Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Feeling Overwhealmed by the NDIS

The NDIS 'What is the big deal?'

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme let me assure you, you're not alone. Nor should be endeavoring to tackle this change alone.  The NDIS is a new way to support people living with their disabilities and their families to live a valued life in the community in which the choose to live, Over the last two months I have been sharing my personal story and encouraging my readers to start planning their future under the NDIS.

The Great Unknown

Change creates fear and even through I am prepared and know how I want my life to look like, frankly their are days I think . . . how is this all going to work.  Most of us want to know what this NDIS looks like, to relive our fears.

I wish I had a crystal ball. The very concept at the center of the scheme is that packages will be tailored to the individual or families needs.  Your first reference point is the NDIS website. Part of our difficulty is that every state and territory has a different agreement with the federal government and information is still filtering down.

Whether your a service provider, a person with disability, a carer or guardian or a current employee in the sector were all facing uncertainly. So here's what I understand.   


The NDIS Revolution

Is this another change to the disability care sector? No way! We no longer have a disability care system. The NDIS will totally replace that system by 2020.  For many this is the first hurled, people with disability do not need to be 'protected' or 'care for.' People and families living with disabilities living with support can take control of their own needs. No one knows you needs or your son or daughter needs better than you. You don't need someone in a government department to tell you that.

So you NDIS plan is not about the participants disability or support hours, rather it is about putting the resources in place to allow you to live the way you want to live.  The NDIS plan does not ask you to put hours or services.  The NDIA will outline your approved package with you. Once you know this you have the freedom to shop for supports.

However you will need to make the administration of your package one of your NDIS goals.  So ok I can give you one of your goals a starting point.  Here are the ways you can select you funds to be administrated:

  1. Ask the National Disability Insurance Agency to pay your supports for you.  This much the same as what happens now.
  2. Choose a host provider to administer your funds on your behalf.
  3. Self direct your funding through your host provider.
  4. Self-manager your funding - you can chose the level of management you are confident at. I will be increase my level of management as I gain confidence levels and build relationships with my team. 
For each of these administration there are different costs attached. For example a host provider will change you administration costs. Since your funding has to be managed it is a necessary resources for the NDIA to fund.  So this will go into your support package.

I want to address what the NDIA refers to by supports, as this is a change you need to get your head around.  "Supports" are now used to refer to any things you need to achieve your goals, thus supports now include technological devices, mobility equipment, home and modification, therapies, accommodation, respite, in home support, support services, respite.  Transport support is now a transport allowance based on the level of hours you spend in the community.  This will be paid into you bank account. 

The NDIA are assuring that no one will be worst off in terms of supports under the NDIS, what this means is you will receive the 'level of support' that allows you to maintain at least your current level of support in the community. So the NDIA is looking for value for money.  If you currently need 2 workers to get out of bed and shower the might look at equipment so the only need to pay one worker, thus you are not losing 'hours' and not worst off.

The NDIA is keen to increase the level of independence people have in the community. Thus there is a significant push towards independent livening, assistance technology and employment. I see this as positive but not every one does. Lets face it no one like's change.  So yes some people will have a reduction in the no of support hours, but the package value must remain the same.

Goal Ordinated Support Packages

'Supports' or resources will be attached to each of your goals and how you want to achieve them.  Goals is a fancy way to say, the things you want to do, . . . going fishing, movies, play hockey, learn to cook, lawn bowls, study, find a job or move out of home.

However we want to see people with disabilities included in community life more and that why everyone is encouraging you to think outside the square and try new things.  We're not talking about doing this for the rest of you life, if your only 10 you don't want to attend school for the rest of you life.  The NDIA is encouraging people to write their first plan.  The cover the first 12 to 18 months under the NDIS.

So what should your goals be about:-

  • Where you live and if you want to move
  • School/study or training e.g life skills course
  • Employment/volunteering or community work e.g. Help at lifeline 1 day a week.
  • Social and fun times e.g. go camping or learn to paint\
  • Health and fitness e.g. going swimming once a week
  • Independence e.g. learn how to cook.
Goals aren't so scary when we break them down like that.

Do I have to write a NDIS goals participant plan?

Well . . . If you want to be supported by the NDIA, yes! The NDIA want to see all people with disabilities engaging in the community. Support are now attached to goals.  So if you life is about watching TV then I not sure the going to pay a worker to watch TV with you.

If you love life the way it is all you need to do is use the heading under the goals

It could look like this:

Goal 1: Keep living in my own home or with mum and dad.
Goal 2: Volunteer at library 1 day a week
Goal 3: Study computing skills
Goal 4: Play touch footy and go swimming twice a week.
Goal 5: Hang out with my mates at Kulb ALARA
Goal 6: Visit GOMA 4 Times a year
Goal 7: Have the NDIA pay my supports direct.

If this looks something like you do now. For each goal you need to tell the NDIA how you do or want to achieve that goal.

However, before you do that and lock in A can you go and see what other things are out there.  Ask your service provider if they will be offering different things under the NDIS or visit Fresh Futures Market on September 7 between 9 am and 1 pm @ Ipswich Show Grounds, and check out the many great services available in Ipswich. 

Lastly I hear people saying its a lot of work for people living in survival mode and I agree 100%.  However I remind myself if I want to live my best life it will be worth the hours.  Work I put in now should mean less work and changes latter. Said she who always asks for grant amendments.

 

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