How can the NDIS support me to achieve my hopes and dreams?
In this video you can hear some peer workers sharing ideas for how the NDIS can help you, and some NDIS participants speaking about the difference the NDIS is making in their lives.
The NDIS refer to hopes and dreams as aspirations. The NDIS provides funding to participants to purchase a range of supports aimed at increasing their independence, inclusion, and social and economic participation. They may fund things that help you to work towards your aspirations.
The NDIS divide these things into fifteen support categories. They then put these support categories into three groups. Here are some examples of things that could be funded by the NDIS for each of these groups. Remember these are just some ideas, if you can dream it (and if it is reasonable and necessary to help with your disability) the National Disability Insurance Agency may provide you with funding to pay for it.
The NDIS Support Calculator is a free online tool which can help you identify the potential services you could receive through your NDIS plan https://www.supportcalculator.com.au/. The calculator can be used for pre-planning, participant review and to translate your weekly support needs into annual sum.
Select a group to get a definition and explore some examples.
Supports that help you to build your independence and skills (Capacity building)
- Improved daily living: This is about paying someone to help you to get better at starting your days and living your life. You might want help to get up and going in the morning, decide what to eat, prepare your meals, take a shower and attend to other personal health and hygiene needs, choose what to wear, shop, clean, remember and get to appointments, paying your bills or budgeting. You might need more of this type of help when you are not doing so well.
- Improved living arrangements: This is about your home. This could be a class or person to help you with and learn to manage your living arrangements. This could also be support to help you change your living arrangements.
- Improved relationships: This is about your friends, family and other relationships (e.g., bank, supermarket, GP, pharmacist). You could pay for a workshop or person to help you learn to resolve differences of opinion between you and other people. This could include using your funds to pay for classes for your children or parents to learn more about people’s experiences of mental health conditions and psychosocial disability.
- Increased social and community participation: This is about having something to do, especially if you are not working or studying. You could pay for a person to help you to find a job volunteering and with getting used to what you are doing as a volunteer, to join and use your local library, or to attend and make new friends at events (e.g. football, horse racing, singing group, recreational club, fishing club, support groups etc.).
- Improved learning: This is about growing as a person. You could pay for a private tutor to learn something new like budgeting, drawing, painting, playing guitar or singing. You could pay for a mentor or other support person to help you through a TAFE, university or other course.
- Finding and keeping a job: You could pay a person to help you find work experience opportunities. If you get a job, you could pay for a person to help your workplace or co-workers better understand your strengths and limitations, and learn how to make allowances for these. You could pay for a person to help you with your discussions with Centrelink.
- Improved health & wellbeing: This is about taking care of your physical and mental health. You could pay for a personal trainer at your local gym (although you would have to pay for your gym membership), a person to support you and teach you how to better express your views and opinions about your treatment at the doctors or a person to help you attend and make new friends at your local church or Buddhist centre.
- Improved life choices: This is about your decisions and choices. You may want to pay for a person or business to help you make choices about where you live, what you do with your time or your legal affairs or keep an eye open for new business that are emerging to help people with NDIS plan management.
- Coordination of supports: You could pay for someone to help you organise and coordinate, and learn to organise and coordinate, the range of supports and services that you pay for. They can also help you to think about whether these things are helping you or not and make changes if needed.
Supports that help you to complete activities of daily living (Core)
- Assistance with daily living: This is very similar to ‘Improved daily living’ (see above). However It is about paying someone to help you start your days and live your life with ‘assistance’. It is more about people doing these things for you instead of with you. If people always do things for you then you won’t get better at them yourself so it’s better if you can learn to do things for yourself, however sometimes this isn’t possible, for example during times of big life changes (e.g. a relationship ends, you start or loose a job, you need to go or are leaving hospital).
- Assistance with social and community participation: This is very similar to ‘Increased social and community participation (see above). It is about having something to do, especially if you are not working or studying with ‘assistance’. This means that you might need more help when you are not doing so well and it’s important that both your goals and NDIS plan are able to be flexible for any changes to your ability to do things for yourself.
- Consumables: This is about purchasing items for everyday use. You could get funds to help pay for things like continence pads and equipment, or other equipment, to support your health care needs. It is not unusual for people with mental health conditions to need such things and people with psychosocial disability often have poor physical health. You need to tell someone you trust if you need help to speak about these things.
- Transport: This is funding to help pay for support to travel to and from activities that are activities in your NDIS plan. For most people transport funding replaces the Centrelink Mobility Allowance and other transport subsidies you may have previously gotten. If you are paying for help to learn to use public transport, then this funding belongs in a ‘capacity building’ category above.
About investment or purchasing things you need long-term (Capital)
- Assistive technology: This is about equipment to support you. If you can’t walk, or have a lot of trouble walking, you could buy or pay for maintenance to a wheel chair or other mobility device to help you go where you want in the community. How equipment and technology might help people with psychosocial disabilities is still being learned. An example is that you could purchase an electronic calendar or application for your smart phone to help you remember appointments rather than relying on another person. If you need help to access, or learn to access, a computer or other technology to research things on the internet that will help with psychosocial disability that would likely be a ‘capacity building’ expense.
- Home modifications: This is about making physical changes to your home to make living there easier for you. As with ‘Assistive technology’ we need to learn more about how home modifications might help people with psychosocial disability. An example of this could be a flashing light, in your home to alert you to daily activities.