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The National Disability Insurance Scheme

The-National-Disability-Insurance-Scheme

After 1 January 2016, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) became available in the Local Government Areas of Townsville, Charters Towers and Palm Island Aboriginal Shire.

The NDIS will then be rolled out in stages across the rest of Queensland from 1 July 2016 with residents in the Ipswich Local Government region able to access the scheme after 1 July 2017.

The intent to the NDIS is to provide disability assistance by supporting a better life for people with a significant and permanent disability, as well as their families and carers.

If you are eligible for the NDIS an assessment will be performed to identify supports those with a disability require to live with your disability. Examples of supports may include living independently; getting involved in your community; further education; gaining employment; and care for your health and wellbeing.

Funding for aids and equipment can also be accessed such as therapies, medical equipment, home modifications and mobility equipment.

It is important to note that the NDIS is not means tested and has no impact on Centrelink income support such as the disability support pension and carers allowance.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the NDIS the following requirements must be met:-

  1. You have a permanent and significant disability that affects your ability to take part in everyday activities;
  2. You are aged less than 65 when you first access the scheme;
  3. You are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen who holds a Protected Special Category Visa.

A permanent and significant disability is defined by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 as:-

You have a disability that is attributable to one or more intellectual, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairments or to one or more impairments attributable to a psychiatric condition; and

  1. the impairment or impairments are, or are likely to be, permanent; and
  2. the impairment or impairments result in substantially reduced functional capacity to undertake, or psychosocial functioning in undertaking, one or more of the following activities:
  1. communication;
  2. social interaction;
  • learning;
  1. mobility;
  2. self‑care;
  3. self‑management; and
  1. the impairment or impairments affect your capacity for social or economic participation; and
  2. you are likely to require support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme for your lifetime.

 Personal Injury Claims

The National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 provides that the Chief Executive Officer of the Scheme may require you to take action to obtain compensation. This applies if:-

  1. you are, or in the CEO’s opinion you may be, entitled to compensation in respect of a personal injury; and you
  2. have taken no action to claim or obtain the compensation; or
  3. have taken no reasonable action to claim or obtain the compensation.

If you are entitled to claim compensation and have not taken action to do so then the CEO may, by written notice, require you to take the action specified in the written notice issued to you within the period specified in the notice.

If you fail to take the required action within the period provided, and the action is to enable you to claim or obtain compensation then:-

  1. if an NDIS plan is in effect for you the plan is suspended until you take the required action; or
  2. if an NDIS plan is not yet in effect for you, if the CEO approved a plan, the plan would not come into effect until you take the required action.

If you then failed to take the required action within the period then the CEO may:-

  1. take action to claim or obtain compensation in your name; or
  2. take over the conduct of any existing claim you may have.

It is important to remember that if you receive funding from the NDIS, and you receive compensation by way of settlement or Judgment, then the amounts paid by the NDIS may be refundable.

Time Limits

There are strict time limits that apply to personal injury claims in Queensland.

In the case of a Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 claim, such as a slip and fall, a Part 1 Notice of Claim form must be given to the party you believe is at fault (Respondent) within the period ending on the earlier of:

(a)        nine (9) months after the incident or, if no immediate symptoms, when first appearance of symptoms become apparent; or

(b)       one (1) month after instructing a solicitor to act.

In the case of a Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 claim, such as a car accident, a Notice of Accident Claim form must be given:

  • if it is to be given to the Nominal Defendant because the motor vehicle at fault can not be identified – within three (3) months after the motor vehicle accident; or
  • in any other case – given to the CTP insurer within the period ending on the earlier of the following dates:
  • nine (9) months after the motor vehicle accident or, if symptoms of the injury are not immediately apparent, the first appearance of symptoms of the injury;
  • if you retain a solicitor/lawyer, then within one (1) month of the first consultation with the solicitor/lawyer.

In the case of a Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 claim, such as a work related injury, a compliant Notice of Claim for Damages form must be given to the employer you believe is at fault (Respondent) and WorkCover Queensland (or the employer in the case of a self-insurer) within three years of the date of injury.

Your claim could be rejected if you lodge outside the timeframes. Early lodgment of your claim will assist in early access to treatment and rehabilitation if required.

In all cases, in Queensland you also only have three (3) years from the date of injury or accident to commence proceedings in a Court of law for damages. Should an action not be commenced by this time, you are forever barred from bringing a claim in the future.

If you have suffered injury you should seek legal advice as soon as possible due to the time limits that apply. You should also ensure you seek legal advice before settling any personal injuries claim as refunds may be payable to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

For more information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme please contact our Mr Joshua Brown on (07) 3812 2300.