Frequently Asked Questions about the NDIS

General Questions

What is the NDIS?
The NDIS will provide all Australians under the age of 65 who have a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to enjoy an ordinary life. The NDIS will help people with disability achieve their goals. This may  include greater independence, community involvement, employment and improved wellbeing. As an insurance scheme, the NDIS takes a lifetime approach, investing in people with disability early to improve their outcomes later in life. The NDIS also provides people with disability, their family and carers with information and referrals to existing support services in the community. By 2019, the NDIS will support about 460,000 Australians with disability.
Am I Eligible for the NDIS?
To become an NDIS participant a person must:

  • Have a permanent disability that significantly affects their ability to take part in everyday activities;
  • Be aged less than 65 when they first enter the NDIS;
  • Be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent visa or a Protected Special Category visa;
  • and live in Australia where the NDIS is available.The NDIS is being introduced progressively around Australia from 1 July 2016.

Can I still receive support if I do not meet the access requirements for the NDIS? A person does not have to be an NDIS participant to receive support from the NDIS. The NDIS will connect people with disability, their families and carers, including people who are not NDIS participants, to disability and mainstream supports in their community. To find out more about information, links and referrals to community and mainstream support services visit www.ndis.gov.au or call 1800 800 110.

What Steps need to be taken to get a Home Care Pacakge?
To find out if you are eligible for a home care package or any other help at home services, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. The My Aged Care contact centre will ask you a series of questions to determine if you need an assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). During the assessment the ACAT will determine if you are eligible for a home care package and which package level best meets your care needs. If approved as eligible and needing care, you will be approved for one level of home care package. You will be prioritised for care based on your assessed need. Each level of home care packages provides a different subsidy amount. This amount is paid to your selected approved home care provider. The subsidy contributes to the total cost of your services and care delivery. It is expected that you will contribute to the cost of your care where your personal circumstances allow.
What Services can I receive as part of a Home Care Package?
The types of services you can access under a home care package include, but are not limited to:

  • Personal services: assistance with personal activities such as bathing, showering, toileting, dressing and undressing, mobility and communication.
  • Nutrition, hydration, meal preparation and diet: assistance with preparing meals, including special diets for health, religious, cultural or other reasons; assistance with using eating utensils and assistance with feeding.
  • Continence management: assistance in using continence aids and appliances such as disposable pads and absorbent aids, commode chairs, bedpans and urinals, catheter and urinary drainage appliances, and enemas.
  • Mobility and dexterity: providing crutches, quadruped walkers, walking frames, walking sticks, mechanical devices for lifting, bed rails, slide sheets, sheepskins, tri-pillows, pressure-relieving mattresses and assistance with the use of these aids.
  • Nursing, allied health and other clinical services: speech therapy, podiatry, occupational or physiotherapy services, hearing and vision services. Home care level 1 and 2 packages are not intended to provide comprehensive clinical or health services. Home care level 3 and 4 packages have a greater emphasis on delivering complex care in the home, including more clinical care where needed.
  • Transport and personal assistance: assistance with shopping, visiting health practitioners and attending social activities.
  • Management of skin integrity: assistance with bandages, dressings and skin emollients.

A home care package may also be used to support the use of:

  • telehealth: video conferencing and digital technology (including remote monitoring) to increase access to timely and appropriate care
  • assistive technology: such as aids and equipment (particularly those that assist a person to perform daily living tasks), as well as devices that assist mobility, communication and personal safety
  • aids and equipment: some aids and equipment that are directly associated with your care needs can be purchased using funds from your package budget. Read more about aids and equipment.
Is there any restrictions to a Home Care Package?
There are care and services that you must not use home care package funds for:

  • items that would normally be purchased out of general income
  • buying food, except as part of enteral feeding requirements
  • payment for permanent accommodation, including assistance with home purchase, mortgage payments or rent
  • payment of home care fees
  • payment of fees or charges for other types of care funded or jointly funded by the Australian Government
  • home modifications or assets that are not related to your care needs
  • travel and accommodation for holidays
  • cost of entertainment activities, such as club memberships and tickets to sporting events
  • gambling activities
  • payment for services and items covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Consumer directed care

All home care packages must be provided on a consumer directed care basis. Which means your provider will work with you to identify a home care package of care and services to meet your needs so you can live a more active and independent life.

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