The National Disability Insurance Scheme, also referred to as the NDIS plan, is a Federal Government program that offers financial assistance to eligible individuals with various disability-related conditions. The financial assistance is obtained directly through the participant’s personalised account with the help of their NDIS plan management provider. It is used to supplement the monthly disability payments they would receive if they were to apply for State Disability Rates (SDR). The National Disability Insurance Scheme also covers eligibility for the Respite Carer allowance, Family Tax Credit, Age Pension, Jobseeker Support Allowance, and Parental Leave Credit. The scheme was introduced in 1992 and is intended to complement the government’s efforts in achieving the targets set out in the Australian Disability Strategy.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is managed and funded by the Social Security and Family Assistance Department, the Department of Health and Family Services, and the Australian National Disability Insurance Agency (ANDA). These three federal bodies cooperate in providing the best quality health and disability support services to individuals who require such support. The NDIS plan management is implemented as an option to existing healthcare programs that focus on short-term supportive care and offer palliative care. In this sense, the scheme supports long-term rehabilitation and maintenance of healthy life for all those who have a disability that affects their ability to participate in the community and pursue a career.
The main features of the National Disability Insurance Scheme include the provision of income support for individuals who are unable to earn a regular income; maintenance of a consistent source of income; and protection and recovery of the assets of those who have become disabled. The program also provides medical and hospital assistance for those participants who are elderly. Another feature of the scheme is its preventive care component that aims at promoting disability prevention and improving the health of the population as a whole. The plan’s primary objectives are to help reduce the cost associated with long-term disability and improve the overall productivity and participation of the population in the labour force. To achieve these goals, the National Disability Insurance Plan is administered through an NDIS plan manager who manages and coordinates both the private and public sectors’ activities to achieve the desired results. The plan manager is usually a qualified person with a background in the field and is appointed by the Secretary of State.
The main aim of the NDIS plan management process is to ensure that the eligible participants of the scheme receive the right benefit levels, benefits, and payments consistent with their needs. For instance, the long-term payments made to long-term disabled individuals may be too low if they cannot earn a decent living. To avoid this kind of situation, the insurer must manage the National Disability Insurance funds intelligently to be used in a way that effectively helps disabled people. These funds are supposed to be used to provide the necessary assistance and encouragement so that they can cope with the activities of daily living.
The National Disability Insurance Plan must be properly managed to avoid the risk of depletion of the fund. Two factors usually cause this. Firstly, if changes are made to the eligible conditions after being approved for the scheme, more than expected numbers of people may join, increasing the staff strength. Secondly, if there is an increase in the demand for the service, more funds are needed to pay for it. The first factor results from people joining the scheme who may not meet the eligibility criteria, whereas the increased need for the service causes the second.