Here at Leap in! HQ, we are often asked whether the NDIS can help people with a psychosocial disability.
The answer is yes! The NDIS may cover a psychosocial disability depending on your individual circumstances.
Today, we’ll shed some light on how the NDIS determines eligibility for people with a psychosocial disability and the additional information you need to provide.
What is a psychosocial disability?
Psychosocial disability is a disability that may arise from a mental health condition. A “mental health condition” can include a range of symptoms, including personality issues, psychotic or compulsive disorders, anxiety and mood swings.
A psychosocial disability is when a mental health condition causes a functional impairment that prevents you from effectively participating or completing everyday tasks.
So if a mental health condition affects perception, memory, thinking or emotions that then impact your ability to do everyday tasks, it may be considered a psychosocial disability by the NDIS.
People with a long-term psychosocial disability resulting from a mental health condition may be eligible for an NDIS Plan.
NDIS and psychosocial disability.
Not everyone who has a mental health condition will have a psychosocial disability, which can result in difficulties doing everyday tasks like banking, shopping and looking after yourself.
If you have a psychosocial disability and are eligible for the NDIS, you may be able to access supports that can help you more actively participate in social activities, work and the community.
You may also access a psychosocial recovery coach who can help you take control of your life and navigate the NDIS as well as the mental health system.
Find out more about NDIS psychosocial disability supports in our previous story Psychosocial disability: What the NDIS may cover.
NDIS eligibility criteria for psychosocial disability.
In addition to meeting the usual NDIS eligibility criteria (take the Am I eligible quiz on the NDIS website), you’ll also need to meet the following criteria:
- Your mental health condition has caused difficulties in your everyday life, AND
- The difficulties you experience as a result of your mental health condition mean you will likely always require NDIS support, AND
- The difficulties you experience as a result of your mental health issue have substantially reduced your ability to do everyday activities.
If you can prove that you meet these criteria, you may be eligible for an individualised support package from the NDIS.
Completing an evidence of psychosocial disability form.
An NDIS evidence of psychosocial disability form is where you add all information the NDIS needs to assess eligibility if you have a mental health condition.
The form is designed to be completed by two professionals who work with you and understand your condition, generally a psychologist or doctor, and a support worker.
It includes information such as:
- Diagnosis if available or if not available, a brief explanation of the mental health condition
- Current and past treatment information
- Dates of any hospital admissions
- Details about any impairments resulting from a mental health condition and their impact on your everyday life (see below)
- Medication, treatments or interventions already tried and their effectiveness
- Whether there are any other known evidence-based treatments that have not been tried yet
- Professional assessments of current life skills and the impact of the condition on your daily life.
A diagnosis is not required.
When completing the evidence of psychosocial disability form, you must provide evidence of a mental health condition, although the name of the condition itself does not need to be supplied.
While a specific mental diagnosis is preferred, NDIS support is based on the impact of the condition rather than a diagnosis.
For example, if someone is diagnosed with schizophrenia, whether they can access the NDIS will depend on the impact of the condition on their daily life, not the fact they have schizophrenia.
Impact on everyday life.
When considering your eligibility, the NDIS will assess your ability to carry out everyday activities in six areas of life:
This includes being understood in spoken, written or sign language, understanding others and your ability to express what you need.
- Social interaction
The ability to make friends, be active in the community, behave in a socially acceptable way and how you cope with feelings and emotions in a social context.
Understanding and remembering information, the ability to learn new things and apply new skills.
Moving around your home and community as well as completing ordinary daily activities.
Being able to care for yourself including hygiene, grooming, feeding and health care.
This covers things like organising your life, planning, making decisions and taking responsibility. Activities such as problem solving, managing finances and managing your home life are included here.
How does the NDIS decide if an application will be successful?
While it may be time consuming to get all the information together to apply, it’s worth ot to ensure your application has the best chance of success.
Other things that can support your application include:
- Statements from family, friends or support workers
- Documents and assessments given to Centrelink or other departments
- Completing the My Profile section of the Leap in! app which includes details about you and the impact of your disability on your life.
Your application is more likely to be approved if:
- You have explored clinical treatment options to resolve the mental health issue, with any ongoing treatment being recovery orientated; and
- You’re likely to need lifelong support to participate in the community and/or work.
What support might I receive under the NDIS?
The NDIS will provide assistance to people with a psychosocial disability to participate in everyday life and greater social inclusion and economic participation.
Some NDIS-approved supports may include:
- Personal care to support an individual in their home or community
- Supports that allow greater social and community interaction
- Assistance with daily living tasks and finding ways to improve a participant’s ability to do things independently.
Download your free ebook.
For more information about accessing the NDIS if you have a mental health condition, download the free Leap in! ebook, Mental health conditions and the NDIS: A guide to access and supports.
Here you’ll find lots more detail about eligibility, how the NDIS views the concept of recovery, who can help and some frequently asked questions.
Leap in! can help.
We support many people with psychosocial disabilities to navigate the NDIS.
Leap in! can:
- Provide guidance on where to start with accessing the NDIS
- Support you to set your NDIS goals
- Put you in touch with supports and services in your area
- Help you manage your NDIS budgets
- Pay provider invoices on your behalf (with your approval).
Give our crew a call on 1300 05 7878 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published 07 November 2019, updated 27 February 2019.