You web browser may not be properly supported. To use this site and all its features we recommend using the latest versions of Chrome, Safari or Firefox

Ndis Image Cropped

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australian Government program being rolled out across the country aimed to support people with disabilities, as well as their families and carers connect with their community and live an ordinary life.

Almost half a million Australians with permanent and significant disabilities are likely to benefit from the NDIS.

But sadly, the program has caused considerable grief for some disabled Australians. Some have struggled to get access to the scheme, and/or they believe they’ve been wrongly assessed about their entitlements.

In this article we look at some of these common issues, and what your options are if you or someone you love are facing them.

Who will benefit from the NDIS?

The NDIS is currently being rolled out nationally until 2019. It was first created under Commonwealth legislation to give all Australians under the age of 65 who have a permanent and significant disability the support they need to enjoy an ordinary life.

About 460,000 Australians under the age of 65 will receive benefits under the scheme when it’s fully rolled out. It’s aimed to help people who are living with an intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and/or psycho-social disability who meet the scheme’s eligibility requirements. It’s also aimed to provide early intervention support to eligible people or children with developmental delay.

The NDIS website has a helpful video with examples of the services and supports available to eligible people under the scheme.

How does the NDIS work?

It’s important to understand how the NDIS process works before you apply:

1) First, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) makes decisions about who can join the NDIS scheme and what benefits the person will get. Eligibility is based on a person’s age, residency and disability.

2) Next, once a person is accepted into the scheme, the NDIA assesses their situation and works with them to create a personalised plan. The plan details the approved funding and their access to support under the scheme. To be funded by the NDIS, supports must be considered ‘reasonable and necessary’.

What are the common problems with the NDIS?

There are several common issues facing people who are applying for or already participants of the NDIS – and these issues include assessment, access and entitlements.

  1. Knowing if you’re eligible is confusing, complex and restrictive

    Unfortunately, every day we hear of people being confused and unsure if they’re eligible for the NDIS or they’ve been given the right plan. A key reason for this are the terms defining who is eligible – to many these terms are vague, complex and restrictive. For example:

    • Your disability must be ‘permanent’ – that is, lifelong, and significant. This means it has a substantial impact on your ability to complete everyday activities.
    • The term 'disability' is not strictly defined in the NDIS legislation, and different interpretations have led people to challenge NDIA decisions about their eligibility.
    • The words ‘reasonable and necessary’ also mean different things to different people, in terms of the services and supports they need to enjoy an ordinary life.

    If you think the NDIA has incorrectly determined your eligibility or plan, you’re not alone. There have been several appeals and court cases challenging a person’s NDIS plan.

  2. Past, present or future compensation can affect your NDIS benefits

    Compensation is another common issue with the NDIS, and one that some of our existing clients here at Slater and Gordon have experienced.

    If you’ve received or are entitled to compensation for an event or injury that led to your disability, your NDIS entitlements may be reduced. For example, you may have received or be entitled to compensation for:

    This applies to all compensation you have or may receive, including payment received by lump sum, regular payments or payments made directly to your disability service providers.

    So, if you’re making a claim or you’ve received a claim, make sure you know that:

    • The NDIA may get you to seek compensation from a third party before you’re entitled to NDIS benefit
    • The NDIA may make someone repay benefits provided for past services, if compensation is received to pay for those same services.
    • If you’re already an NDIS participant, make sure you tell the NDIA about any compensation you have or may receive in future.

    You will find a lot of useful information about compensation and the NDIS on the NDIS website.

Key tips to overcoming issues with the NDIS

Our team is here to help you

When working with you, our team aims to make the process as stress-free as possible. We realise that if you’ve been advocating for yourself or a loved one for a long time, you are likely to be exhausted by the process and need support. We aim to relieve the pressure by walking you through the process and advocating for your rights.

We’re proud to provide our clients with access to leading, affordable legal services, including our No Win, No Fee* commitment, as well as free access to our Social Work service by referral from a lawyer if needed.

If you have questions, want some more information or would just like to speak to someone, make an enquiry now and our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible. You can make an enquiry online or phone us 1800 555 777.

*NWNF conditions apply.

The contents of this blog post are considered accurate as at the date of publication. However the applicable laws may be subject to change, thereby affecting the accuracy of the article. The information contained in this blog post is of a general nature only and is not specific to anyone’s personal circumstances. Please seek legal advice before acting on any of the information contained in this post.

Thank you for your feedback.

Related blog posts

Compensation Law
I’ve been injured at a public park, what should I do?

Public parks, playgrounds and sporting ovals are an essential part of a community, they’re often where people come together, exercise and importantly they’re also a place where young kids have fun. But these spaces also need to be regularly maintained to ensure that they’re safe for the community to use, otherwise injuries can occur. Local councils are responsible for the maintenance of public spaces such as local parks, playgrounds and sporting ovals. Local councils have a duty to keep people safe while on council property, by making sure that these spaces are regularly maintained and safe for use. But sometimes they may fail in their duty, if that happens and you’ve been injured...

Public Park image
Compensation Law
What to do if you’ve been injured while shopping

Shopping, it’s something we all do. Some of us like to use it as retail therapy, others use it as a social activity, while some people just love the hunt for a bargain. Regardless of how you like to go shopping, we all expect that when we do, it’ll be safe. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case and sometimes unexpected injuries can happen because not enough care was taken to ensure a safe environment. If you’ve been injured in a store because they failed to take reasonable steps to provide a safe space, then you may have a Public Liability claim. This is because individuals, businesses and organisations have a duty of care to ensure that they provide people with a safe...

Caution sign at supermarket
Compensation Law
A work injury can affect you more than just physically

Work is an integral part of the daily lives for many of us, and when we go into work each day we fully expect to then return home without incident. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, as according to WorkSafe Victoria 27,925 new workplace injury claims were received last year*. Sadly, despite improved work health and safety practices, workplace injuries can still happen. Many people who’ve gone through a workplace accident, injury or illness have often noted how it turned their lives upside down, often leading to feelings of distress emotionally, physically or financially. Slater and Gordon National Manager of Social Work Services, Olga Gountras explains “nobody goes to work...

Shutterstock 2051360975

We're here to help

Start your online claim check now. Or, if you have a question, get in touch with our team.