The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is starting to ramp up from trial sites to full scheme. This is likely to prompt questions about the interaction between the NDIS and compensation payments.
At this stage the best guidance we have is set out in the NDIA’s Operational Guidelines on Compensation.
In light of these guidelines, let’s look at two situations:
1. Apply for and receive NDIS benefits, then later receive compensation
Some people may have lived in trial sites or otherwise been quick off the mark in applying for and receiving NDIS benefits. What happens when their personal injury case settles?
In this event part of the compensation payment may have to go to paying back the NDIS for care supports received to date.
Once a compensation payment has been received the NDIS will review the person’s plan and, depending on what compensation they have received, they may stop receiving any support from the NDIS, or that support may be reduced.
It will depend if there is cross over between the NDIS care supports and the compensation received. The idea is to ensure that people don’t “double dip”.
Personal injury lawyers need to consider possible NDIS repayments and the loss of future NDIS benefits when settling cases.
2. Receive compensation, then later apply for NDIS benefits
Some people may have received a personal injury compensation payment quite recently or long ago. They may validly ask if they are entitled to anything under the NDIS.
In the event that someone qualifies for the NDIS based on their incapacity, it will be necessary to determine what compensation they received (i.e. what it was designed to cover and for how long).
It will be necessary to look at the details of any settlement. This may be quite difficult if the settlement was long ago and detailed notes were not retained by the lawyers at the time.
Personal injury lawyers settling cases now should take care to retain detailed settlement notes.
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