The NDIS is designed to support people who live with a range of disabilities gain greater independence in their lives. It’s a common misconception that the scheme is limited to people with permanent disabilities - those with an episodic disability may also be eligible for the scheme.
Here at Bright Plan Management, we’ve put together a handy fact sheet on episodic disabilities and how they fit into the NDIS.
What is an episodic disability?
An episodic disability is defined by fluctuations. A person may experience periods of wellness followed by periods of disability. At times they may be able to live without supports, but at others when their episodic disability has flared, they may require additional supports and services.
Examples of episodic disabilities include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and some mental illnesses.
Sometimes people with episodic disabilities struggle to access the right supports due to the nature of their disability, which can be hard to predict. This can make the process of applying to the NDIS harder than when applying with a permanent disability.
To make the process as easy as possible, it’s important to communicate clearly with your NDIS planner about the nature of your disability if it is episodic. Discussing the level of support you require when your disability has flared and is at its worst is key to ensuring your funding incorporates the whole spectrum of your disability.
As your support needs may fluctuate, it’s best to come to your NDIS planning meeting with an estimate of the average supports you will need across a six month or one year period. This will help the NDIS assess the level of supports and funding you will require.
What if I can’t make my planning appointment?
Making plans is a common worry for people living with unpredictable episodic disabilities. Remember that you can design the meeting in a way that works for you - if you are unable to attend in person, chat to your NDIS planner about conducting the meeting over the phone. If you are feeling anxious about the meeting, you are welcome to have a support person with you to help you communicate your needs to the NDIS planner.
Planning for episodic disabilities
Once you receive NDIS support, remember that you can “bank” your funding and hours. This means that at times when you are well and need less support, you can save your funding for periods when you require more assistance. While the funding is there for you to use, you are not obliged to consistently use it.
Looking for a hand in managing your NDIS plan? Here at Bright Plan Management we take the stress out of managing your plan - get in touch today!