General information

Can you claim Medicare and health fund rebates for children’s services that we use under our NDIS plan?

The question you are asking could easily result in an allegation of fraud, if a person was to 'double-dip'. The Department of Finance, in relation to Grants, explains 'double-dipping occurs where a grant recipient is able to obtain a grant for the same project or activity from more than one source', which is essentially what we are discussing.

If a person were to utilise an invoice or a receipt, obtained as part of their provided NDIS supports to claim a benefit from Medicare for example, they could investigate, as the attempted fraud would be against them.

The NDIS Act and Rules provide guidance for what is funded under the Scheme. Basically, a support the NDIS pays for is not claimable against any other Commonwealth Program such as Medicare.

The NDIS will not fund or provide some supports, which are:

  • not related to the participant's disability
  • duplicates of other supports already funded by a different mechanism through the NDIS
  • relating to day-to-day living costs not related to a participant's support needs, or
  • likely to cause harm to the participant or pose a risk to others.

The health system has responsibility for assisting participants with clinical and medical treatment, which includes:

  • the diagnosis and assessment of health conditions
  • clinical services and treatment of health conditions – including all medical services such as general practitioners, care while admitted in hospital, surgery, the cost of medical specialists and so on
  • medications and pharmaceuticals
  • sub-acute care, such as palliative care, geriatric and psychogeriatric care
  • post-acute care, including nursing care for treating health conditions and wound management
  • dental care and all dental treatments.

You can view the Applied Health Principles here.

Individuals and families sometimes also have a role in funding the medical and clinical services, such as out of pocket expenses, gap payments and private health insurance fees. The NDIS will not cover those costs.

Should you suspect a fraud has been committed against the NDIS please email fraudreporting@ndis.gov.au, or call 1800 650 717. If you suspect fraud has been committed against other Commonwealth agencies or private medical insurers report it directly to them via their own fraud reporting mechanisms.

What is reviewable and what is not?

Decisions under the NDIS Act which can be reviewed are known as reviewable decisions.

The majority of decisions made by the NDIA under the NDIS Act are reviewable decisions.

Decisions that can be reviewed include those relating to access, plan reviews, plan nominees and plan decisions.

A list of which types of decisions can be reviewed can be found on our website.

What is a Local Area Coordinator?

Local Area Coordinators (LACs) are organisations who have partnered with the NDIA to deliver the NDIS. LACs have three key roles:

  • They will link you to the NDIS. For a majority of participants, LACs will work with you to develop your plan, help you implement and monitor how your plan is going, and review your progress regularly.
  • Link you to information and support in the community and mainstream services such as health and education, and
  • Work with their local community to make sure it is more welcoming and inclusive for people with disability.

If you are in an area that was a Trial Site, a majority of participants will transition to work directly with LACs to review their plan. LACs will provide a single point of contact for NDIS participants and help you to develop, implement and get the most out of your plan.

It is important to remember that LACs do not provide case management and they cannot approve an NDIS plan. Find out more about LACs in your area on the NDIS website. Don’t worry if you can’t find a LAC near you yet. As the NDIS continues to roll out, more LACs will become available in communities across Australia.

What address do I send doctors and specialist documents to?

Doctors reports can be sent via mail, email or you can take it to your local NDIS office.

To send it by mail: GPO Box 700, Canberra, ACT 2601

To send it by email: NAT@ndis.gov.au

To find your nearest NDIS office check out the locations page of our website.

Does the NDIS fund registered nurses?

The NDIS is not designed to fund supports for health conditions provided by registered nurses. In some instances however, registered nursing may be funded in an NDIS plan only where it is considered necessary to provide education, training or intermittent monitoring to paid or unpaid carers in a particular task.

The NDIA planning process will explore the extent to which the needs of the person can be safely met by allowing the supports to be provided by a non-clinical person who has been given the appropriate training.

In most cases where the care cannot be delegated, the task would be considered clinical and therefore not the responsibility of the NDIS.

Appropriate assignment of these tasks to the health system or NDIS supports is critical to the ongoing financial sustainability of the NDIS.

Support coordination can also help participants access supports where their needs are complex and being met by both the NDIS and other service systems.

What is the difference between NDIA and NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme, or NDIS, is run by the independent agency – the National Disability Insurance Agency, or NDIA.

The NDIS is one component of the National Disability Strategy which brings community, government and industry together to address the challenges faced by people with disability, and ensures they are supported by services such as health, education and transport and the wider community.

The aim of the NDIS is simple:
To provide Australians who are born with or acquire a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to live and enjoy an ordinary life.

Watch the video below for more information.

I am hearing impaired in both ears and wearing a cochlear implant and working full time; am I entitled for exemption from paying NDIS through tax?

All income earners in Australia are required to pay the Medicare levy, no one is exempt.

The Medicare levy provides peace of mind to all Australians that if they or a loved one acquire a disability, they will be supported.

The modest increase in the Medicare levy will ensure we can deliver and sustainably fund the NDIS.

I found out by chance on the weekend that NDIS prices are rising slightly as of 1 July. Does this mean that our plans will be increased accordingly? As I have to pay my providers the slight increase, I don't want to run out of total funds before the end of my plan.  

In line with the provider price increase, your plan will be adjusted automatically to match the new prices.

This is something that happens every year, just like the inflation increase in many other areas of our life. The adjustment to your plan will be made in the coming weeks, and as it came into effect from 1 July 2017, your updated budget will be backdated from 1 July 2017.

For providers making claims during this transition, they will need to be aware of the change. This means that:

  • pre-30 June service dates are paid at the pre-30 June prices; and
  • post-30 June service dates apply to the new 1 July prices.

If you have any questions, give the NDIA a call on 1800 800 110 or you can read more about the provider price increase on our news page.

Do planners need to have disability experience?

The National Disability Insurance Agency and our Partners in the Community are striving to achieve a diverse workforce that is reflective of the communities we serve.
Approximately 15 per cent of our employees identify as having a disability. This is the highest proportion of employees with disability in the Australian Public Service (APS) sector.
We are in a unique position for a Commonwealth government agency of having a mix of Commonwealth and former state government employees, private sector and Not for Profit staff who have chosen to work for the NDIA, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge with them to deliver the Scheme
Our employees have skills and knowledge from the allied health, mental health and disability support sectors.
We conduct ongoing training for planners and partners in relation to areas of particular expertise, such as early childhood early intervention, to ensure nationally consistent standards

You can submit questions through our weekly Q & A posts on the Facebook page (external) or through twitter #ndisqanda.

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: If my area is one of the last to roll out, will there be money left for participant funding?

Yes.

Funding for the NDIS comes from the Commonwealth and State governments. They’ve committed to fund it in accordance with agreements between each government. This has been a topic discussed in length by Parliament recently, and we received absolute commitment from the Government that it will be funded. There’s no need at all for concern that the funding won’t be there.

Question: Will those living with a permanent psychiatric condition find assistance through the NDIS?

Yes.

The Productivity Commission, who did the original estimates for the Scheme back in 2011, highlighted that around about 13-14% of people would enter the Scheme with what’s called a ‘psychosocial disability’. We have found that this representative of the number we have already in the Scheme. People with psychosocial disability have been recognised by the Scheme and are already receiving support.

Question: I’m having an issue in the portal where it’s not letting me set support dates. What’s going on?

This was an issue with the calendar function in the ‘My Payment Requests’ section of the participant portal that was reported by some Safari and Firefox users. The issue was resolved on Wednesday morning, and you should be able to set support dates normally now.

Question: How is the NDIS going to be funded in years to come?

The Productivity Commission estimated in 2011 that once fully operational in 2019-20, the cost of the NDIS would be about $22 billion a year.

The NDIS is jointly funded by the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, as outlined in the bilateral agreements for each jurisdiction.

Question: Are your videos on Facebook captioned?

Yes, all of our videos are captioned.

If you’re using Facebook in a desktop or mobile browser, you’ll see either a little cog wheel or a speech bubble. If you tap on that icon, you’ll have the option to turn captions on.

The mobile Facebook app may not show you this option. If that’s the case for you, your phone may have an accessibility setting that allows you to turn on captions.

On an iPhone, this is under Settings > General > Accessibility. If you tap on ‘Subtitles & Captioning’, you’ll be able to turn on Closed Captions, and choose their size. You can find instructions for this here on Apple’s website (external).

If you use an Android phone, these settings can be found in Settings > Accessibility > Captions, and tap the on/off switch. You can find instructions about Android’s caption settings on this Android Help page (external).

Note that this applies a blanket setting across your phone – so any app that supports this feature will now show subtitles where they are available. On the other hand, some apps and older operating systems may not support this feature.

Do you have information about the NDIS in Auslan and languages other than English?

Yes, we have information about the NDIS in languages other than English, including Auslan, on our website. Click here to visit the Auslan and Languages other than English page of our website.

Question: Is there a visual resource available on the NDIS process, broken down into steps, of who does what and when? I'm more after something with maybe a single page. Similar to a flow chart that shows each person (and their title/role) that the participant will deal with at each turn.

The My NDIS Pathway booklet is available in all NDIS offices, and has a great visual representation of the process. You can also download a copy to print at home (PDF, 370KB)

This document does not go into the detail of people’s titles and roles, and the process is different depending on your circumstances. For example, if currently receive supports from your state or territory government, you may already have the supporting documentation you need to become an NDIS participant.

Question: Where can I find easy to read information about the NDIS?

The NDIS website has a lot of information written in Easy English. Easy English combines text and images to convey information simply and so it is easy to understand.

Easy English

  • Defines big or hard words the first time they are used
  • Has pictures to help explain the information
  • Does not use a lot of text.

If you’re looking at a particular page of the website, check whether there is a link on the right hand side to download a version of the information in Easy English.

On this Fact Sheets and Publications page of the website, there are a lot of documents about the NDIS that you can download by clicking on the links. If you scroll down the page, you’ll see a section for Easy English documents.

If you receive your plan and find it difficult to understand, you can

  • ask for help at your local Partner in the Community or NDIS office
  • Call 1800 800 110 for more help

Question: Why is every NDIS plan different?

Every NDIS plan is different because every NDIS participant is unique, and no two peoples’ lives, goals and daily activities are exactly the same.

NDIS plans are different from person to person because they’re based on each participant’s unique support needs, goals, daily activities and any other mainstream supports they might receive. This is a part of the NDIS’ commitment to being a person-centred approach to disability care.

This page of our website has some examples of services and support that you might want to access with your NDIS plan. Our website also has resources on getting ready for developing your first plan.

Question: How does the AAT work and how do I make an application?

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) (external) is a court dedicated to appealing decisions made in the area of Administrative Law – the kind of law that covers decisions made by the Australian Government.

Before you take matters to the AAT, you can apply for an internal review of a decision made by the NDIA.

If you’re still dissatisfied with the decision following the internal review, you can then apply to the AAT (external). Unless you have an extension granted, you have to do this within 28 days of receiving the result of your internal review.

How that works is up to your particular circumstance and the AAT. The AAT uses a lot of different methods – called alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods – to resolve disagreements over decisions. The focus early on is on case conferences. These are open conversations between all parties, either in person or by phone, where matters under review are discussed in a casual setting.

A lot of the time, the best way to deal with the application is found at conference. If the matter can’t be settled at conference, the AAT will explore other forms of alternative dispute resolution, or if it is appropriate, the issue will be listed for a hearing.

The AAT has a special team of people who are experienced in working with people with disability who do this work.

You can find out more information about what kinds of decisions the AAT can review, how to apply, and how the review will be conducted, at the Review of National Disability Insurance Scheme decisions (external) page of the AAT website.