National Disability Insurance Scheme News

NDIS Update

September 2016

Mental health carers and the NDIS

Mental Health Australia (in collaboration with Carers Australia) have produced a report on mental health carer issues arising from the NDIS. The report explored mental health carer issues with the NDIS at trial sites around Australia. It identified concerns relating to planning (particularly around episodic mental illness), stigma and carer involvement. The report offers key recommendations to improve NDIS processes, that would assist mental health carers to become better equipped to navigate through the NDIS and get the best plan for the person for whom they care. Read the report here

Continuation of services for people ineligible for NDIS packages

Do you know of people who have been found ineligible for the NDIS? Please report this to the ACT Government. The ACT Government undertook to ensure that no one will be worse off under the NDIS. All people with a psycho-social disability who currently receive ACT funded services that were transitioned to the NDIS, are entitled to those services even if they are found ineligible for an NDIS package. If you know anyone in this situation, please contact the ACT Mental Health Policy Unit by email or on 02 6205 0690.

Creation of NDIS: podcast

Two of the NDIS’ founders explain how they developed something so radical and comprehensive and then won support for the idea. Bruce Bonyhady is the chairman and Rhonda Galbally is a board member of the National Disability Insurance Agency, the body that implements the NDIS. Read the transcript or listen to the podcast here.

August 2016

NDIS website and resources

The NDIS commenced full roll-out, in stages, across Australia from 1 July 2016. The NDIA has developed a suite of resources to help both participants and providers to engage with the NDIS. These resources are available on the NDIS website; a good place to start is the NDIS Ready webpage (click here).

Share your NDIS story

Mental Health Australia is interested in your NDIS experiences- whether you are a person experiencing psychosocial disability, a carer of someone with a psychosocial disability or a service provider.  Your feedback helps will show how NDIS  is working and MH Australia can provide informed feedback back to government. Please email

Consumer / carer NDIS rights

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) have released a series of documents to help NDIS participants, carers and providers understand consumer rights. Click here to download the guides

July 2016

Introduction to NDIS: video

The NDIS have put together a 5 minute clip to explain and introduce what NDIS is and the steps involved in accessing and participating in the NDIS. Watch the clip here.

New 'First Plan' step in NDIS

From 1 July 2016 the ACT will adopt a new approach in NDIS implementation called 'First Plan'. This stage is designed to assist participants in their first year of NDIS and decrease anxiety and stress that can arise around NDIS planning and goal setting. Read about First Plan here. Read Supporting Families and Carers sheet here.

May 2016

What is NDIS hoping to do?

As the NDIS begins its roll-out beyond the initial trial sites, this article discusses the support providers should be considering to ensure that change actually delivers better outcomes for those who will access support through the NDIS. Read here.

Psycho-social definition confusion?

People living with mental illness wishing to access the NDIS must demonstrate psycho-social disability to be eligible. Research from the  ACT Mental Health Consumer Network shows there is confusion about what the NDIS term psycho-social means. Read comments from Network Chair Terri Warner here about how NDIS framework and funding may impact upon people living with mental health issues. 

April 2016

NDIS funding impact on mental health carers

Mind Australia have compiled a report on the effect individualised funding (like NDIS) can have on mental health (psycho-social disability) carers. The report examines how carer lives can be improved with NDIS. To read The Implications for family carers when people with psychosocial disability have individualised funding packages – literature review click here

NDIS and mental health video (NSW)

The NSW Mental Health Commission has published a video on the NDIS and mental health. The video features mental health consumer participants and a mental health carer in the Hunter NDIS trial site and shows the potential of the NDIS to support people with psychosocial disability. Watch the clip here.

NDIS (Specialist Disability Accommodation) planning

The release of the SDA Position Paper on Draft Pricing and Payments is one step closer to Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) under the NDIS. SDA will be specialist designed housing for NDIS participants that require integrated housing/supports, due to their significant functional impairment/complex needs. SDA has previously been delivered primarily by State and Territory Governments, but from 1 July 2016, funding for SDA will begin to be transitioned to the NDIS. The release of the position paper is an important part of preparing the market to support NDIS participants to exercise choice and control in where/how they choose to live. More information for participants wanting SDA will be available end May. Read more here

March 2016

NDIS on track

The latest quarterly report shows the National Disability Insurance Scheme is on time and on budget. Rates of approved individual plans have risen in the last 3 months to  22 281 Australians. Costs were reported as higher than the previous quarter and satisfaction with the planning experience remains at an overall high rating. Read the article here and for the 10th NDIS Quarterly Report click here.

NDIS and Mental Health Carers - HelpingMinds Survey

HelpingMinds is developing a national position paper on the NDIS in relation to mental health carers and those working in mental health carer service provider organisations. The survey has been developed as part of this research to;

Your responses will be used to support HelpingMind’s position on the NDIS, outlining any key issues, potential solutions and highlight positives experiences by mental health carers. Your privacy will be respected and all reported information will be de-identified.
A tick box will be provided at the end of the survey to provide consent for your story to be shared as a case study. 
Click here to access the survey.

January 2016

Further Unravelling Psychosocial Disability

The Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) has been working in partnership with the NSW Mental Health Commission since June 2013 to undertake a project focused on the Hunter NDIS trial site that seeks to better understand opportunities that present for people affected by mental health conditions. Click here to read their report. 

Peer Conversation Partners

Carers Australia is running a project to support carers of people who are eligible for the NDIS but not yet enrolled. Through this project, carers in this situation will be put in touch with people who care for someone who’s already receiving NDIS supports.
Click here and here for the flyers. For more information click here.

Carers Australia survey on carers' experiences of the NDIS

Carers Australia is seeking case studies exploring mental health carers’ experiences of the NDIS in relation to their own needs for respite and counselling – whether that experience has been positive or negative or if they are of the view that their needs for respite and counselling have diminished through supports offered to those they care for.  Carers Australia would also like to hear from mental health carers who are caring for someone who has been found ineligible for the NDIS. If you would like to share your experience please contact Anna Morison via or call 02 6122 9909.

NDIS and Carers Australia Mental Health Carers Resources

This week Carers Australia and Mental Health Australia have released a Mental Health Carers Guide on the NDIS and a checklist for carers to assist with NDIS planning and to explore the types of support mental health carers provide. Click here to access the Guide, and here to access the checklist. 

NDIS in Carers South Australia; a warning against relying too heavily on technology

In their annual report Carers ACT explored how the NDIS was impacting carers and how carers felt about the push towards more online communication. It examined how certain changes were easing carer demands and certain changes made their roles more difficult. 
"Governments, at federal and state levels, are making changes to systems to make it easier but in doing so it can become more complicated for some of the families in working out how to negotiate it." To read more about this click here. 

Carers Australia Submission to the Independent Review of the NDIS Act 

The Australian Government commissioned Ernst & Young to conduct a review of the NDIS Act. The NDIA advised that the purpose of the review was to “assess the operation of the NDIS legislative framework and develop recommendations as to whether any improvements can be made to better support the objectives and principles of the NDIS Act.”  
Carers Australia with assistance from the National Policy Working Group responded to this review. The response addresses many issues related to carer identification, consistent terminology, use of permanent disability when referring to psychosocial disability etc. Click here to read the response.  

NDIS Carers Pathways

Our NDIS Carer Pathways Program will assist carers to build their skills and confidence in adapting to a self-directed approach in the context of the NDIS. These sessions are designed to assist carers to prepare for their initial planning meeting, educating carers in principles of self-directed approaches, and how the NDIS will 'work' for them.

Informative sessions for those currently or soon to be transitioning to the NDIS. Designed to assist carers to prepare for their initial planning meeting, educating carers in principles of self-directed approaches, and how the NDIS will ‘work’ for them.

Date //
 Thursday 28 June 
Time // 5.30pm – 8.00pm
Venue // Abode, 10 Bowes Street, Woden
Cost // $5 per carer (dinner provided)
RSVP // or 6296 9900

NDIS Forum Notes

In response to carer identified need, Carers ACT hosted an NDIS Forum for mental health carers in June 2015.  Click here to read the notes, including information about common questions and answers.

Carers Australia NDIS website

Carers Australia recently launched its new web page for carers on the NDIS. Click here to  view the resources.

Carers Australia survey on carers' experiences of the NDIS

Carers Australia invites carers who support an NDIS participant to share their experiences in  a national survey. The aim of the survey is to provide feedback to the NDIA on what carers need. The survey takes about 15  minutes to complete and will close on 9 October 2015.

Click here to complete the survey. Any questions can be directed to Carers Australia at or on (02) 6122 9900. 

Access and equity in the context of the National Disability Insurance Scheme

At the heart of the NDIS is a goal of individually tailored and self-directed funding for those living with disabilities and providing people with the opportunity to live more independently within their community. This article examines the commitment to equity the new scheme  makes and how this  shall be upheld and achieved practically. It is suggested that there is a  statutory obligation upon the NDIA to ensure that cultural rights of NDIS  participants are recognised and accommodated within the Scheme. Click here to read the discussions. 

Closed (private) Facebook Group for Carers

Branch Out Disability Services (BODS) has created a Facebook Group for carers registered with Carers ACT. This is another way for carers to remain connected and to hear the latest news  about the NDIS. The closed group is also a medium for carers to connect with other carers who  are already phased into the NDIS, to ask questions and air concerns. Carers will also be able to  ask the BODS team questions directly as they will be keeping engaged with the group. Click  here to learn more.

Every Australian Counts - Housing Action Plan

The Every Australian Counts campaign has released their EAC Housing Action Plan which was delivered to all of the state and territory disability ministers as the meet to discuss NDIS and disability housing. Over 650 people with disability, their family and carers shared their housing stories. A report on these contributions and EAC recommendations can be found by clicking here.

Women with Disabilities ACT - NDIS Research Project

WWDACT is currently doing a research project looking into women's experiences with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). They are seeking women with disabilities, including psychosocial disabilities, to share their story of how they engaged with the NDIS and sharing their experiences. The stories will help with feedback to the NDIA on relevant issues for women in the ACT as well as inform and empower other women on their NDIS journeys. More information can be found here.

NDIS Community Participation Grants

The NDIS Community Participation Grants Program allow carers and people with disabilities to participate in activities which may provide them with opportunities to identify whole-of-life goals and aspirations through the provision of a one-off grant. Individual grants of up to $1,000. More information about the grants can be found by clicking here.

Mental Health News