The Public Trustee and the National Disability Insurance Scheme


What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme?

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS – the Scheme). The NDIS provides funding for ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports which help people with a disability achieve their goals, become more independent, take part in social and community activities, and have the opportunity to enjoy an ordinary life. To receive supports under the NDIS you must be under 65 years of age and be an Australian citizen or a Permanent Resident or hold a Protected Special Category Visa. You must also reside in an area where the NDIS is available.

The NDIS also helps families and carers with information about services to support people with a disability. Since the NDIS rollout began in July 2016, Queenslanders who are eligible for the NDIS have been moving from state funded disability services to the national scheme.


What is the role of the Public Trustee as Financial Manager?

As Financial Administrator or Attorney, the Public Trustee is often appointed by Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to make financial decisions, and legal decisions related to financial matters, on behalf of an adult who has incapacity for decision making. As Administrator we must act in accordance with the provisions of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 and the directions of the QCAT Order.

When we are appointed as Financial Administrator we provide our Financial Management clients with access to a personal Trust Officer, a Financial Management Plan (budget), payment of accounts and bills and management of income and investments. The funding for supports under NDIS does not form part of a client’s personal funds. Therefore, the Public Trustee does not manage these funds.

For further information view our fact sheet: The Public Trustee and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.


What services does the Public Trustee offer?

The Public Trustee has been providing services to Queenslanders for over 100 years including free Will making, Enduring Powers of Attorney, Deceased Estate Administration and Financial Administration for adults with reduced capacity to make decisions. We have extensive experience and expertise in acting as Administrator and Financial Attorney.


What is the Public Trustee’s role in the NDIS Pathway?

Step 1:

The Public Trustee will send a letter to our clients (or their family/carers/Guardian) advising when the NDIS is due to be rolled out in their region. The letter will advise if the Public Trustee considers that the client may be eligible for NDIS services.

Step 2:

During the NDIS roll-out, it is up to the client (or their family/carers/Guardian) to make contact with the NDIS by telephoning 1800 800 110 to find out if they are eligible for the Scheme. To do this the client (or their family/carers/Guardian) need to make an Access Request over the telephone so the NDIS can make a decision on eligibility for the Scheme. As part of this process the NDIS will create an NDIS profile and provide a nine digit NDIS Reference Number. The NDIS will send an Access Request Form to clients (or their family/carers/Guardian) in the post for completion and return to the NDIS. In certain circumstances if there is a need for urgent assessment by the NDIS, the Access Request Form can be filled out over the telephone by the NDIS.

If the NDIS decides that the client is eligible for the NDIS, a NDIS Planning Meeting will be arranged so the NDIS Plan can be developed. The initial plan will be reviewed within the first 12 months. Any future plan will be reviewed periodically unless there are any changes to the client’s personal circumstances which may warrant a plan review.

Step 3:

Prior to the NDIS Planning Meeting, the client (or their family/carers/Guardian) should contact the Public Trustee to advise us of their meeting date with the NDIS.

Step 4:

The Public Trustee will send the client (or their family/carers/Guardian) a copy of the client’s budget and account statements prior to the NDIS Planning meeting.

Step 5:

The client attends the NDIS Planning meeting with their support network (family/carers/Guardian). After the NDIS Planning meeting, the client will be appointed a NDIS Support Coordinator to help them implement the NDIS Plan.

Step 6:

The Support Coordinator should contact the Public Trustee to ensure the client’s funds are sufficient and appropriate to support the NDIS Plan.


Will the Public Trustee help me develop my NDIS Plan?

The Public Trustee does not develop NDIS Plans and is not involved in the NDIS planning process. The NDIS Planner will prepare your plan in consultation with you and your support network. It is likely that ‘Support Coordination’ will be included among the ‘reasonable and necessary supports’. A Support Coordinator will help manage your NDIS Plan.


What is funded by NDIS?

In accordance with the NDIS Act, NDIS Rules and other relevant legislation, the NDIS funds ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports.

The types of activities and supports the NDIS may fund which are directly related to each client’s disability could include the following:

  • help with personal care activities
  • transport to help client’s participate in community, social, economic and daily life activities
  • help at work to allow client’s to successfully get or keep a job
  • therapeutic supports like occupational therapy, speech therapy and behaviour support
  • help with household jobs and home maintenance
  • aids or equipment to promote independence, including assessment, set up and training
  • home modifications, including design and construction, so a client can live at home
  • mobility equipment to promote mobility, and
  • vehicle modifications to make them easier to use.


What supports are NOT funded by the NDIS?

A support won’t be funded if it:

  • isn’t related to a disability
  • is funded by other areas of government
  • relates to day-to-day living costs which are not related to a disability support need
  • may cause the client harm or pose a risk to others.


What are the roles and responsibilities of both parties?

The Public Trustee Does:

The Public Trustee Does Not:

· Manage financial related decisions

· Pay accounts for service provision such as general doctors, dentists etc.

· Pay accounts for accommodation

· Sign tenancy agreements


· Advise on NDIS eligibility

· Assist in the development of the NDIS Plan

· Select NDIS Service Providers

· Make healthcare decisions

· Make accommodation choices


The NDIS Does:

The NDIS Does Not:

· Make a decision on each client’s (prospective participant’s)eligibility for NDIS

· Assist the client to develop their NDIS Plan

· Provide funding for supports in the NDIS Plan relating specifically to disability


· Manage financial related decisions

· Pay for service provision such as general doctors, dentists etc.

· Pay for non-specialist disability accommodation


How can I make my NDIS Plan?

The NDIS website provides detailed information on the NDIS Plan process at My NDIS Pathway


Should I ask my NDIS Planner or Support Coordinator to contact the Public Trustee?

Yes, it is essential that each client’s NDIS Plan aligns with their budget and that the client’s personal funds are sufficient and appropriate to support the planning needs such as food or beverage during activities.


Further Information

See: NDIS stories




Last published: 29/01/2018 11:02:59 PM