The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a government program that provides funding and support to Australians who have permanent and significant disabilities.
The scheme is designed to ensure that people with disabilities can access necessary information and support, and connect with services in their local communities. This could be medical support services like doctors, counsellors, or physical therapists; social or community services; or assisted living services like home nursing care or NDIS cleaning services.
The program aims to empower people with disabilities by helping them improve their independence and quality of living, ease their participation in the community and help them reach their support goals.
To access the NDIS and its associated funding and supports, you must first determine whether you are eligible. If eligible, you will go through a planning process with an NDIS Support Coordinator to develop your individual NDIS plan and determine the funding you will receive.
General eligibility criteria
To access the NDIS you must have a permanent physical, mental or intellectual disability that reduces your ability to participate in activities, or perform everyday tasks or actions without support. This can include things like communication, social interaction, learning, mobility, and self-care. Your disability must also affect your capacity for social and economic participation.
Your condition must be recognised under the NDIS as needing reasonable and necessary supports. Reasonable and necessary must be directly related to a participant’s disability and help them to participate in the community, increase their independence, and help them pursue their goals, objectives and aspirations.
The NDIS is only eligible to people between the ages of 7 and 65. People over the age of 65 can access funding and support through the Australian aged care system. Children under the age of 6 with a developmental delay that can be reduced by early intervention may also be eligible for the scheme through the NDIS early childhood approach.
The scheme is also only available to Australian citizens, or those living in Australia with a permanent visa or a Protected Special Category Visa.
Providing evidence of your disability
To access the scheme, you will need to provide information about your disability including supporting evidence. Evidence must be recent and provided by your treating health professionals. This can include your GP, orthopaedic surgeon, occupational therapist, neurologist, psychologist, psychiatrist or physiotherapist.
The health professional providing the evidence should be the most appropriate person to provide evidence and have treated you for a significant period of time (e.g. at least six months).
Appropriate evidence must be recent and confirm your primary disability as well as how it impacts different areas of your life. It should also document previous treatments and outcomes as well as future potential treatment options and expected outcomes.
Find out if you’re eligible
To find out if you’re eligible for NDIS support, you can complete the online eligibility checklist. This checklist will assess your age, residency status, support and equipment requirements, and disability.
If you meet the criteria you can make an access request by calling the NDIS on 1800 800 110 or completing the online Access Request form.
As part of the Access Request process, you will need to confirm your identity and you will be asked a range of questions to see if you meet the NDIS access requirements.