
While you missed out on NDIS funding this time around, it doesn’t mean you’ll be ineligible next year. Good preparation is key – so start now!
The First2Care platform can guide you through the pre-planning process to ensure you cover your future goals and aspirations and manage your documentation. And you don’t have to be part of the NDIS to use it.
Many of the platform’s features have helped people with disability manage their lives, as well as define and achieve their goals outside of the NDIS.
Are you ready to live your best life? Contact us to find out more.