This is a continuation of my NDIS series of blog posts.
The first step in applying for an NDIS package is to make sure you meet the following access requirements:
– Have a permanent impairment that significantly affects your ability to take part in everyday activities, or have a developmental delay;
– Be aged less than 65 when you first apply to enter the NDIS and meet additional age requirements if you live in SA or TAS;
– Live in Australia in an NDIS area on a specified date;
– Be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent visa or a Protected Special Category Visa
If you are aged over 65 you need to apply for MyAgedCare.
If you meet all the requirements, the next thing do is phone NDIA and ask for an Access Request Form to be mailed to you (You may say this to them in the following way: Hi, my name is Joe and I am interested in applying for an NDIS package. Would you be able to send me the Access Request Form?).
One of two things may happen when you ask them for an Access Request Form: –
1) The NDIA representative may ask you if you have time to complete a phone interview. If you say yes and complete this step they will just send out the Supporting Evidence Form to your mailing address. The Supporting Evidence Form is what your GP needs to complete. The phone call may take 20-25 minutes to complete.
2) The NDIA representative will send to your mailing address the full-version of the Access Request Form to complete. The phone call will take about 5-10 minutes.
The NDIA representative will ask you the following type of questions: Name, Date of Birth, Address, Citizenship, Type of Disability, Pension (plus Centrelink Customer Access Number), GP details, Psychiatrist details, Psychologist details and other similar things. They may verify whether or not you are on the system, due to being linked to other services. You are asked more questions if you said yes to the phone interview, otherwise, you add all that information to the form you are sent. After completing this process they will give you your NDIS participant reference number. The representative will then say that they will post the Access Request Form or the Supporting Evidence Form out to your mailing address, the form is due 28 days from the date listed on the letterhead. So, if it says July 1st 2017 on the letterhead then it is due on July 29th 2017. From experience, I know that it can take about seven days for the form to arrive (it might arrive in your postbox on July 8th). So, be mindful of this.
If you don’t have Centrelink benefits then you will need to provide proof of residency and identity e.g. Birth Certificate, Medicare Card, Drivers License and other forms of ID. You have the option of uploading this to “MyPlace” or completing it as part of the Access Request Form.
Once you get your NDIS participant reference number you can set up your NDIS portal account (“MyPlace”) and link it to your “MyGov” account. If you don’t have “MyGov” then set this account up.
To set-up “MyPlace”, you need to speak with a NDIA representative to get a temporary access code to set up your account online. I have noticed that some people receive a letter with this temporary access code in the mail, but not all. So, you can either choose to wait until you get your paperwork in the mail to see if you get this temporary access code or just phone NDIA and ask for it directly.
“MyPlace” enables you to complete the Access Form online and also upload any supporting documentation. If you choose to post your documentation to NDIA, you still need to set-up this account at some point. This is because your NDIS Portal (“MyPlace”) is where you manage your package, appointments, referrals and events among other things when you have an approved NDIS package in place. So, gain access to this portal sooner rather than later. I have included a link to an official “MyPlace” set-up guide in the Notes section of this blog post.
Although NDIA says you have 28 days to complete and return the Access Request Form, don’t stress, you can ask for an extension i.e. an extra 28 days.
The thing that you must decide on is whether you want all your paperwork (i.e. current Diagnosis, Occupational Therapy Assessment and other supporting documentation) together before asking for an Access Request Form or after it. My recommendation would be to see your GP twice. See your GP initially to get access to specialists you have not seen, but would be able to support your NDIS application e.g. Occupational Therapists. Once this is out of the way ask NDIA for the Access Request Form. Then, book another appointment with your GP to fill out the ‘Supporting Evidence’ part of the Access Request Form. And finally, get this documentation back to NDIA as soon as possible.
Regarding getting things in order before asking for an Access Request Form, it can be quite overwhelming to request access and then have to rush through the process of compiling evidence. With lots of people applying for NDIS specialists may have a bit of a wait time. But whatever you choose to do, I wish you the best of luck!
In my next NDIS blog post, I’ll go through Areas of Need, plus how to phrase Functional Implications, Type of Support and Frequency of Support needed as it relates to Autism and Psychosocial Disabilities.
Thanks for reading!
Do you have experiences with NDIS?
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MyPlace (NDIS Portal): https://www.ndis.gov.au/participant-portal-user-guide