About DisabilityCare Australia
DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme (‘the scheme’) is a new way for people to get disability support that takes an individualised approach to providing care and support over a person’s lifetime.
The scheme will deliver a life-long approach to support people with disability through individualised funding. This means rather than providing support based on the number of places in a limited number of programs, the scheme will provide funding so people can get the care and support they need, based on their individual support needs, goals and aspirations.
DisabilityCare Australia is being rolled out in stages because it’s a big change to the current system. It’s also a permanent change, so it needs to be implemented in a sustainable and steady way.
The first stage of the scheme will be launched from July 2013 in four locations across the country. The first stage will benefit around 26,000 people with a significant and permanent disability.
The launch locations that commence in July 2013 are:
- Hunter area, New South Wales
- Barwon area, Victoria
- South Australia (for children) and
- Tasmania (for young people).
DisabilityCare Australia in New South Wales
From July 2013, the first stage of the scheme in the Hunter launch area will commence for residents living in the local government areas (LGAs) of Newcastle, Maitland and Lake Macquarie.
By July 2016, about 10,000 Hunter region residents with a significant and permanent disability will be covered by the scheme.
By July 2018, all NSW residents with significant disability—around 140,000 NSW residents—will be supported by the scheme.
DisabilityCare Australia staff will be on the ground from July 2013 to help people transition to the scheme, to provide information and referral services, undertake assessments and work with participants to develop their personal plans and support packages.
In the first year to June 2014, existing service users from the Newcastle LGA will enter the scheme, with Lake Macquarie residents able to access the scheme later in the year.
New participants will gradually enter the scheme over the launch period. There is a gradual intake to ensure that participants of the scheme are properly supported and receive the right services for their individual needs.
DisabilityCare Australia staff will:
- work with scheme participants and their families to plan and arrange the supports they need; the scheme recognises that each individual, their family and every community is unique in terms of their needs and support required
- improve the delivery of support services and care across the New South Wales, which will help make a real improvement in people with disability’s family life and community participation
- work with the local community to improve community involvement for people with disability.
What are the access requirements?
Between July 2013 and July 2016, people living in the LGAs of Newcastle, Maitland and Lake Macquarie can access the scheme if they:
- have a permanent and significant disability that affects their ability to participate in the community or employment and they require care and support, or could benefit from early intervention
- meet residence requirements and
- meet age requirements.
A person who is a scheme participant during the first stage and is aged under the age of 65 can choose to remain a participant of the scheme or move in to the aged care system once they turn 65 (or turn 50 for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people).
For more information about DisabilityCare Australia and the rollout of the scheme from
1 July 2013:
- continue to visit this website for updates
- visit the FAQs page
- read the general information brochure
- read the fact sheet for service providers in NSW
- read the fact sheet for participants in NSW
- attend an information forum
- sign up for email updates
- email NDISenquiries@fahcsia.gov.au
- call 1800 800 110.
You can view a copy of the bilateral agreement between the Australian and New South Wales Governments.