Since talk began around the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), CareWest has been working towards ensuring we are in a position to be ready to provide flexible and responsive service delivery. As the rollout of the NDIS to Central West NSW in 2017 inches closer, CareWest is already operating within the NDIS launch site in NSW, using person-centred approaches to build individualised support for people with disability. Our people are working towards being as informed as possible of changes brought in by the NDIS and what this may mean for people accessing CareWest.
There is a lot of information available about the NDIS. Here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions and provide links to sites where you can find further information. We will be updating this part of our website during the NSW NDIS rollout.

Can CareWest help me prepare for the NDIS?
Yes. Pre-planning for the NDIS is important and CareWest is here to help you through the process. We will meet with you to discuss your goals and aspirations and the supports you need to achieve them. We will help you find the information you may require to make decisions about managing your NDIS plan and/or supports. We will also help you put together a NDIS pre-planning workbook and list of supports so you are ready for your first discussion with your NDIA Support Planner.

What is the NDIS?
NDIS stands for National Disability Insurance Scheme. It is a new way of providing funding to people with a permanent and significant disability to help them receive the supports needed to live an ordinary life.
The benefits of the NDIS are that it gives you choice and control over:
• the supports you receive
• when you receive your supports
• who provides your supports
• how you manage your supports

What is the NDIA?
NDIA stands for National Disability Insurance Agency. The NDIA is the government organisation responsible for implementing the NDIS. How does the NDIS work?
If you are eligible for the NDIS you will attend a planning meeting with a representative from the NDIA known as a Support Planner. This meeting may be conducted in person or over the phone. Here you will discuss your current supports, your needs and goals with your NDIA Support Planner and the ‘reasonable and necessary supports’ required to assist you in your daily activities.
You can take someone with you to your planning meeting, you don’t need to go alone. Your plan will take into account your entire support network and will be reviewed on a yearly basis or earlier if your circumstances change.
Your support network may include: family, friends, community and mainstream organisations, as well specialist disability services that may require funding such as Respite etc.
Who can access the NDIS?
Access to the NDIS is generally determined by three things: Age + Residency + Disability. You may be eligible to access the NDIS if you meet the following requirements (please visit the link below for more detail):
• You must be between 0 – 64 years when you apply
• You must live in Australia and be:
 An Australian Citizen OR
 A permanent resident OR
 Hold a protected Special Category Visa*
• You have an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent (lifelong) and that stops you from doing everyday things by yourself OR
• You have an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent (lifelong); and you need some supports now to reduce your support needs in the future OR
• You are a child under six years of age with a developmental delay and the delay means you usually need more help with your self-care, communication, learning or motor skills than another child of the same age.* For more information visit the “Access Requirements” section of the NDIS website:
If you are unsure if you are eligible you can contact the NDIA directly on 1800 800 110 to discuss.
How do I apply for the access to the NDIS?
If you already receive disability supports through the NSW Government, you, your family or carer will be contacted by the NDIA by letter or by phone to confirm your eligibility to access the NDIS. Nothing will change with your current supports while you go through this process.
If you do not currently receive funding for disability supports you will need to apply for the NDIS once it is available in your area. You will be able to do this by completing an access request form and providing the appropriate documentation, or by calling the NDIA on 1800 800 110.
For more information on accessing the NDIS see:

Who are NDIA Support Planners?
NDIA Support Planners are the people who work with you to put together your NDIS Plan. You will discuss your NDIS Plan with an NDIA Support planner every 12 months or sooner if your circumstances change to make sure it suits your current needs. Your NDIS plan contains information on the supports you receive, the goals you want achieve and the budget you have available to pay for your supports.

How do I book a meeting with an NDIA Support Planner?
You won’t be able to meet with an NDIA Support Planner until the NDIS is available in your area.
If you are eligible to access the NDIS the NDIA will contact you, your family or carer to arrange a meeting with an NDIA Support Planner.

Will I lose my current supports?
State and Federal governments have agreed that if you receive funded supports at the time of the NDIS rollout in your area, you should not be disadvantaged by transitioning to the NDIS.The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports that:
• Increase independence
• Improve social and economic participation
• Develop your capacity to take part in the community
You will discuss your supports in a meeting with your NDIA Support planner. If your supports are deemed reasonable and necessary and you are happy with them, you won’t need to change them. However, you may choose to change your supports if they are not working for you. It’s up to you.
It is important to remember that the NDIA Support Planners can only include the supports in your plan that they know about. This is why it is important to prepare for the NDIS.

When will the NDIS be available in my area?
The NDIS will be rolling out in the following regions of NSW between 1 July 2017 and 1 July 2018
• Western New South Wales
• Far West
• Murrumbidgee
The exact timing of when you will be able to access the NDIS depends on the type of disability supports, if any, you currently receive and is being rolled out in three stages, as follows:
People currently receiving Specialist Disability Supports
Includes people living in supported accommodation, accessing a community access services such as a day program, or case management service. The majority will be able to access the NDIS within the first six months of the rollout period.
You will not need to apply for access to the NDIS, but will go through a simplified access process.
People who access specialist disability supports from time-to-time, or for a short amount of time each week
Includes people who access respite or a community care program Will be able to access the NDIS throughout the rollout period. People who receive respite will go through a simplified access process. People receiving community care services will be supported to apply for access to the NDIS.
New Participants
People who do not currently receive specialist disability supports from the NSW Government. Will have the opportunity to access the scheme when it starts in their area, are in immediate need of help & currently do not have support.
For more information please visit the NDIS rollout section of the NDIS website:

What if I have a disability but do not meet the criteria to access the NDIS?
You may be able to access other supports and CareWest can help you find them. Our Community Links and Ability Links services can supply you with information and referrals to the community and mainstream services available in your local area that best suit your needs.

Community Links: can help you through the maze of information regarding the services available to you. We will talk to you about your needs, our programs, and how we can help.

Ability Links: supports people 0-64 with disability, their families and carers to live the life they want, as valued members of their community. We supply information and referrals to help you achieve your goals, whether they be to play sport, study or volunteer. Early Linkers are on hand to support families who have children aged 0 -9 years with a developmental delay, diagnosed disability or are currently in the process of being diagnosed. We listen to your specific concerns and find the services available to you in your area.

For more information on CareWest Services see: or contact us on 1300 CAREWEST (1300 227 393).
The NDIA can also refer you to an NDIS Local Area Coordinator (LAC) who will help with information, linkage and referral activities.
For more information please see the Information and Referral section of the NDIS website:

If you are aged 65 years and over, and you currently receive disability supports, you will not be disadvantaged. You will continue to receive supports that achieve similar outcomes to those you are currently receiving.

If you are 65 years and over and do not currently receive specialist disability support, or you are diagnosed with a disability after the age of 65 years, you will receive support from the Commonwealth aged care system.
If you turn 65 years after you have become an NDIS participant you will have a choice. You can either continue to receive disability supports in the NDIS or receive supports through the Commonwealth aged care system.
For more information please see:

Where can I find out more about the NDIS?
CareWest will be holding NDIS information sessions for people with a disability, families and carers in the lead up to the NDIS rollout in the Central West and Far West of NSW. If you would like to attend please subscribe to our newsletter, blog, the CareWest Facebook page or call 1300 CAREWEST (1300 227 393) for dates, times and NDIS News.
If you are already a CareWest Disability Services customer we will send an invitation to you and your nominated contact to advise you when our information sessions are running in your local area.
For further NDIS information you can visit the following websites:
NDIS website:
NSW Government NDIS website:
Every Australian Counts: