NDIS and Driver assessments
What is the NDIS?
It is likely that many of you have heard the term ‘NDIS’ or its proper name, the National Disability Insurance Scheme. From the title, it is presumed that it has something to do with the Government and disabilities, but you may not know specifically what it is, or how it may be relevant to you and your driving situation.
The NDIS was introduced by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), which is an independent statutory agency. Therefore, the NDIA’s role is to “implement the NDIS in order to support a better life for hundreds of thousands of Australians with a significant and permanent disability, and their families and carers” (NDIA, 2017).
In other words, the NDIS is a nation-wide, Government funded scheme to ensure that all Australians with a disability, whether they currently have, or will acquire in the future, continue to receive appropriate and sufficient support.
Due to the large scale and many changes introduced by the NDIA when creating the NDIS, the scheme will be gradually introduced to ensure a smooth transition for people with disability and support providers.
How does the NDIS work?
If you or a family member have a disability, and you think you might be eligible to receive support from the NDIS, you first must contact NDIS. When you contact NDIS you will need to confirm eligibility and organise what services you require and what funding will be needed to cover these services. Once you have established your NDIS account, you will set up a plan, which essentially states the services that you need (e.g. occupational therapy assessments and driving lessons) and how much funding you will require (keep reading to find out how to do this with Williams OT).
When this is all worked out and approved by the NDIS, you are able to choose one of three options when managing your plan. You can either: 1) self-manage, 2) have an agency manage your plan, or 3) have a third party manage your plan. How you choose to manage your NDIS plan influences how you approach and book assessments with Williams Occupational Therapy. Further information on this, as well as assessment and travel costs, can be provided by our helpful staff, or on the NDIS website.
When will the NDIS be introduced in South Australia?
What many of you want to know, I’m sure, is how the NDIS relates to Williams Occupational Therapy, and when certain age groups will be rolled out by the NDIS for driving assessments. As of January 2017, young people between the ages of 15 and 17 years were introduced onto the NDIS in South Australia. That is, since January this year, 16-year-olds have been eligible to receive services from Williams Occupational Therapy for driving assessments and specialised driving lessons.
And later this year, on July 1st, adults aged 18 to 64 will begin to assessed by the NDIS in South Australia. As this date is just a few months away, we urge our readers to get in contact with the NDIS to set up a plan if you believe you fit the criteria, and make full use of the great services available through this nation-wide program.
What can Williams OT offer?
Over the past six months, the Williams Occupational Therapy team have been working to establish our own NDIS profile and familiarise ourselves with the program, the many changes that have occurred, and how we can better support our clients when they approach us for assessments or general queries. After a few headaches, our online Provider Portal is now, finally, up and running through the NDIS website, and if you have elected to your plan to be agency managed, i.e. use the online NDIS portal, you can submit requests through there.
If you think that an OT driver assessment or a specialised driver lesson and rehabilitation plan is what you require, you can find out more about our process here. we continue to see an increase in NDIS referral and we have already assisted many 16-year-old drivers. Are you next?
Every case is different and funding for each case is individualised. To organise funding for an NDIS plan, contact our staff, and they will assist you through the process and assist you with a quote for your plan.
If you have further questions about the NDIS, or you want to know what services offered by Williams Occupational Therapy might be suitable to you or a family member, please feel free to contact us via phone or email.