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Chapter 12 Section H: National Disability Insurance Scheme Related Services and other Resources

Ability Links
Ability Links New South Wales is an initiative to build social inclusion for people with disability, their families and carers across NSW. Ability Links aims to assist people with disability to be valued and equal members of their communities and to help build a society where people with disability enjoy inclusive lives in all spheres; community, public, private and social.

Ability Links is the NSW approach to local area coordination. It is about building your informal networks to support you to achieve their goals and have your needs and interests met. It is also about promoting community inclusion and participation so that you are able to access and can participate in activities available to the general community. Ability Links forms part of the NSW contribution to the objectives of the National Disability Insurance Agency.

Ability Links is for:

  • people with disability (9-64 years and who are generally not accessing specialist disability services)
  • carers and families of people with disability

a diverse range of people including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian’s and culturally and linguistically diverse people and communities.
There are a number of providers around the state who can put you in touch with a Linker. You can use the search functions on this website to find a Linker in your area.

Brochures are available in a number of languages.

For more information about eligibility and assessments for the NDIS click here

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) conducts independent reviews of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws, for example, decisions made by Australian Government ministers, departments and agencies.. The AAT was established by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975. As an NDIS participant, or an advocate for an NDIS participant, you can make an application to the AAT if you are unsatisfied with a ruling made by the NDIA in an internal review of a decision. For more information about reviews of an NDIA decision, click here.

Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)
The AFCA considers complaints that previously would have been handled by the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal. They are the dispute resolution scheme for financial services, and consider complaints about:

  • credit, finance and loans
  • insurance
  • banking deposits and payments
  • investments and financial advice
  • superannuation

The AFCA’s role is to assist you and small businesses to reach agreements with financial firms about how to resolve your complaints. They are impartial and independent, and do not act for either party to advocate their position. If a complaint does not resolve between the parties, they will decide an appropriate outcome. Decisions made can be binding on the financial firm involved in a complaint. They can award compensation for losses suffered because of a financial firm’s error or inappropriate conduct. They do not, however, award compensation to punish financial firms or impose fines.

AFCA is not a government department or agency nor a regulator of the financial services industry. The AFCA is a not-for-profit company.

To read more about Australian Consumer Law and NDIS, and how you can bring consumer law claims against NDIS providers to AFCA, click here.

Australian Consumer Complaints Commission (ACCC)
The Australian Consumer Complaints Commission (ACC) is an independent Commonwealth statutory authority whose role is to promote competition, fair trading and regulation of national infrastructure for the benefit of all Australians, while enforcing the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. In the context of the NDIS, the ACCC assists you to understand your rights when paying for a product or service through providing relevant resources. For more information about your rights in receiving quality services in the NDIS, click here.

Commonwealth Ombudsman
The Commonwealth Ombudsman deals with complaints about Commonwealth Government departments and agencies. As an NDIS participant, you can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman regarding an issue with the NDIA that cannot be resolved with an NDIA representative. For more information about complaints and the NDIS, click here.

National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP)
The National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) provides people with access to effective disability advocacy that promotes, protects and ensures full and equal enjoyment of all human rights enabling community participation. For information about advocacy and the NDIS, click here.

National Disability Insurance Agency
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is an independent statutory agency whose role is to implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme. For more information about the roles and responsibilities of the NDIA, click here.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (National website)
The national NDIS website provides information and resources for people interested in becoming an NDIS participant regarding what the NDIS can fund, how to apply, and includes information about existing mainstream services and community supports.

The website also offers information targeted to families and carers of people with disability regarding their role in the NDIS and what supports the NDIS and mainstream services can provide to support them and their family members.

There is also information directed to NDIS participants about the planning process, making decisions, working with providers, rights and safeguards, and plan management.

The website also provides links to information in languages other than English, and translations and interpreter services.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme NSW Website
The NSW NDIS website provides information about the NDIS, accessing the NDIS in NSW and has links to useful resources targeted to people with disability, including information targeted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NDIS Appeals providers
|NDIS Appeals providers support you if you are seeking a review with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal review by providing a skilled disability advocate. The appeals provider advocate will act as a support person and access funding for legal services if the subject contains complex legal issues, provided by Legal Aid Commissions. The appointed advocates are from the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) and they can assist you by explaining the review process, the preparation of documents/evidence, offer advice and help you build the skills to better represent yourself, or attend the AAT meetings and hearings as a form of support. For more information about advocacy and the NDIS, click here.

All NDIS Appeals services are free of charge.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is an independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. For more information about the role and responsibilities of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, click here.

Anyone who wants to make a complaint or raise concerns about an NDIS provider should contact the Commission.

NSW Fair Trading
NSW Fair Trading ensures that doing business in NSW is simple, accessible and fair for employees, consumers and industry. They provide community education to consumers, service providers and the disability sector on awareness of consumer rights and protections including scam awareness, entering contracts, hiring services and how to complain.

To view these resources, click here.

If you have a complaint about a product or service, including those provided by an NDIS provider, you can lodge a complaint with NSW Fair Trading.

NSW Ombudsman
The NSW Ombudsman is an independent integrity agency that holds NSW government agencies and certain non-government organisations accountable to the people of NSW. Through complaint handling, review, monitoring, investigation, advice, training and community education, they seek to improve the administration and delivery of public and community services in NSW.

They help agencies within our jurisdiction address problems with their performance. These problems may be uncovered by complaints from the public or by people who work for those agencies. Problems may also come to our attention through our work in scrutinising agency systems, overseeing investigations or reviewing the delivery of services. They are responsible for keeping the following types of organisations under scrutiny:

agencies delivering public services – including correctional centres and state-owned corporations

agencies delivering community services – including services for people with disabilities, people who are homeless and elderly people.

Reimagine.today
reimagine.today is an online resource developed by the Mental Health Coordinating Council. It exists to support potential participants and their supporters to better understand what the NDIS is and what it can offer people living with psychosocial disability resulting from a mental health condition.

As well as assisting you to understand how you can apply for the NDIS and how to choose the right providers to deliver the services to help you to meet your identified aspirations and goals, reimagine.today presents information with a using a strengths-based approach towards decision making and helps you develop strategies to maintain health and wellbeing.

MHCC has been working with communities across Australia to create new and improved resources that are tailored to support you through your NDIS journey. These ‘Hubs’ were designed for and by people with lived experience of mental health conditions, their carers and other support persons from within each of these communities. These include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Islander People Hub;
  • LGBTQ+ Communities Hub;
  • Multicultural Hub; and
  • Rural Hub.

You can also select from a number of languages if English is not your first language.

Uniting
Uniting is a not-for-profit organisation that is an example of one of the NSW NDIS Partners in the Community which delivers Local Area Coordination services. This organisation covers the Nepean Blue Mountains, Northern Sydney, Western Sydney, Southern NSW and Illawarra Shoalhaven regions of NSW.

For more information about Local Area Coordination, click here.

Social Futures
Social Futures is also an example of a not-for-profit organisation that is one of the NSW NDIS Partners in the Community which delivers Local Area Coordination services. This organisation covers the Far West, Murrumbidgee, Mid North Coast, Northern NSW and Western NSW regions of NSW.

For more information about Local Area Coordination, click here.

St Vincent de Paul Society NSW
St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is a not-for profit organisation that is one of the NSW NDIS Partners in the Community which delivers Local Area Coordination services. This organisation covers the South Western Sydney, Central Coast, Hunter New England, Sydney and South Eastern Sydney regions of NSW.

For more information about Local Area Coordination, click here.

To find a Local Area Coordinator near you, click here.

Updated December 29, 2020