Children with special needs are one of the most mistreated and marginalized groups in society. They are effectively deprived of their rights to healthcare, education, and even existence. Discrimination in the form of negative attitudes, lack of appropriate rules and legislation, and even denial of access to some leisure activities are some of the things they have to deal with every day.
Families with children with special conditions, confront a distinct set of challenges. The most frequent and most serious challenge they encounter is money. Additional medical expenses and special education are the most significant factors affecting the expenses they need to consider.
In Australia, the NDIS Support Coordination aims to help people with disabilities plan their future and gives them support to achieve. With NDIS, people with disabilities are given a chance to achieve their goals and dreams.
What Is NDIS?
The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is a new means of supporting Australians with disabilities and their family and caregivers. The NDIS will help Australians under the age of 65 who have a persistent and substantial impairment.
Various supports and services are available for people with disabilities that would fit their specific needs. The NDIS represents a shift from a “one-size-fits-all” approach to a system where individuals with disabilities have direct control over their financing.
Qualified individuals, known as participants, are provided with support plans devised and adapted to their specific needs. Informal assistance that a person gets from family, friends, mainstream, or other community services might be included in a plan. If necessary, the NDIS will pay reasonable and essential services to assist participants in achieving their goals.
What Services Does NDIS Support?
Like most disability insurances, the NDIS provides funding for various supports and services, including education, employment, social involvement, independence, housing arrangements, and health and wellness.
The NDIS Act of 2013 and its provisions guide the NDIA’s process of qualifying services. The guidelines also offer decision-makers practical advice.
When the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) chooses which supports are acceptable and essential for a given participant, they refer to the specific operational guideline for that support.
Here are some criteria for support and service:
- It must be directly related and essential for a participant’s condition. For example, a visually impaired individual is entitled to ophthalmology care, mobility training, and others.
- The service or support must not include their day-to-day living expenses like food, utilities, and other personal needs.
- The service or support must represent value for money.
- It must be likely to work and be effective for the participant.
- Should consider the help you’ve received from other government agencies, your family, caregivers, networks, and the community.
How To Qualify For NDIS
The eligibility requirements must be met before the NDIS may be availed. Here are the basic requirements for NDIS qualification:
- Disability: The candidate must have a persistent condition that limits the ability to engage successfully in activities, complete tasks or actions without assistance, and impacts your social and economic involvement, implying that you will need NDIS support for the rest of your life. Deaf, blindness, Autism, Amputation, and Cerebral Palsy are common conditions covered by the NDIS.
- Age: The candidate must be under the age of 65.
- Citizenship: The candidate must be an Australian citizen, a permanent visa holder, or a Protected Special Category Visa holder.
The Early Childhood Approach
For children under the age of seven who have a developmental delay or disability, their families are served by the national early childhood approach. The early childhood approach will also benefit children who may not entirely match the criterion of developmental delay but have developmental issues. With the support of top specialists in early childhood intervention, this approach was designed based on evidence-based research.
The method promotes best practices in early childhood intervention by assisting the child and family in developing their ability and promoting more engagement in community and everyday settings, ensuring that each child has an equal chance of learning and development. It’s all about providing the necessary assistance to children and their families.
How To Manage NDIS Plans
The management of an NDIS plan depends on the participant’s preference or the guardian (for participants under 18 years old). There are three ways on how to manage the NDIS plan.
When you handle your NDIS fund, you’ll be self-managing. It allows you the freedom and control to choose which support you need to achieve your plan’s objectives. It’ll enable you to think outside the box about effectively utilizing your money to satisfy your requirements.
You’ll enjoy the following benefits if you self-manage your NDIS funding:
- You have a say in what supports you buy, who offers them, and how they’re delivered, as long as they comply with your plan’s requirements
- The freedom to choose any supplier who would best assist you in achieving your plan’s objectives
- Capacity to hire or contract employees directly or have someone else do it for you
- Ability to negotiate support charges to receive the most value for your money and save it to purchase additional or higher quality supports
- You’ll have complete control and responsibility for your NDIS funds, allowing you to manage your budget.
When a participant decides to hire a plan management provider to help them manage their NDIS plan finances, this is known as plan management. Providers may acquire assistance for the participants from either registered or unregistered service providers on their behalf. A plan manager will receive NDIA payments and distribute them to suppliers of other services accepted on behalf of a participant.
Plan Management Services provide the following services and benefits:
- Monitoring and managing a participant’s budget
- Handling payment for the services and NDIS claims
- Providing financial status of their plan and statements, including notification of over or underutilization
- Participants may also get assistance from the providers to make the most of their NDIS funds, which can help them increase their financial ability and knowledge
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is an agency that helps manage NDIS funds on behalf of a participant. When participants opt to use the NDIA, they will manage and pay registered suppliers of relevant services directly. The participant can freely choose but is limited only to NDIS registered providers.
This option is for those who don’t have the time or skills to handle financial or administrative chores and prefer to engage NDIS-registered providers.
By electronically charging the NDIS for the services provided, the registered provider you pick claims the funding for their services directly via the NDIS site.
Here are some of the benefits of Agency managed plan:
- The process of planning and managing fund is quicker and easier
- You have no financial accountability because all financial transactions are done directly by the NDIS and their registered agency
- You don’t have to think about any paperwork or open a particular banking account
- There’s an assurance that the agency isn’t charging you above the NDIS price guidelines because they’re registered and monitored
In a Nutshell
Financial support for people with disabilities and special needs is a massive help for them and their families. The NDIS is one of the proofs that the government is trying its best to extend assistance to individuals with such conditions. How the fund is being managed plays a significant role in ensuring the utilization and protection of the support. Also, proper management means how paved is the future of a participant. The choice on how the fund is managed and who should be responsible for managing it lies in the preference of the participant or the guardian.