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Disability support pension and NDIS: what's the difference?

Disability support pension and NDIS: what's the difference?

Disability support pension and NDIS: what’s the difference?

How the NDIS and disability support pension work together

We often get asked what the difference is between the disability support pension and NDIS and whether they can work together. The answer is yes, in many cases they can work together, and you can get funding from both.

Here we look at the differences between the NDIS and the disability support pension, and how you can apply for both.

What is the disability support pension?

The disability support pension is financial help for people who have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that stops you from working. It’s an Australian government pension and you need to meet the non-medical rules and either the manifest medical rules or general medical rules to be eligible.

The disability support pension is paid through your Centrelink account and can be affected by how much you and your partner earn. You need to keep Centrelink informed if there is a change in circumstances such as if you receive a lump sum payment, your relationship changes, or if you have a change in your medical condition.

What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a national scheme that funds eligible people to help them get the most out of life. The NDIS isn't welfare. The goal of the NDIS is to help people with a disability increase independence, access new skills, get a job or volunteer work, spend more time with family and friends and enjoy an improved quality of life.

To be eligible for NDIS funding, you must:

  • be aged between 7 and 65,
  • have a permanent and significant disability,
  • be an Australian resident, and
  • need reasonable and necessary support.

You can check your eligibility here. If you believe you’re eligible, you can make an application directly to the NDIS.

What is the difference between the NDIS and disability support pension?

When you receive your NDIS plan, you will receive a certain level of funding in each category. These categories are Core Supports to help you with everyday activities, Capacity Building to help build your independence and skills, and Capital Supports for higher cost items and modifications that can increase your independence.

Depending on your plan, some examples of things your NDIS funding could pay for include:

  • Help with daily life such as personal care, help with cleaning, cooking or meal delivery, help with yard maintenance, help when you’re out of the house or respite care.
  • Transport to work or places that will help you achieve your goals like school or TAFE.
  • Employment related help for finding and keeping a job.
  • A support worker to help you take part in the community, attend a class or social outing.
  • Assistive technology and equipment such as communication devices or wheelchairs.
  • Home modifications like ramps or handrails.

NDIS funding must be used to help you achieve your goals.

There are no such restrictions on the funding from the disability support pension. It’s considered a replacement for a typical working wage, so you can use it for things not related to your disability, such as food, entertainment or other living expenses.

Does the disability support pension impact the NDIS?

No, both these payments are from different funding bodies and aren’t related to each other. The income that you receive under the NDIS is tax free and won’t affect your disability support pension.

This also means that if you’re eligible for one, it doesn’t mean you’re eligible for the other. You will have to apply separately for both.

Five Good Friends is an approved NDIS provider of Core Supports. If you’d like some help with managing your day-to-day supports, please call us today on 1300 787 581.

Learn more: Do I need a Support Coordinator?

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