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The NDIS and children

25 May 2022

If your child has a disability or developmental delay, NDIS support can help them reach their goals in life. NDIS can also support your family. Our guide answers your questions about the NDIS and children.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a government scheme that provides financial assistance for children with disability or developmental delay, and adults with disability. NDIS support helps people reach their individual goals and gives them choice about the support they need to live the life they want. If your child has a developmental delay or significant and permanent disability, NDIS can help you and your child get services and support in your community. It can also give you funding for support like early childhood intervention therapies and supports or one-off items like wheelchairs or communication devices. The NDIS also supports you if you care for a child with developmental delay or disability. The NDIS is run by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

The NDIS funds support that helps children with disability or developmental delay reach their goals in a range of areas. This can include things like therapy, equipment, and modifications to the home or school environment.

The NDIS doesn't fund support that is not related to your child's developmental delay or disability, is funded by mainstream services, or is part of day-to-day living costs. Additionally, the NDIS does not fund support that may cause harm to your child or pose a risk to others.

The NDIS will fund support that enables a child to attend school, such as help with self-care at school. However, it will not fund teachers or learning-specific aids like computers, as the education system funds these supports.

The NDIS supports children who:

meet the eligibility requirements, which includes having a developmental delay or disability

are Australian citizens, permanent residents, or other visa holders with Protected Special Category Visas.

The NDIS offers early childhood intervention services to children aged under 7 who have a developmental delay or disability, even if they don't have a diagnosis. This can include support for activities of daily living, communication, social interaction, and play.

If your child is aged seven years or over, they may be able to get support from the NDIS if they have a permanent and significant disability that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities.

An NDIS plan is a written agreement between you and your child and the NDIS. It describes which supports and services will be provided to your child, as well as their goals and the allocated funding.

If you are not happy with the support that is outlined in your child's NDIS plan, you have the right to request a review. This allows you to voice your concerns and work with the NDIS to come up with a plan that best suits your child's needs.

The NDIS will review your child's plan regularly, usually every 12 months. In a scheduled review, you and your NDIS representative can check that the plan is still meeting your child's needs. You can also change your child's goals if you need to and adjust supports as your child's circumstances change.

There are three options for managing your child’s NDIS plan: self-managing, plan-managing and NDIA-managing. You can choose which option suits you best.

Self-managing means that you will be responsible for managing the funds in your child's NDIS plan and making decisions about the services they receive. Plan-managing means that you will work with a registered plan manager to manage the funds in your child's NDIS plan and make decisions about the services they receive. NDIA-managing means that the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will manage your child's NDIS plan and make decisions about the services they receive.

You will have control over which service providers you choose for your child and when and how your child gets support through the NDIS. Depending on how your plan is managed, you might be able to choose any provider, or you might be limited to only NDIS-registered providers.

If your child's NDIS access request is rejected, you may want to try again. You can make a new NDIS access request or ask for an internal review of your first request.

If your child doesn’t meet the access requirements for the NDIS, they can still get community and other supports. The NDIS can also help you with referrals.

The NDIS can support families and carers in multiple ways. For example, your child’s plan might include funding that helps you get some respite. It can also include funding for a support coordinator or plan management, depending on your needs. This can allow you to have more time to take care of yourself and your family.

The NDIS is jointly funded by the Australian, state and territory governments. The NDIS is partially funded by money raised by an increase in the Medicare levy.

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