For some time now we have been hearing about the NDIS & the rollout in Queensland has already commenced. For many this is both a scary & overwhelming change. There are questions about how this will affect current supports & concerns about how it will all work.
Whilst these concerns may be valid, at Epilepsy Queensland we are excited at the prospect that some people who have epilepsy, who were previously not eligible, may become eligible for support under the NDIS. Below we have outlined just some of the basics of NDIS & how it may help those living with epilepsy. Over the coming months & as we observe it’s rollout in Townsville, we hope to be able to provide more information.
What is NDIS?
NDIS stands for National Disability Insurance Scheme & will be implemented by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). It is aimed at providing support for people with an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent, or a developmental delay that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities.
Under the new scheme, individuals will have more control, greater flexibility & the power to choose providers, instead of funding being
allocated to specific organisations. If you are eligible for NDIS, you & or your family/carer (if you wish), will meet with a planner to develop a plan that meets your personal goals & funding will be allocated accordingly. The participant will then be able to choose how, when & where their supports are provided.
What will be funded?
The NDIS will fund “reasonable” & “necessary” supports. This means that the support:
• Increases independence, economic & social participation
• Relates to the person’s disability
• Does not include day-to-day living costs that are unrelated to the participant’s disability support needs
• Represents value for money &
• Is likely to be effective & beneficial to the participant
As each participants plan is individualised to meet their needs, NDIS will fund different supports for different people, depending on their goals. Examples of supports include:
• Support workers
• Aids & equipment
• Workplace help
• Home & vehicle modifications
• Social participation activities
• Education & training
• Health & wellbeing activities
Who is Eligible for NDIS?
To be eligible for NDIS, you need to be:
• Under 65 years of age
• An Australian Citizen, a permanent resident, or New Zealand citizen who is a Protected special Category Visa Holder
• Live in a launch site
• Meet either the disability or early intervention requirements
More information about access requirements can be found on the NDIS website access checklist http://www.ndis.gov.au/ndis-access-checklist .
Accessing the Scheme if Epilepsy is Your Primary Diagnosis
To become a participant, you (or your parent, legal guardian or representative) will need to complete the Access Request Form. All participants must complete section A & B.
Part A: General Information for the person accessing NDIS (compulsory)
• including proof of age & residency
Part B: Diagnosis of Conditions (compulsory)
• completed by treating doctor/s
• Includes information about diagnosis & treatment/s
However, if your condition is not on the list of ‘Permanent impairment /functional capacity – no further assessment required’, you must also complete Part C. Whilst many people recognize that Epilepsy can have a profound impact on an individual’s ability to function on a daily basis, it is not currently recognized as a condition that allows for a streamlined process when entering the scheme. Therefore, you will be required to complete Part C, providing evidence of the impact of the condition.
Part C: Functional Impairment
• Completed by health professional
• Provides details of impairment on mobility, communication, social interaction, learning, self management & self care.
Epilepsy Considerations when planning for NDIS
In planning for the NDIs, there will be many things to consider:
• Dreams & aspirations
• Strengths & abilities
• The type of supports you will need
• What & how much funding (if any) you currently receive
Further to this you will need to think specifically about the impact epilepsy is having on your day to day living & how to plan to support your care needs. Here’s a list of just some of things you may wish to consider:
• Is Understanding Epilepsy & Midazolam training required for family, carers, and support workers to provide safe care?
• Do you require an Epilepsy Management Plan or Emergency Plan to be written for school, workplace, support agency etc.?
• Are there any aids or supports required to assist in accessing social & educational activities? Eg – cooling vests, monitoring devices, special needs stroller etc.
• Do you require assistance with transport to be able to improve independence, to access work etc?
Where can I get more information?
Whilst the NDIS may still be a little way off in your area, it’s a great idea to start thinking about it & planning ahead! If you require further information:
• Or feel free to call Epilepsy Queensland’s services team on 3435 5000 or 1300 852 853 (outside of Brisbane).