Living with disability

September 1, 2016

NDIS to provide relief for families: chairman

Nearly one in five Australians, 4.3 million people, has a disability. Of the 15.4 million working age (15 to 64 years) Australians in 2015, more than two million have a disability. And more than half of those aged 65 and over report living with disability, says Australian Bureau of Statistics.

For people living with a disability, tailored equipment such as wheelchairs and mobility scooters, services and technology are critical for day-to-day living, work and community participation. Those things don’t come cheap. 

On July 1 this year, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) moved from a trial phase to a full national roll-out.

National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Chairman Bruce Bonyhady says the NDIS will revolutionise disability support, transforming the lives of 460,000 Australians, their families and carers in the next three years.

Mr Bonyhady says the program aims at “providing all Australians under the age of 65 with a permanent and significant disability with the necessary supports they need to live an ordinary life”.

The NDIS won’t replace the Disability Support Pension, which provides income support through Centrelink, but provides additional funding to meet the special needs of a person with disability.

If you are aged 65 or over and receive disability supports, you will continue to receive that, but you’re not eligible to access the NDIS. If you’re diagnosed with a disability after the age of 65 years, you can get support via the Commonwealth aged care system.

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