How to use NDIS funding to start your own microenterprise
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australia-wide scheme to support people aged 0 to 65 years with permanent and significant disability. As an insurance scheme, the NDIS takes a lifetime approach, investing in people with disability early to improve their outcomes later in life.
During your NDIS planning meeting, the planner will talk to you about the goals you want to achieve across many aspects of your life including employment and self-employment.
Most people with disabilities (PWD), their families and carers have found the transition to the NDIS a challenge and are unsure how to get any employment funding.
The first thing you need to do is have an employment goal – even if you are unsure of how this could work, especially if you have never been employed.
Employment funding can be about discovering what form of employment – including self-employment – would be appropriate for you. This is often called Customised Employment as the employment is individualised and meaningful to the individual.
What You Need to Do:
Be clear about your employment goals
If possible, go to Centrelink and ask for a Job Capacity Assessment. If you have done this already then take this information to your NDIS planning meeting.
If you can work more than 8hrs a week you will/would have been eligible for a Disability Employment Service provider (DES) to help you gain employment
However, if the DES provider has not been successful in getting you employment, you then have a good reason to explore alternative employment opportunities e.g. self- employment or microenterprise. Again, you may not know yet what this could be, but we can help with that.
There is a funding option called Finding and Keeping A Job, which comes under the Capacity Building section of an NDIS plan – which can be accessed from 14 years and 9 months of age. You may want to take these documents to your planning meeting just in case the Planner is not aware of how and why this funding is reasonable and necessary.
Employment funding is available whether your Self Managing, Agency Managed or Plan Managed.
More information on NDIS & Customised Employment can be downloaded from our resources page.
Employment Supports the NDIS funds
Individual employment support for people who are unable or unlikely to meet Disability Support Services (DES) eligibility.
Supports for a person with a disability to take part in work where they are unlikely to be able to find or retain work in the open market, even with DES assistance.
The NDIS may also fund reasonable and necessary employment supports, including:
- Individual employment support
- Microenterprise/Self-Employment Information for NDIS Planning Meeting – downloadable document
Participants who identify employment as a goal, will not necessarily receive ‘Finding and Keeping a Job’ funds in their plan. Instead, they may be referred to mainstream supports and be assessed for their eligibility to meet DES or Job Seekers Australia (JSA) access criteria.