Is the support more appropriately funded or provided through the NDIS, and not through other service systems or support services?
We have to be satisfied that the support is most appropriately funded or provided through the NDIS. This means it’s not more appropriately funded or provided through:
- other general systems of service delivery, or support services offered by a person, agency or body (such as a State or Territory Statutory Scheme)
- systems of service delivery or support services offered as part of a universal service obligation (such as the health or education system)
- systems of service delivery or support services offered in accordance with reasonable adjustments required under discrimination laws (such as your employer, or the health or education system).
In short, we won’t fund the support if it should be provided by someone else.
We won’t fund the support if the support should be provided by someone else, even if the other service system doesn’t actually provide it. We’re not the funder of last resort, so we don’t make up for other organisations and systems that don’t provide the supports they should.
The law for the NDIS sets out a number of things we need to consider, when we decide who is most appropriate to fund or provide of the support. There are different things we consider for the following service systems:
- Mental health
- Child protection and family support
- Early childhood development
- School education
- Higher education and vocational education and training
- Housing and community infrastructure
How does the NDIS work with other government services?
We call supports provided by other government services, including those provided as part of a universal service obligation, ‘mainstream supports’. When we talk about mainstream supports, we mean supports available to everyone in your state or territory, or across Australia, regardless of whether or not you have a disability.
This includes services provided by state and federal governments, like health care, education and mental health services.
You have the same right as all Australians to access these services. There are certain things that mainstream services have to do to make their services accessible for people with disability. Using mainstream supports can also help you be part of your community, or to work or study.
When we fund NDIS supports, we need to check that the support is not more appropriately funded or provided by a mainstream service or system, such as the education system or health system. Under the law for the NDIS, we can’t fund supports that should be provided by a mainstream service.
The Australian federal, state and territory governments agreed on responsibilities for funding different types of supports. The law for the NDIS has an outline of funding responsibilities and were developed with the agreement of each State and Territory.
We can only fund supports that are the responsibility of the NDIS. We can’t fund supports that are the responsibility of other government services, even if they don’t actually fund or provide the support. The law for the NDIS sets out the matters we should consider when we decide who is more appropriate to provide or fund a support.
The Applied Principles and Tables of Support also has information on what the governments agreed are the responsibilities of the NDIS and other government services. However, it doesn’t override what we consider when we decide if the support is most appropriately funded by the NDIS.
What is reasonable adjustment and why is it important?
People with a disability can sometimes face barriers that make it harder to do the same things as people who don’t have a disability. For example, it might be harder to find and keep a job. Or it might be harder to get in and around places, or to get the same services as other people.
It’s against the law to discriminate against people with a disability in many areas. This includes in employment, when providing goods and services, and when accessing public places.
This means organisations or people who are responsible for providing these services have to make what are called ‘reasonable adjustments’. They have to make sure people with a disability have equal access to the services they provide, as far as is reasonable.
They have to do reasonable things that will make their services equally available to everyone, whether or not you have a disability.
Reasonable adjustments do not mean they have to provide everything you need because of your disability. It means they have to do what’s reasonable to make sure you have equal access to employment, public spaces or services. This takes into account what they can afford to do and what is reasonable to expect them to provide in the circumstances.
When we decide what supports to include in your plan, we need to consider what should be provided through reasonable adjustments. Under the law for the NDIS, we can’t fund a support if it should be provided by someone else through reasonable adjustments.