What is the NDIS?

Established back on 1 July 2013, with the full scheme being rolled out to all eligible Australians from 1 July 2020, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is Australia’s first national program designed to support people with disabilities.

Here’s how it works:


The NDIS provides funding directly to eligible individuals with permanent and significant disabilities.

To be eligible for a benefit under the NDIS, a person needs to meet certain criteria including:

  • They have a disability that is caused by an impairment and is likely to be permanent,
  • The impairment substantially reduces their functional capacity in mobility, communication, socialising, learning, or undertaking self-care or self-management tasks,
  • Impairment affects their ability to work, study, or take part in social life, and
  • They are likely to need NDIS support for life.

Importantly, to apply for NDIS support, a person must be under 65 years of age. However, where NDIS support is provided before turning 65, a person may choose to continue accessing NDIS support or access support through the Commonwealth aged care system, including the Commonwealth Home Support Package and Home Care Packages. This alternative support may be subject to income and assets testing.

Application Process

If a person believes they meet the eligibility criteria, they can contact their local NDIS office or local NDIS partner, or they can contact NDIS on 1800 800 110.

Alternatively, a person can apply for the NDIS by completing an Access Request Form.

Once a person receives an “access decision” letter confirming their eligibility, they move to the next step.

Creating a NDIS Plan

A NDIS plan is a written agreement tailored to an eligible applicant’s specific needs and goals.

During the planning process, the applicant discusses various aspects of their life, sets goals, and determines the type of support required.

The plan outlines the funding they will receive for services and support that align with their objectives.

Using the Plan:

After a plan is approved, there are providers who will assist in implementing it.

A successful applicant will have different types of budgets within their plan, and they can use the “myplace portal” to manage their funding, and access services.

Plan Reassessment:

Periodically, a NDIS plan will be reassessed to ensure it aligns with a person’s evolving needs and goals.

If necessary, adjustments can be made to better support eligible participants in pursuing their objectives.

One of the key questions often asked relates to the types of services that can be accessed through the NDIS. NDIS funding is provided to enable participants to access reasonable and necessary services to help them pursue their goals. This may include:

  • Assistance with daily living
  • Transport
  • Consumables
  • Assistance with social and community participation
  • Assistive technology
  • Home modifications
  • Assistance in finding and keeping a job
  • Improvements in health and well-being, learning, life choices, and daily living.

Importantly, NDIS does not cover day-to-day living costs and services more appropriately delivered by another system such as health or education.

The NDIS aims to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by providing funding for essential support, fostering independence, and connecting individuals to services within their communities. The scheme is constantly evolving and improving.

For more information on the NDIS, visit the NDIS website at