NDIS stands for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and is operated by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
At its core, the NDIS is a healthcare program created by the Australian Federal Government for the benefit of people who have a permanent disability, either from an injury or something the person was born with.
Its main purpose is to provide funding for the specific levels of support that an affected individual needs to be a part of society.
That means not just participating in social activities and being able to do more things for themselves with the right assistive technology, but also to the point of helping as many as possible to enter (or re-enter) the workforce.
Having been rolled out across the nation after a number of trial areas helped phase in the scheme, the NDIA anticipates that “the NDIS will provide about 460,000 Australians under the age of 65 with a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to live an ordinary life.”
Not every disabled person is eligible, however. To become an NDIS participant a person must fulfill all of the following criteria:
- Have a permanent disability that significantly affects their ability to take part in everyday activities
- Be aged less than 65 when they first enter the NDIS
- Be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent visa or a Protected Special Category visa, and
- Live in Australia where the NDIS is available
David Bowen, the inaugural CEO of the NDIA, started on the project well before the rollout. He was a member of the Independent Panel advising the Productivity Commission in its inquiry into the feasibility of an NDIS.
In mid-March this year David announced that he was retiring. Rob De Luca is now the new CEO, playing a key role in the full rollout of the NDIS.
Mr De Luca was until recently the managing director of Bankwest.
“Mr De Luca deeply understands the importance of improving social and economic outcomes for participants in a way that delivers a quality participant experience,” social services minister Christian Porter said.
Mr Porter also paid tribute to retiring NDIS CEO David Bowen. “David’s dedication, professionalism and leadership of the NDIA have been critically important.”
The NDIS has had a semi-successful rollout, with some people benefiting exactly as intended. Meanwhile others have missed out, either entirely or partially.
There are many NDIS office locations in NSW – see https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/locations#nsw for your nearest office.
Phone 1800 800 110 or see the website www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/contact-us for more information about the NDIS.