What is NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new way of offering support services to people with disabilities. The NDIS gives people with disabilities (or NDIS Participants) an opportunity to think about their own goals and ask for support service to help them achieve these. The main aim of the NDIS is to make services tailored to individual needs of people with disabilities. The funding is directly allocated to the participants who then look for providers to deliver services they need.

Blue triangle

Am I eligible for NDIS?

The NDIS Act 2013 sets out the rules and regulations related to all NDIS issues including eligibility for the scheme.

The main requirements for the NDIS are listed below:

  1. Residency Requirement

    To be eligible for the NDIS you must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or hold a Protection Special Category Visa; and
  2. Age

    NDIS is available to people under the age of 65 only; and
  3. Locality

    NDIS is not available in all areas. The NDIS is being rolled out throughout Australia over the next 3 years. You can only receive the NDIS if it is available in your area. Visit the NDIS website for more information on the roll out dates; and
  4. Disability or a medical condition

    You need to have a medical condition or a disability which is likely to be permanent and restricts your ability to do everyday things without a support from another person or equipment; or
  5. Early intervention

    if you have a medical condition or a disability that is likely to be permanent BUT if the right intervention is provided NOW it is likely to reduce your need for ongoing services later in life. Children under the age of 6, with the developmental delays, can also be eligible for the NDIS under the early intervention section - as long as the early intervention services are likely to reduce the need for service in the future. The interventions cannot be available through the existing health and education services.
    The first step to accessing the NDIS is to have your eligibility formally assessed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). You will need to complete the Access Request form and submit it to the NDIA for processing. The Access Request form can be requested by calling the NDIS on 1800 800 110 or attending your local NDIS office.

I Was Assessed As Eligible For NDIS - What Can I Expect Now?

Now that you have been assessed as eligible for the NDIS, your journey is only about to start.

Before you can access any NDIS supports or funding you will need to have a planning meeting with either the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), or their contracted agency. For adults and children over 6 years of age, the contracted agency will most likely be Uniting or St Vincent de Paul. Contact your local NDIS office for the list of funded local Early Childhood Planners.

At the planning meeting your needs and goals will be discussed, a care plan developed and forwarded to the NDIA for approval. Once approved, the plan will outline the support types and the amounts of funding allocated to each support type. Once your plan has been approved and budget allocated you can start looking for providers to deliver services you need.

NDIS Plan Management - What Are My Options?

During you planning meeting, the plan management options will be discussed and the following options offered to choose from:

  • to manage your own budget;
  • have a provider manage the budget for you; or
  • to part self-manage and part provider managed.

If you are able to manage the budget on your own, you can choose any provider to deliver your services, even if they are not approved by the NDIS. You will need to arrange all of your services and manage the payment transactions on your own.

A provider can manage the plan for you as long as they are approved to provide Plan Management by the NDIS.

Your elected plan management provider will manage the plan for you and will facilitate all payment transactions between the NDIS and your support providers. Support providers will need to be NDIS approved.

The part self-managed and part provider managed option will allow you to make the most of the other options. You will still be able to receive services from the NDIS non-approved providers from your self-managed portion and the rest will be managed by the plan manager. For more information on plan management visit the NDIS website.

I Have My NDIS Plan Approved - How Can I Find Providers?

You can start looking for service providers even before your NDIS plan has been approved. In fact, you should start searching for service providers and services they offer before your planning meeting.

This will give you a better understanding of services being offered in your local area and give you some ideas of supports you can ask for in your planning meeting. The My Place Portal will allow you to search for NDIS approved providers in your area. Contact the NDIS if you don’t have access to the portal.

InfoCare has a database of the NDIS approved but also NDIS non-approved providers giving you a greater overview of providers in your area. We also encourage providers to add additional information to their listings so you can have a better understanding of services, programs and products they offer.

What Other Services and Programs Can I Access Besides NDIS?

There are a range of programs and services offered to people with disabilities other than the NDIS. Please select the age group of the person needing support for more information on other support programs:

  • Early Childhood Support (0-6 years old)
  • Support for Children and Young People with Disabilities (7 - 18 years old)
  • Support for Adults with Disabilities (18-65 years old)
  • Support for Seniors (over 65 years old)