Pre-planning support for the NDIS essential for carers

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is now in the final six months of rollout across South Australia, yet according to the most recently available report only 12,991 of the 32,000 people expected to be accessing the Scheme have approved plans in place. The 2017 Carer Survey indicated that of the 1,688 South Australian carers who responded to the survey, only 21% of carers feel confident around NDIS pre-planning – that is, understanding the NDIS, what they need to do to test eligibility of the person they care for, how to prepare for an assessment, and what needs to consider and ask for in the NDIS plan.

Being as prepared as possible with pre-planning is essential for anyone looking to access the NDIS, and is particularly important for carers of people with severe mental illness with only 64,000 people with psychosocial disability (NDIS language for people with mental illness) predicted to be eligible for the NDIS out of the 690,000 Australians who live with severe mental illness.

Carers SA are pleased to be offering this NDIS pre-planning service (called NDIS Readiness) to carers with provision of practical  information, tips and support which can be provided through group workshops or individually for those requiring more intensive support. We can help carers to understand the steps involved in accessing the NDIS, to understand the language of the NDIS and the types of supports available, and the documents, records and statements that will be critical to supporting an NDIS application and the planning process. We can provide information on the options, services and supports available to help manage NDIS plans and funds, and we can also provide some tips and strategies to ensure that supports are included which also allow carer’s to get a break for their own health and wellbeing.

Our goal is to give carers the most relevant, objective and up to date information to help secure the best NDIS plan possible for the person they care for. The Local Area Coordinators have now been announced for the remaining SA regions and part of their role is to provide this support for people to understand and access the Scheme, but these LACs are likely facing a large backlog of requests for support due to the delayed appointment, and organisations such as Carers SA are helping to ensure this support is provided in a timely manner.

This NDIS Readiness support is available from all of Carers SA metropolitan and regional offices – we encourage carers to make contact with our local Carer Support teams to chat about how we can assist them and the person they care for to get the best outcomes from this new disability system.

Amy Orange
Executive Manager Local Service Delivery
Carers SA