What is the NDIS

What is the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports people with a permanent and significant disability which affects their ability to take part in everyday activities. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) implements the NDIS. 

The NDIS supports people with a disability to live an ordinary life. The type of support that is provided includes:

  • Support to achieve greater independence
  • Support to being more involved in the community 
  • Support in gaining employment, and
  • Support with improved wellbeing

The NDIS will fund reasonable and necessary supports that help people with disability to achieve their goals. The NDIS will not fund supports and services that are funded under mainstream services, but they will help the person with disability connect to those services.

Reasonable and necessary supports are associated with day-to-day living and help to improve a persons participation in their community and the workforce.

  • A resource or piece of equipment, such as wheelchair, assistive technology or home and car modifications, to help you live an ordinary life
  • helpful in building the skills a person needs to live the life they want, such as opportunities to work, further their education, volunteer or learn something new.

If a person is currently receiving disability services, they will be contacted before their region is scheduled to transition to the NDIS. Clients of defined programs and services will generally be considered to satisfy the disability requirements without further evidence being required.

If they are not currently receiving services, they will be able to apply to access the NDIS when it becomes available in their region during the staged roll-out across Australia.

People with Disability who are ineligible to apply for individual funding through the NDIS can still receive support from the NDIS with information, links and referrals to community and mainstream support services. 

To better understand how the NDIS supports people with disability, their families, and carers, visit www.ndis.gov.au or call 1800 800 110.

Please also scroll down to the Helpful Links section at the bottom of this page for additional information and links.


To be eligible for the NDIS, a person must:

  • Have a significant and permanent disability that substantially reduces their functional capacity, or they need access to early intervention supports
  • Be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, or a protected Special Category Visa holder
  • Be under the age of 65 when first applying to become a participant
  • Live in an area where the NDIS has begun
  • Where applicable, meet the age/or phasing requirements for that area during the staged roll-out across Australia

How to apply

Step 1. Fill in the NDIS Access Checklist

Step 2. Contact the NDIA for an Access request form on 1800 800 110

Step 3. Read Accessing the NDIS to understand the type of evidence required to support an access request

If you are a Mental Health carer, please click on this link for additional information and tips for communicating about psychosocial disability during the access assessment phase. When the person you care for has been assessed as eligible to access the scheme, you can support them to begin preparing for the planning meeting by completing the mental health carer checklist

For younger people living in residential aged care, nominees can click on this link for specific information on confirming eligibility.

Carers Australia has developed a Carer Checklist to support your understanding of how to breakdown the tasks and associated hours attached to supporting the person you care for. This will help you to identify supports that need to be included in a persons NDIS plan. For more information, click on Support for Families and Carers.

Review process

The NDIA has several review pathways available to people with disability, where they have been assessed as ineligible. Please click on the following link to understand the NDIS's Review of Decisions process.

You may also choose to receive support by contacting an advocacy service provider in your state or territory, to support your preparation in re-applying for the NDIS.

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