So You Want to Be an (Australian) NDIS Provider

Australians whose goal is to provide help to disabled people — and who run a business — have probably heard about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which is designed to ensure the ability of the disabled to lead an ordinary life. the program helps them get adequate support and care, but also provides carers and family members with information about the services of support.

The NDIS enables participants to increase economic and social participation, their independence, and to pursue their aspirations, objectives, and goals. The funds support a wide range of areas, from overall health and wellbeing, to social participation, education, living arrangements and independence — and employment. If you’re not sure whether your staffing business qualifies as a provider, we’ll help you determine that.

Reasonable & Necessary

Although any person is allowed to register for NDIS, that doesn’t mean that supports you offer will be funded. All informal supports already available for the participant — the arrangements that are part of their family life and already established connections with friends or community services — will be taken into account. NDIS will also pay attention to the formal supports that are already available, such as education and health. This means that NDIS will only fund reasonable and necessary supports.

These guidelines provide the decision makers with practical guidance. But their decisions are bound by something much stronger: the set of rules outlined in the legislation. These rules and guidelines have every type of support covered, but the support needs to be related to the disability of the participant and considered likely to be effective and beneficial to the participant.

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Employment

What most providers and participants are confused about is the role of NDIS in improving employment outcomes, an are of utmost importance, as having a fulfilling job provides psychological benefits that soon evolve into economic, social, and physical ones. This promotes the three most important issues at the heart of the program: financial stability, independence, and participation in society, helping the participants to feel valued and able to contribute to society. This is what will provide the most meaning and focus in their lives.

Disability Employment Services (DES) are there to help people with disabilities to find jobs with mainstream employers, aiming to ensure they’ll keep the jobs, developing confidence and skills. They are funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the recent opportunities for this grant incorporate the NDIS responsibilities as a part of this broader government strategy. They reflect the aspirations of the NDIS to improve the control and the choice of participants, encouraging greater competition between providers.

Although mainstream employment assistance services, employers, and the scheme work together in achieving this goal, the NDIS will focus on funding supports that assist participants with employment beyond the requirements of employers and employment services, the ones that participants would require regardless of the activity they’re undertaking, such as assistive technology, assistance with transport, personal care, etc. That means that participants won’t necessarily receive “Finding and Keeping a job” funding — they could be referred to mainstream supports necessary to meet the DES access criteria. To put it simply, the NDIS will respond to the employment needs of the participants that are not currently met by other systems. Additionally, they will help to build relationships with the local community and mainstream providers to improve their understanding of participants’ employment needs.

The Value

This is very ambitious reform and its success heavily depends on a development of an innovative and diverse disability market that has a capacity to respond to the preferences and needs of its new customers. The whole point is to provide the participants with a value for many, and this dictates the cost. If your business is a part of an emerging market with limited support options, the NDIS will provide the limits to what you may charge for your services and supports through a thorough regulation of prices. This is why it’s mandatory to check out price guides before you dive into a role of a provider.

On the other hand, the NDIS recognizes that there are additional costs involved when it comes to the delivery of services and supports in remote areas, so the Modified Monash Model is employed in order to define remoteness regions and increase the price limits accordingly.

If your provider role is tied to the Special Disability Accommodation (SDA), the NDIS price guide supports incentives for the development of new and innovative housing models and the states have been grouped to provide the support regarding different legislative and other requirements.

Although every business service needs to provide value, providers need to be passionate about helping the disabled to continue with their lives. While “reasonable and necessary supports“ may sound a little harsh, if you look objectively they really need to be. If you simply think that running a disability business presents an interesting opportunity maybe you should reconsider — the primary objective of this effort is certainly not making money.

Ian Pearson

Ian Pearson
Ian Pearson is a business consulting who strives to keep up to date with tech innovations and development. He can be reached at ian (at) mediagurus (dot) org.au.

Ian Pearson

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