How the NDIS can help you get a job
Is finding a job one of the goals in your NDIS plan, or simply something you’d like to find out more about? Then this article is a must-read. We explore the various ways the NDIS can fund employment and share some of the team’s top employment tips.
Can the NDIS help me find a job?
Yes, the NDIS can provide funding to help you find the right job for you. It can do this in several ways, depending on your situation and need. Some of the things the NDIS can fund include:
- Finding ways to overcome the complex barriers to employment
- Counselling to successfully engage in employment
- Workplace assessment
- Assistance with writing a resume
- Support before and during a job interview
These can be funded under the support category, ‘Finding and Keeping a Job’ (Category 10), a Capacity Building Support that aims to help people with disability get into the workforce and build their independence. If one of your goals is to find a job or change your career path, be sure to mention it during your planning meeting, as this funding can unlock many avenues to achieving that goal.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that there are several other, less obvious ways the NDIS can support you on your search for work. For instance, funds in the category ‘Increased Social and Community Participation’ (Category 9) can be used to develop things like social skills and independence that can help you find employment.
As always, the NDIS will only fund supports that are considered ‘reasonable and necessary’, so the supports must be related to your disability and provide value for money.
Can the NDIS help me at work?
In addition to helping you find a job, the NDIS can also provide funding to support you when you’re at work. This not only includes personal supports, such as a support worker, it can also be used to cover things like specialised training relating to your disability.
Some examples of workplace support that the NDIS can cover include:
- Personal supports while at work, such as assistance with eating meals (‘Assistance with Daily Living’, Category 1)
- Transport to and from work (‘Transport’, Category 2)
- On the job training to assist you manage the demands of the job (which can be funded under ‘Finding and Keeping a Job’, Category 10)
While the NDIS can fund supports to help you in the workplace, it’s the responsibility of employers to ensure the workplace is accessible and you have all the specialised aids and equipment to help you perform your job, like a screen reader or a large-key keyboard.
What if I’m a school leaver and looking for a job?
If you’re leaving secondary school, the NDIS can offer specialised support to help you get into the workforce. ‘School Leaver Employment Supports’, or SLES, is an NDIS support that aims to get young people ready to work and boost their employment opportunities.
While SLES can be funded out of Category 10, it uses an annual funding model and offers a range of supports depending on your specific needs. For more information about SLES and how to access it, click here.
There are several other supports and resources outside of the NIDS that can help you find employment. From Disability Employment Services (DES), all the way to volunteering, there are many pathways you can take to get into the workforce and find the right job for you.
Everyone’s NDIS journey is different, and many things factor into the funding you receive in your NDIS plan. The best thing you can do is be as open as possible about your employment goals in your planning meeting and take as much supporting material as possible.
If you receive Support Coordination, you can also talk to your Support Coordinator about how the NDIS can support you find and keep a job. Your Support Coordinator can also help you find the right organisations and people to support you.
Plan Management can also be useful, by allowing you to access both registered and unregistered providers. This can be particularly useful when looking for work, as it opens up many options such as life and work coaches, private recruitment specialists, career counsellors and employment mentors who are sole traders, self-employed, or independent.
- There are many ways the NDIS can support you when it comes to employment. The support category in your NDIS plan called ‘Finding and Keeping a Job’ is specifically intended to help you build independence and skills to get into the workforce.
- Supports that are part of the category ‘Increased Social and Community Participation’ can also assist on your journey.
- Be specific about your employment goals in your planning meeting and – as always – take any supporting material you may have.
- Employers have a duty to ensure their premises is accessible for employees and provide any specialist equipment. This doesn’t fall on you.
- The NDIS offers special support to those leaving secondary school in a program called 'School Leaver Employment Supports’ (SLES).
- Explore other avenues to employment outside of the NDIS. Disability Employment Services (DES) is one service that provides support to people with a disability as they find and keep a job.
- Your Support Coordinator can help you find the right organisations and people to help you find and keep a job.
- Plan Management lets you use your NDIS funds to access unregistered as well as NDIS registered providers, opening up a much larger pool of supports to choose from.