The National Disability Insurance Scheme is an initiative started by the Gillard Government in 2013. Its purpose is to replace outdated disability support schemes across the states and territories, and in effect, replace these programs with a nationalised system. If you have a debilitating disability and need help from local support services, then check out your state’s disability support website to see if you are eligible to receive occupational through the NDIS. If you qualify for the scheme, then we strongly recommend you sign up for the program, since you’ll get access to above-average care at affordable, subsidised rates.
If you want to receive occupational therapy via the NDIS, you need to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:
- Hold Australian citizenship, a permanent visa, or a Protected Special Category visa
- Have a permanent disability that inhibits your ability to complete daily activities
- Be under the age of 65
- If you enter the program before you turn 65, you will continue to receive occupational therapy through the NDIS
What if I am ineligible?
So, you can still technically receive occupational therapy from the NDIS, so you don’t have to be a participant in the program formally. In the same vein, children under the age of 7 generally don’t sign up for occupational therapy in the NDIS, and instead, use the Early Childhood Partners system for their support. However, if the disability is severe enough, your child might be able to receive support via the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach.
How do I apply during COVID-19?
Naturally, the spread of the coronavirus has complicated the delivery of occupational therapy via the NDIS. Indeed, some rather significant changes have been made to ensure that the quality of care provided, along with the application process, has not bee tarnished. For example, all relevant documentation and supporting evidence can be collected from online sources, as opposed to your local center. Moreover, meetings with your Local Area Coordinator are now done over the phone, as opposed to being in person. At the same time, your Local Area Coordinator will plan your project and discuss further options with you down the line. Everything is done in a socially distanced format.
What happens if I have a complaint?
If you have a complaint, you must get in touch with your LAC, who will then get in touch from the central organisation. The same goes for the following circumstances:
- You’re unhappy with your current plan or occupational therapy with the NDIS
- You have more specific questions about your plan, in terms of scheduling, costs and degree of support
- Your application keeps getting rejected despite you being eligible for the program
Indeed, there are many incredible benefits to getting occupational therapy through the NDIA. As outlined earlier, this nationalized scheme ensures that the most vulnerable, disenfranchised people get the level of care, respect, and support they deserve, when they need it the most. It also helps that individuals are able to receive this comprehensive level of care without breaking the bank. The government subsidizes the entire scheme, so costs are non-existent. It is essential to recognize, however, that the program is still being rolled out gradually across Australia. This means there are some regions in Australia where the program is not fully operational. If this applies to you, reach out to your local council, government, or get in touch with the NDIS for further clarification.
If you have any further queries, then hop onto your state government’s website for their approach or discuss your point of view with a local provider.