Information for Mental Health carers and the NDIS
People living with a psychosocial disability, where the condition is permanent and substantially reduces their capacity to perform every-day activities may be eligible to receive support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Most people with a psychosocial disability, their family, and carers are familiar with language about hope and recovery. To access supports under the NDIS, you will need to use the language of the NDIS and be able to describe how living with a psychosocial disability has a permanent functional impairment on a person’s capacity to live an ordinary life.
Being recovery focused in your communication and being able to describe good day/bad day scenarios, evidencing what has helped in the past - will provide the NDIA with an understanding as to what supports need to be included in the plan.
Long-term goals can be difficult for a person who experiences chronic mental health issues, particularly if their illness has prevented them from achieving goals in the past. People with a psychosocial disability deserve reasonable and necessary adjustments to help them live an ordinary life, as they define it. It may, therefore, be helpful to think about goals in terms of self-improving or aspirational.
Accessing the NDIS
To access the NDIS, a person must meet the following criteria:
- Age: Be under the age of 65 years when applying for access.
- Residency: Either as an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or meet specific visa requirements.
- Location: Live in an area where the NDIS is rolling out.
- Disability: Have a permanent disability that meets the NDIS eligibility criteria
To understand the access process for people with a psychosocial disability, please click on the NDIS factsheet: Completing the access process for the NDIS - Tips for communicating about psychosocial disability. This document outlines what the NDIA access team requires when assessing a person with psychosocial disability's eligibility to the scheme.
The Mental Health Council of Australia has produced a fact sheet on information about Mental Health and NDIS eligibility: The National Disability Insurance Scheme and Mental Health. This fact sheet provides examples of NDIS eligible and non-NDIS eligible people with mental health conditions.
NDIS support and pre-planning
To understand how the NDIS can support a person with a psychosocial disability and how the NDIS works with other systems and services - please click on this NDIS factsheet: Psychosocial disability, recovery and the NDIS.
Pre-planning for the initial planning meeting will help to ensure that the person’s plan captures the impact of their condition on everyday functioning. You will need the permission of the person you care for to attend the planning meeting with them.
Mental Health Australia has developed a Mental Health carer checklist as a support tool to help you prepare for the planning conversation. Pre-planning for the planning meeting is crucial as it will help you break down the types of support currently provided on a daily basis, detect any gaps in support and, identify goals which can be linked to NDIS funded support areas.
Submitting a carers statement to the Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA planner during the planning conversation can provide you with the opportunity to detail the impact of your caring role. It can also provide you with the opportunity to let the NDIA know how you are coping with your caring role and whether you need additional information or support to continue in your role.
Examples of carer statements can be viewed on the Support for families and carers web page.
Please also see the NDIS Process: Getting NDIS Plan Ready for further support and examples
Video: Mental Health and the NDIS