For Consumers and Carers
Each quarter, Lived Experience Australia meets with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) regarding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
We are meeting with them to ensure that the voices and needs of those experiencing psychosocial disability are addressed, heard and included in the conversation about the delivery of the scheme.
We are dedicating this page to providing links to resources and information that we believe could be useful to you in your experiences. Content and links on this page come from NDIS, however the latest information will always be on their website/s so please be sure to check there if you have any questions.
Here are some specific links you may find helpful:
reimagine.today is a step by step guide to the NDIS for people living with mental health conditions including psychosocial disability. Many of the people involved in reimagine.today have lived experience of the NDIS, and have used their experience to help you better understand the NDIS and the opportunities for people living with psychosocial disability.
Here are some specific links you may find helpful:
National Disability Insurance Scheme FAQs
What is the NDIS?
A 'significant disability' means a disability with a large impact on a person's ability to complete everyday activities.
How does the NDIS work?
The NDIS is Australia’s first national Scheme for people with disability. It provides funding directly to eligible individuals who have permanent or significant disability. You can do a quick quiz to give you an idea of whether it would be worth applying (follow the link below). If you are eligible, you can create a plan of how the NDIS will support you to achieve your goals.
Does the NDIS cover mental health?
People with long-term disability resulting from a mental health condition (known as a Psychosocial Disability) may be able to become NDIS participants. Not everyone with a mental health condition will experience disability. The NDIS is for people who experience severe and long-term disability.
- be an Australian citizen, or have a permanent or Special Category Visa (SCV) AND
- be under 65 years old when you apply to join the NDIS AND
If you have a mental health condition and want to access the NDIS, you must meet the above criteria and provide evidence that:
- the difficulties you experience as a result of your mental health condition mean you will likely always require NDIS support, AND
- the difficulties you experience as a result of your mental health issue have substantially reduced your ability to do everyday activities.
What is a Psychosocial Disability?
To understand psychosocial disability, the NDIS looks at the ‘functional impairments’, or challenges, you experience due to living with a mental health condition. Everyone’s experience of a mental health condition is different: The impact on your participation in your community can range from no impact to severe.
For example, one person who experiences anxiety may find it does not impact them day-to-day and, while uncomfortable in some circumstances, they can still join in many activities. However, another person who experiences anxiety may find the impact very high and may struggle with human contact, causing them to become isolated.
How do I know if I have a Psychosocial Disability?
If your mental health condition has a significant impact on your day-to-day life in at least of one of the life areas listed below, the NDIA will consider your ability to carry out everyday activities with and without support in the each of these life areas.
- Communication: includes being understood in spoken, written, or sign language; understanding others; and the ability to express needs.
- Social interaction: includes making and keeping friends, interacting with the community, behaving within limits accepted by others, and the ability to cope with feelings and emotions in a social context.
- Learning: includes understanding and remembering information, learning new things, and practicing and using new skills.
- Mobility: refers to the ability to move around the home and community to undertake ordinary activities of daily living requiring the use of limbs.
- Self-care: includes a person’s ability to look after their own personal care, hygiene, grooming, feeding and health care needs.
- Self-management: includes a person’s ability to organise their own life; plan and make decisions; and take responsibility.
What support can the NDIS provide?
What is a Psychosocial Recovery Coach?
What does the NDIS mean by 'Recovery'?
When people talk about mental health recovery, they are actively seeking to create a contributing life, despite their mental health issues. This does not mean living without the symptoms of mental illness or the impairments and disabilities that it can bring. Even for people whose mental health issues are responsive to interventions, further episodes can occur.
This can result in functional impairments and psychosocial disabilities that may be episodic or persistent, debilitating and long lasting. Recovery is about achieving an optimal state of
personal, social and emotional wellbeing, as defined by each individual, whilst living with or recovering from mental health issues.
The NDIS is committed to ensuring that recovery and hope restoring recovery practice are supported for participants with psychosocial disability through the design and implementation of the NDIS.
What if I'm not eligible for the NDIS?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is designed to support people with disability to be part of their communities and the workforce. The NDIS also supports those people with disability that do not meet the NDIS access criteria to receive supports outside of NDIS. The NDIS is able to link people with disability to services within the community that are available to support them.
It is estimated that there are 600,000 Australians living with severe and persistent mental illness of which 290,000 require support periodically. It is anticipated that 64,000 people with severe and persistent mental illness will be eligible to access the NDIS.
The NDIS is not designed to replace community mental health services or treatment services provided through the health system. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is committed to working with mainstream systems to deliver a range of high quality services required by people who experience mental health issues.
The link below gives more information on what you can do if you are deemed to be ineligible for the NDIS. Don't give up. There are other options.
What help is available for Carers and Family Members?
The reimagine.today website has a Family and Carers Hub which provides many resources for family members and carers, specifically related to the NDIS. If you are supporting someone to apply for NDIS funding, or even just wanting to know more about it, the link below will take you to their site.
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