How to get started with the NDIS - Summer Foundation
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How to get started with the NDIS

If you do not have an NDIS plan, this page will give you answers to common questions and resources and videos to help you.

If you have already applied for an NDIS plan and were unsuccessful, please contact us:

Call us on 1300 626 560
Text us on 0484 777 225
Email us at info@summerfoundation.org.au

Click on the questions below:

How do I apply for an NDIS plan?

What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the way the Australian government provides funding to people with disability to meet their individual needs. 

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the agency that runs the NDIS. 

When you become a ‘participant’ of the NDIS, you are allocated an individual package of funding based on your needs.  This gives you control over which providers and services you then choose to support you.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

To become a participant of the NDIS there are some eligibility criteria, such as having a disability, being aged between 7 and 65, and living in Australia as an Australian resident. 

One important aspect of eligibility for the NDIS is that your disability must be permanent and significant.

This means you need long-term support in your daily life from another person, or from equipment, in one or more of these areas:

  • Mobility
  • Communication
  • Social interaction
  • Learning
  • Self care 
  • Self management 

If your disability is caused by a medical condition, you can also apply for the NDIS. Your disability needs to be permanent and significant.  The NDIS website has an Eligibility Checklist to guide you through the eligibility process.

What is an NDIS plan?

  • An NDIS plan shows funding to support your unique needs and goals. Having funding in your plan means you have control to choose which providers and services you want to support you
  • Your plan includes the types of support you need to achieve your goals and aspirations
  • Your plan will be based on the discussions you have in your planning meeting with a planner from the NDIA. You can have someone from your support team, friend or family member with you in these planning meetings

Your plan may change over time as your individual needs change 

How do I apply for the NDIS?

After checking the eligibility criteria, you need to: 

1. Complete an Access Request Form (ARF) OR make a Verbal Access Request (VAR)

  • The ARF form can be downloaded from the NDIS website
  • You can make a VAR by calling the National Access Team on 1800 800 110 

2. Provide information about your disability 

  • You will need assistance from professionals, such as your doctor and occupational therapist to apply to the NDIS

They will write reports about how your disability impacts your daily life. They will need to use language that links to the NDIS legislation. These reports will provide the NDIS planner with the evidence needed to create your plan 

Resources

Summer Foundation resources

Template for your support team to guide them in how to support your NDIS application

Sample NDIS plans

Can’t find what you are looking for?


NDIS website resources

Downloadable Access Request Form

Providing evidence of your disability

Eligibility Checklist

Participant booklets – to help you better understand, plan and better use your NDIS package

NDIA Glossary of Terms 

Video stories about how other people have navigated the NDIS

Hearing how other people have prepared for and experienced NDIS planning can be a useful way to get a picture of what the process might involve, and what kind of preparation might work for you

Bev shares practical advice and wisdom on how to navigate the NDIS

How do I get what I need in my NDIS plan?

Who can help me develop my plan?

Developing your plan can be quite overwhelming and take a lot of time, so it’s important to have someone you trust to support you through this process. 

This might be a family member or friend, or a member of your support team such as an occupational therapist. If you already have an NDIS plan, your support coordinator will help you to develop a new plan.

Before your planning meeting, it’s important for your support team to assist with documenting what is important to you and the types of support you need to achieve your goals. 

They will write about your needs using language the NDIA will understand, including how a particular type of support you need is related to your goals and meets the ‘reasonable and necessary’ criteria that the NDIS requires. 

If you’re in hospital, the hospital staff will help with this. This type of report is sometimes called a ‘pre-plan’.  

Your NDIS plan will be developed in a planning meeting with a planner from the NDIA. It can be helpful to have a support person with you in this planning meeting, who knows you really well and understands what is important to you.  If you have questions, you can contact the NDIA planner who is developing your plan at any stage.

How do I get ready for my planning meeting?

Preparing for your planning meeting lets you think about what is important to you. This might include things like:

  • What support do you have now that’s important to include in your plan?
  • Why are these supports important to you?
  • What supports do you need, that you don’t have at the moment?
  • How would these supports improve your quality of life? 
  • What might happen if you didn’t have these supports?

When you are in your planning meeting, it can be hard to remember everything you wanted to talk about. You can ask for someone else to write these things down for you. 

Resources

Summer Foundation resources

Getting ready for NDIS planning guide: A toolkit that may help you plan ahead
for your meeting and learn how others have prepared

Sample NDIS plans: 5 different sample plans show you how plans may look and
give you some ideas about what you could include in your own

Template for your support team to guide them in writing about what you need

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Can’t find what you are looking for?


NDIS website resources

Reasonable and necessary criteria

NDIA Glossary of Terms

Video stories about how other people have navigated the NDIS

Hearing how other people have prepared for and experienced NDIS planning can be a useful way to get a picture of what the process might involve, and what kind of preparation might work for you

Tania shares how she ended up in aged care after a stroke 

We are here to support you

Call us on 1300 626 560
Text us on 0484 777 225
Email us at info@summerfoundation.org.au