Below is a quick guide for GPs and allied health professionals.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a nationwide scheme that will help support people with a permanent and significant disability, and their families and caregivers. It will provide about 460,000 Australians under the age of 65 with a permanent and significant disability, the reasonable and necessary supports they need to optimise their function and participation in their community and employment.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) funding will roll-out to the Central and Eastern Sydney PHN area from 1 July 2017.
The NDIS is available to Australian citizens, residents, and applicable visa category holders, who are under the age of 65 with a permanent disability that significantly impacts on activities of daily living. See also:
Children aged between 0-6 years old identified with disability or developmental delay may benefit from working with Early Childhood Providers to help develop functional skills and access community supports. GPs should advise families that they can access the ECEI pathway whilst awaiting further assessment by health professionals. See also:
Ability Links and Early Links NSW currently provides connections for patients with disability to their community. ILC is a new initiative that will aim to provide assistance and links to community and mainstream supports. It will help people with disability and their families to acquire skills, resources, and the confidence they need to participate in the community. Whilst the focus of ILC is largely on people who are ineligible for the NDIS, scheme participants can still access ILC. It may also help people with disability move into the NDIS if a need is identified. See also:
Those who already receive existing specialist disability services through Family and Community Services (FaCS), will be contacted by an NDIA representative and are required to create a plan (called My First Plan) that determines individualised goals for each participant. This can be developed in conjunction with a family member, carer, or support worker; a Health professional may also be asked to contribute to ensure complex health needs are accurately reflected in the client’s plan. They will then transition to the NDIS on 1 July 2017 and have services paid under this new structure, with participants controlling how funds are spent.
Clients unknown to the NDIA (e.g. newly diagnosed, degenerative conditions resulting in an eligible level of impairment and newly born children with disability) will need to make a full application to the scheme.
New patients seeking to receive supports and services under the NDIS will need to complete an ‘Access Request Form’ (ARF). Participants, their family or carers can obtain a copy of the ARF by contacting the NDIA. GPs and allied health professionals may be asked to complete Part F of the ARF, but may help complete other appropriate sections. In providing textual evidence of disability, GPs will need to consider the functional language used by the NDIS and accordingly detail a health matter in terms of functional impact.
Many participants will not require contact with their GP for any further details or documentation, as they may have a specific condition or may be part of a program that automatically qualifies them for entry into the NDIS. Others may require written medical evidence of their disability, with accepted documentation including validated functional assessments or specialists and allied health reports. Some will require an ‘NDIS supporting evidence form’ that addresses the 6 functional domains of communication, learning, mobility, self-care, social interaction and self-management. See Guideline and also:
For participants with available evidence of disability, it is anticipated that a review and attachment of relevant documentation may be completed within a standard or longer consultation time (20-30mins). New participants requiring an ARF or supporting evidence to address the domains of disability, may require a longer consultation or possibly performed over two consultations.