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?

The Public Trustee may be appointed to make financial decisions on behalf of an adult who has been determined to lack capacity to make those decisions. The appointment may be under an existing Enduring Power of Attorney or a decision of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) under the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000. The Public Trustee must act in accordance with the legislation and any directions of QCAT.

The Public Trustee’s financial management clients have access to a personal Trust Officer, who develops a Financial Management Plan (budget) for the client’s funds and assists the client to manage his or her income and investments and pay accounts and bills.

The Public Trustee does not manage the funding provided for supports under the NDIS, because these are not part of a client’s personal 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 Will making, which the Public Trustee performs free of charge, 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 assisting person – a family member, carer or guardian) advising when the NDIS is due to be rolled out in their region. The letter will advise if the Public Trustee considers, based on the NDIS criteria, that the client may be eligible for NDIS services.

Step 2:

During the NDIS roll-out, it is up to the client, or their assisting person – to make contact with the NDIA by telephoning 1800 800 110 to find out if the client is eligible for the Scheme. To do this, the client (or their assisting person) needs to make an Access Request over the telephone so the NDIA can make a decision on eligibility for the Scheme. As part of this process the NDIA will create an NDIS profile and provide a nine digit NDIS Reference Number. The NDIA will send an Access Request Form to clients (or their assisting person) in the post for completion and return to the NDIA.

In certain circumstances if there is a need for urgent assessment by the NDIA, the Access Request Form can be filled out over the telephone by the NDIA. After receiving an Access Request Form, the National Access Team (NAT) will assess the eligibility of a potential participant and may request further evidence of residency, age or disability.

If the NDIA decides that the client is eligible for the NDIS, a NDIS Planning Meeting will be arranged so the NDIS Plan can be developed.

Step 3:

Prior to the NDIS Planning Meeting, the client (or their assisting person) 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 assisting person) a copy of the client’s current budget and account statements for the client’s funds that are managed by the Public Trustee prior to the NDIS Planning meeting. This information will assist the meeting attendees to determine how the available NDIS supports will work with the client’s existing financial position.

Step 5:

The client attends the NDIS Planning meeting with their support network (family/carers) or legally appointed Guardian. The NDIS Planning meeting may happen in person or by telephone.

After the NDIS Planning meeting, an NDIS Support Coordinator may be appointed to help the client implement the NDIS Plan.

Step 6:

The Support Coordinator, or if no coordinator is appointed, the client’s assisting person, 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. A Support Coordinator or NDIS Local Area Coordinator (LAC) may also be appointed to help manage your NDIS Plan.

What is funded by the 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

Further Information

The Public Trustee can only provide general information. The Public Trustee does not warrant that this information is accurate, complete, up-to-date or suitable for any particular use. Funding under the National Disability Insurance Scheme is decided through the National Disability Insurance Agency. Contact the National Disability Insurance Agency on 1800 800 110 to find out more about your situation.

Last published: 18/06/2019 10:16:51 PM