National Disability Insurance Scheme

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides support to eligible people with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychosocial disability. The NDIS is being introduced progressively across all states and territories. In Western Australia all areas are due to be rolled out by 30 June 2020.

The Department of Communities is the lead Western Australian State Government agency working with the Commonwealth and National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to support and prepare people with disability, their families and carers to transition to the NDIS and maximise their capacity to exercise choice and control. This work also includes ensuring service providers are ready and capable to provide services and developing approaches for managing transition issues.

The Mental Health Commission is actively involved, working with State and Commonwealth agencies to assist people with psychosocial disability transition from State funded mental health programs and the community into the NDIS. This includes contributing as a member on a range of different committees to ensure the rights and interest of people with a mental illness are supported and upheld.

Am I eligible for the NDIS?

If you are receiving a service from a community mental health clinic, a Commission funded community service or one of the Commonwealth funded mental health programs (Partners in Recovery, Personal Helpers and Mentors, Day to Day Living) you can ask your provider for help. This may include gathering or writing reports required to make an access request for eligibility, or supporting you to be prepared for the NDIS planning process. Your GP may also provide some direction and guidance about the steps required. You may also be eligible for the NDIS if you are not currently receiving these types of services.

Use the NDIS Eligibility checklist to confirm your eligibility and learn how to apply.

This link to the NDIA website will help you understand what is happening in Western Australia and services available to help you test your eligibility.

What do service providers need to do?

Service providers can choose to be registered with the NDIS or not. Registered service providers can connect to a much wider range of participants and can demonstrate they have met the specific quality and safeguards requirements as part of their marketing to potential participants.

More information for service providers can be found at the NDIS website.

The Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) also has information on NDIS updates.

What is happening to the Commission’s funded services?

The Bilateral Agreement between the State and Commonwealth Governments has identified the following four Commission programs with “in-kind” arrangements, Individualised Community Living Strategy, Staffed Residential Community Options and Long Term Residential programs and Traditional Psychiatric Hostels. In-kind arrangements are interim funding arrangements, which were put in place when the NDIS started rolling out across Australia. Under these arrangements, providers of some disability support programs continue to be paid in advance by state/territory and/or Commonwealth governments to deliver these services. When used by NDIS participants, these pre-paid supports are called ‘in-kind’.

The Commission is continuing to fund these programs until people have had the opportunity to transition into the NDIS and there is agreement for the Commonwealth to provide individualised funding for the NDIS participants. 

Many of the around 600 people engaged in the services of these programs are or will become NDIS participants and the Commission is working with the relevant service providers and government agencies to help make the transition as smooth as possible. People who are not eligible for the NDIS will continue to be supported.

One of the initiatives to assist the transition is the Hostels Recovery Support Project. This Project is led by the Commission and National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and will run from 1 June 2018 to 30 September 2019. The main objective is to assist hostel residents (approximately 141 people) make an NDIS eligibility request and be prepared for the NDIS planning process when the NDIS rolls out from 1 July 2019. The Commission and NDIA have employed an Independent Project Officer to facilitate partnerships and collaboration between the hostels, service providers, four Community Mental Health Teams, Consumers of Mental Health WA (CoMHWA), Mental Health Advocacy Service (MHAS) and Western Australia Association of Mental Health (WAAMH) to achieve this aim. The project has been progressing well with a number of people being found eligible and starting the pre-planning process. 

What other services are there for people not eligible for the NDIS?

Continuity of Services Program

The Commonwealth government is responsible for funding aged care services (except where otherwise agreed) and primary health care for older people. People that meet the eligibility criteria below are being identified whilst the NDIS is being rolled out and may be funded by the Continuity of Services Program (CoSP)

The CoSP has been developed to make sure that older people with disability currently receiving state managed specialist disability services, who are not eligible for the NDIS, receive ongoing support.

CoSP eligibility includes people with psychosocial disability who are:

  • 65 years and over OR 50 years and over for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, at the time the NDIS commences implementation in their region (from 1 July 2019); and
  • An existing client of a Commission funded program (that is recognised by the Commonwealth government and currently receiving services or has received a service in the last 12 months).

The Commission is working with service providers to identify funded programs providing services to people that meet these criteria. Further information can be found on the Commonwealth’s Aged Care website.

National Psychosocial Support

The Commonwealth Government has committed $80 million over four years for the National Psychosocial Support (NPS) measure.

The purpose of the NPS measure is to support people with severe mental illness and associated functional impairment who are not more appropriately supported through the NDIS.

The Commonwealth component of the NPS measure will be implemented via the Primary Health Networks (WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA)). The Commission is working in partnership with WAPHA who is planning and commissioning these services with commencement from 1 July 2019.

The Commission’s contribution to the NPS measure includes a wide range of services commissioned from various service providers including:

  • Community mental health step up/step down services;
  • Personalised Supports;
  • Respite Services;
  • Family and Carer Supports;
  • Group Support Activities;
  • Individual Advocacy;
  • Mutual Support and Self Help;
  • Education, Employment and Training; and
  • Accommodation Support Services

Useful Links:

Frequently asked questions for Western Australia – NDIS Website

Service Provider Toolkit - The toolkit is designed for organisations and individuals who want to learn more about working with the NDIS.

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