Q and A - 7 July

Posted on 07 July 2017

Question: I received a text or SMS message from the NDIS notifying me that a representative will call me soon. Is this a scam?

No, this is not a scam. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has introduced SMS notifications to support the Access Request process (this is the request process to become a National Disability Insurance Scheme participant).

Everybody has a different way they would like to communicate with the NDIS, and we try our best to meet these needs. In some cases, people applying for the Scheme let us know that they would like to complete their NDIS Access Request verbally. This is called a Verbal Access Request (VAR), and it means that the NDIA will contact you by phone to discuss your Access Request.

However, we found that often it was hard to reach people by phone, so we implemented a SMS process where we send a SMS the day before making a VAR call making the person aware the NDIA will call them.

It’s important to be aware of potential scams. If you are unsure about whether a person calling you is from the NDIA, you can ask for their name and number and call the Agency back.

Visit the Privacy section of the NDIS website to find out more to find out more about the NDIA’s procedures for handling your personal information. You can also find out more about known scams via the Australian Government Scam Watch website (external).

Question: I’ve been told my block funding ends on 1 July and I won’t be able to access services after this as my NDIS plan won’t have been approved yet. Is this true?

No. It is the responsibility of your state or territory government to continue your supports until you have an approved NDIS plan in place.

Transitioning from your current arrangements to the NDIS can feel like a big change, but there are rules written into the agreement between your state or territory government and federal government (this is called a bilateral agreement) to ensure that the transition goes smoothly.

You can read more about transitioning from state-based support to the NDIS on the FAQs for existing clients page of our website.

Question: What kind of supports can my child access through the NDIS’ Early Childhood Early Intervention and are they only short term?

Every child is unique and therefore each Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) journey will be different.

The ECEI approach helps families to support their children develop the skills they need to take part of daily activities and be better prepared for the future. 

We’ve just released four different journeys that describe the path families can take and examples of the supports provided through from ECEI approach. Read and download the fact sheets on our website.

Question. Do you think there are enough culturally competent service providers to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people with a disability?

This is an area the NDIA is working hard in, to both respect culture and engage appropriately with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Strategy is a statement of the NDIA’s commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in delivering the NDIS across Australia.

The NDIA has already begun to work in remote communities, including Tennant Creek, APY Lands and in Arnhem Land where we have engaged directly with community and elders to establish the cultural values and the long term goals of the NDIS.  We acknowledge the importance of a flexible, community by community approach. We want to build on the strengths of communities and provide opportunities for training and economic development in the rollout of the Scheme. This includes supporting the growth of culturally competent service providers based in community and surrounding areas to deliver support. This will only develop more as the Scheme continues to rollout in more areas of Australia.

Read more about the NDIA’s approach to engaging Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities in our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Strategy.

Question: How long will the wait between being accepted as a participant and getting my planning meeting be?

The timing of your planning conversation depends on the agreements reached between the Commonwealth of Australia and the governments of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

These agreements outline how the NDIS will operate and funding for the NDIS in each location, including the planned schedule of participant intake.

If you haven’t been contacted about your first planning conversation and you have been provided access to the NDIS there are a few things you can do:

  • Visit your state or territory’s page on www.ndis.gov.au to find out when the NDIS is available in your area or age group;
  • Call 1800 800 110 to talk someone about your situation
  • Talk to your current providers about the transition to the NDIS.

General information is available on your State or Territory page and detailed information about intake is outlined in the ‘Heads of Agreement’.

You can view the Heads of Agreements, and the schedule for full scheme rollout, on this ‘Intergovernmental agreements’ page of our website.

NDIA CEO David Bowen on ABC News Facebook Live

The transcripts of ABC New's interview with NDIA CEO David Bowen on the Facebook live are now available on the NDIS website.