National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The NDIS is designed to provide personalized support and services to empower people with disabilities, enabling them to lead fulfilling lives and participate fully in their communities. With a focus on individualized care, choice, and early intervention, the NDIS aims to enhance independence, well-being, and inclusion for all participants. Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the NDIS.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a groundbreaking social reform initiated by the Australian Government to provide support to Australians with disability, their families, and carers. It represents a significant shift from previous disability support systems in Australia, moving towards a national, insurance-based model of funding personalized support for individuals with permanent and significant disability.

Key features and objectives of the NDIS include:

  1. Individualized Support: The NDIS provides tailored support to individuals based on their personal needs, goals, and aspirations. This person-centered approach ensures that people with disabilities receive the support they need to participate in community life and achieve their objectives.

  2. Lifetime Approach: The scheme takes a lifetime approach, investing in people with disability early to improve their outcomes later in life. This includes both immediate support needs and anticipating future needs.

  3. Choice and Control: A fundamental principle of the NDIS is to empower participants by giving them choice and control over the supports and services they receive. This allows individuals to choose the service providers they prefer and to decide how their support is delivered.

  4. Social and Economic Participation: The NDIS aims to help participants to engage more fully in social and economic life. This includes support for education, employment, social participation, and overall wellbeing.

  5. National Implementation: The scheme is being rolled out nationally, ensuring that people with disabilities across Australia have access to the support they need regardless of where they live.

  6. Funded Supports: The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports related to a person’s disability to help them achieve their goals. This includes a wide range of supports, such as personal care, access to community services, therapies, and assistive technologies.

  7. Eligibility: To be eligible for the NDIS, individuals must have a permanent and significant disability that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities. They must also be under the age of 65 when they first apply to join the scheme, and be an Australian citizen, a holder of a permanent visa, or a Protected Special Category visa holder.

The NDIS is administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), which is responsible for implementing the scheme across Australia. The NDIA works with participants to develop their individual plans, ensuring that the support provided is aligned with each person’s unique needs and goals.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a groundbreaking social reform in Australia, designed to provide support for Australians with a disability, their families, and carers. Implemented by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the NDIS represents a significant shift in the way disability services are funded and delivered across the country. Here’s how it helps people with disability:

  1. Individualised Support: The NDIS provides individuals with a permanent and significant disability with the support they need to live an ordinary life. This includes funding for reasonable and necessary supports related to the person’s disability to help them achieve their goals, including education, employment, social participation, and independence.

  2. Lifetime Approach: It takes a lifetime approach, investing in people with disability early to improve their outcomes later in life. This can include early intervention services for children, which are crucial for reducing the impact of a disability over a lifetime.

  3. Choice and Control: Participants in the NDIS have greater choice and control over their supports, including how, when, and where those supports are provided. This person-centred approach empowers individuals, giving them the opportunity to make decisions that best suit their needs and preferences.

  4. Social and Economic Participation: The scheme aims to help participants achieve their goals, including independence, community involvement, employment, and wellbeing. Supports may include personal care, access to community services, therapies, and assistive technologies.

  5. National Approach: Prior to the NDIS, disability services were provided by the states and territories with varying standards and levels of support. The NDIS introduces a uniform national system, ensuring that people with disability receive a consistent level of service no matter where they live in Australia.

  6. Funded Supports: The types of supports funded by the NDIS include education, employment, social participation, independence, living arrangements, and health and wellbeing. These are tailored to the individual’s needs and circumstances.

  7. Information, Linkages, and Capacity Building (ILC): Beyond individualised support, the NDIS also funds activities that build the capacity of the community and individuals with a disability. This includes providing information, linkages to services, and activities that foster community inclusion.

The NDIS represents a significant commitment by the Australian government to improve the lives of people with disabilities by ensuring they receive the support they need and deserve. It’s about providing equal opportunities and fostering an inclusive Australian society.

To become eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding in Australia, an individual must meet several criteria. These criteria are designed to ensure that the support provided by the NDIS is given to those who need it most due to their disability. Here are the main eligibility requirements:

  1. Age Requirement: The individual must be under 65 years of age at the time of applying.

  2. Residency Status: The person must be an Australian citizen, hold a Permanent Visa, or be a Protected Special Category Visa holder.

  3. Location: The individual must live in Australia in an area where the NDIS is available.

  4. Disability Requirement: The person must have a permanent and significant disability that affects their ability to participate in everyday activities. This includes intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive, and psychosocial disabilities.

    • A permanent disability means it is likely to be lifelong.
    • A significant disability impacts a person’s ability to perform one or more tasks or actions unless they have support or assistive technology.
  5. Early Intervention Requirements: Alternatively, if the person does not have a permanent disability, they might be eligible under the early intervention requirements. This means the person has a disability or condition that, with early support, can improve their abilities and reduce the impact of the disability or prevent the condition from becoming worse.

  6. Need for Support: The individual must need support from a person or equipment to do everyday activities and participate in the community and social and economic life.

  7. Likelihood of Benefit: There must be evidence that getting support now (early intervention supports for those without a permanent disability) will help the person to reduce their needs in the future.

The first step in applying for NDIS funding is to contact the NDIS or an NDIS Local Area Coordinator (LAC) to make an Access Request. This process involves providing evidence of your disability, which may include reports from medical practitioners, specialists, and other relevant professionals who understand your condition and how it impacts your life.

Once the NDIS confirms that you are eligible, you will work with a planner or local area coordinator to develop your NDIS plan. This plan will outline your goals and the supports funded by the NDIS to help you achieve them.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funds supports and services that are deemed reasonable and necessary to help participants achieve their goals, increase their independence, and participate in the community and workforce. These supports are designed to help individuals with a significant and permanent disability to enjoy an ordinary life. The NDIS funding covers a wide range of supports, categorized into several areas:

  1. Core Supports: These supports help with everyday activities, including:
    • Assistance with daily life tasks in a range of environments, including the home.
    • Transport to enable participation in community, social, economic, and daily life activities.
    • Consumables like products that assist the participant in their daily life and activities.


  1. Capital Supports: These are investments, such as assistive technologies, equipment, and home or vehicle modifications, and funding for capital costs, such as specialist disability accommodation.
    • Assistive technology includes items ranging from low-cost items like communication aids to more expensive items like wheelchairs or home modifications.
    • Home modifications might include changes to the structure, layout, or fittings of the participant’s home to enable them to move around and access the home more easily.


  1. Capacity Building Supports: These supports aim to build the participant’s independence and skills to participate in the community and employment. They are divided into several categories, including:
    • Improved living arrangements, to help participants obtain and retain appropriate accommodation.
    • Increased social and community participation, including support for engaging in social activities and training for skills development.
    • Finding and keeping a job, such as employment-related training and assessments.
    • Improved relationships, focusing on developing positive behaviors and interactions.
    • Improved health and wellbeing, including exercise advice and dietary planning.
    • Improved learning, such as advice on educational options and support.
    • Improved life choices, including planning and mentoring to increase participants’ ability to direct their own supports.
    • Improved daily living skills, such as therapy supports and training to increase the participant’s ability to live as autonomously as possible.

The NDIS does not fund services and supports that are not related to a person’s disability. Also, it does not cover day-to-day expenses that are not related to a participant’s disability support needs, such as groceries or rent, and services that are the responsibility of other government services, such as education, health, and transport infrastructure.

To determine the supports funded for an individual, the NDIS considers what is necessary for the person’s situation, including their existing support network, the effectiveness of the support in helping them achieve their goals, and whether the cost of the support is reasonable relative to the benefits it provides.


Managing your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan effectively is crucial to ensure you get the most out of your supports and services. There are several ways you can manage your NDIS plan, each with its own level of flexibility, responsibility, and control. Here are the different management options available:

  1. NDIS Managed (Agency Managed): This is when the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) manages your plan. Providers claim directly from the NDIA for the supports they deliver. This option requires you to use NDIS-registered providers, which can limit your choice of service providers but simplifies the process as you don’t have to handle the financial transactions yourself.

  2. Plan-Managed: In this option, you engage a Plan Manager to manage the financial aspects of your plan. The Plan Manager pays providers on your behalf and helps you keep track of your funds. Plan Managers must be NDIS-registered. This option offers greater flexibility because you can use both NDIS-registered and non-registered providers, giving you a wider choice of services and supports. The cost of a Plan Manager is covered by the NDIS and does not come out of your support budget.

  3. Self-Managed: Choosing to self-manage your NDIS plan gives you the highest level of flexibility and control. You are responsible for paying providers and managing your budget. Self-management allows you to use both registered and non-registered providers. It also enables you to negotiate pricing (within NDIS guidelines), manage your own paperwork, and claim reimbursement from the NDIS. This option requires a good understanding of financial management and record-keeping.

  4. Combination: It’s also possible to combine the above options across different parts of your plan. For example, you might choose to self-manage one part of your budget to use specific non-registered providers but have another part plan-managed to ease the administrative burden. This approach allows you to tailor the management of your NDIS plan to best suit your needs and preferences.

Each management option has its pros and cons, depending on your individual circumstances, capabilities, and the level of involvement you wish to have in managing your plan. When deciding how to manage your NDIS plan, consider your ability to handle administrative tasks, your preference for choosing service providers, and the level of control and flexibility you desire. You can change how your plan is managed by making a request to the NDIA, typically during your plan review.

An NDIS Service Agreement is a contract between an NDIS participant and their service provider(s) which clearly outlines what each party has agreed upon regarding the supports and services to be provided. The purpose of a Service Agreement is to ensure there is a mutual understanding of expectations, roles, and responsibilities, making the delivery of services smoother and more transparent for both the participant and the provider.

Key components of an NDIS Service Agreement typically include:

  1. Details of the Parties: The names and contact information of the NDIS participant and the service provider.

  2. Duration of the Agreement: Specifies when the agreement starts and ends, and under what conditions it can be reviewed, amended, or terminated.

  3. Services to be Provided: A detailed description of the supports and services that the provider will deliver, including how and when these services will be provided.

  4. Costs of Services: Detailed information on the pricing of the services, including the total cost, how it will be invoiced, and payment terms. It should align with the NDIS Price Guide to ensure the rates are within the allowable limits.

  5. Rights and Responsibilities: Clearly outlines the expectations for both the participant and the provider, including privacy and confidentiality, cancellation policies, and how to handle complaints or disputes.

  6. Goals and Outcomes: Identifies the participant’s goals and how the services provided will support the achievement of these goals, aligning with the objectives outlined in the participant’s NDIS plan.

  7. Review Process: Details on how and when the agreement will be reviewed, which is important for assessing the effectiveness of the services and making necessary adjustments.

Creating a Service Agreement provides a foundation for a positive relationship between participants and providers. It helps to prevent misunderstandings and ensures that the supports are delivered in a way that best meets the participant’s needs and aspirations. Participants can negotiate the terms of the Service Agreement with their providers to ensure that it reflects their individual circumstances and preferences. If a participant is unsure about the agreement, they can seek advice from a Plan Manager, Support Coordinator, legal representative, or another trusted person.