The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers.

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.

As an insurance scheme, the NDIS takes a lifetime approach, investing in people with disability early to improve their outcomes later in life.

The NDIS gives all Australians peace of mind that if their child or loved one is born with or acquires a permanent and significant disability they will get the support they need.

The NDIS supports people with disability to build skills and capability so they can participate in the community and employment.

NDIS Roll out dates
The scheme first rolled out in July 2016 and is progressively rolling out in stages across the rest of Australia until June 2019.

Gippsland PHN’s catchment falls into two of these areas – Inner and Outer Gippsland.

Inner Gippsland
The NDIS is now available in the Inner Gippsland area, it covers the local government areas of:

  • Bass Coast
  • Baw Baw
  • Latrobe
  • South Gippsland

Outer Gippsland
The NDIS will become available in the Outer Gippsland area from 1 January 2019.The Outer Gippsland area covers the local government areas of:

  • East Gippsland
  • Wellington

GPs and the NDIS

GPs and other health professionals have an important role in the NDIS.

This includes:

  • helping patients understand the NDIS, particularly for people who have limited community connections and support outside their GP
  • setting expectations for patients about the likelihood of funding, and the responsibilities of the NDIS compared to the health sector
  • supporting a patient’s NDIS access request by:
    – completing the supporting evidence section of the Access Request Form – https://www.ndis.gov.au/people-disability/access-requirements
    – documenting that they have or are likely to have a permanent disability, and
    – providing copies of reports or assessments relevant to the diagnosis/condition that outline the extent of the functional impact of the disability.

GPs don’t have to send a patient to specialists for supporting evidence. GPs can summarise or attach existing medical reports so they describe the diagnosis/condition and the impact of the disability on the patient’s function.

People with a disability who are no eligible for the NDIS will continue to receive support similar to their current arrangement.

Read more about eligibility on the NDIS website – https://www.ndis.gov.au/people-disability.html

Patients requiring access to the NDIS

To allow the NDIA to determine whether a person meets the disability or early intervention access requirements to join the NDIS, evidence of disability may need to be provided to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) – [https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us.html].

Evidence of disability includes information on what the disability is, how long it will last and its impact on a person’s life.

GPs may be asked to support a patient’s NDIS access request by:

  • completing the supporting evidence section of the Access Request Form
  • documenting that the person has or is likely to have a permanent disability, and
  • providing copies of reports or assessments relevant to the diagnosis/condition that outline the extent of the functional impact of the disability.

GPs may need to provide evidence about the disability that has the greatest impact on the patient’s life, as well as any other disabilities that affect them.

It is important to summarise the effect of disability on the person’s day to day function without support.

The more comprehensive information that is provided, the less likely the person’s access request will be delayed due to further requests for information.

It is important to include information regarding treatments completed or planned, permanency of the impairment and the impacts the impairment has on the person’s functional capacity.

The NDIA requires information about an individual’s mobility, communication, social interaction, learning and self-care or their ability to self-manage.

GPs can summarise or attach existing medical reports to help describe the diagnosis/condition and the impact of the disability on the patient’s function.

If a patient has a current service provider or disability support provider, GPs can ask the patient whether these providers are better placed to provide information to support their access request.

For more information about the NDIS, download the NDIS fact sheet for GPs and Allied Health.

https://www.ndis.gov.au/medias/documents/hee/h6b/8798600822814/Factsheet-HealthProfessionals.pdf

https://www.ndis.gov.au/medias/documents/gp-factsheet-dec-2017-pdf/GP-Factsheet-4pp-dec-2017.pdf

 Or visit the NDIS website – www.ndis.gov.au