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NDIS and Education Schemes

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This section outlines how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), established by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 interacts with the Education Schemes.

A student is precluded from being paid a benefit under the Education Schemes if they are receiving another income support or education payment from a Commonwealth agency other than DVA (see Section 2.11 of the VCES and MRCAET instruments). 

As the NDIS is neither classified as income support or education assistance, a student can receive both NDIS and the Education Schemes including education allowance. The social security guide Section 1.1.N.03 clarifies that the NDIS is intended to “provide care and support for people with disability and are not for the NDIS participant's income support”. Therefore NDIS cannot preclude a student from accessing Education Schemes, if the student meets the eligibility criteria.

The Education Schemes, just like the NDIS, should be part of a holistic wraparound service for a person. If a person is eligible for support under both programs, it is open to the person to choose from where they access that support. The Education Schemes support should focus on the educational needs of a student, for example a speech to text program.

Financial support through the Education Schemes, for example Special Assistance, should not be used to fund a purchase or service that has already been funded by the NDIS. It may however, be used to enhance the student’s purchasing power of assistance.

For example, if a student buys a wheelchair using their NDIS funding to support his/her independence and mobility which includes attending school, then the Education Schemes cannot be used for the same purchase. However, a student may use a combination of NDIS funding and Special Assistance funding to make up the cost of a laptop to support their independent learning.