NDIS explained   

What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (the NDIS) is a radical new way of funding disability services and supports in Australia.
The NDIS reforms will see the disability sector:
· Moving away from eight separate State/Territory funding schemes to one uniform, national scheme
· Changing from block funding of disability service provider organisations by governments, to individualised funding for people with disabilities based on individual needs assessments
· Ditching Australia’s old welfare and charity model of disability funding, replacing it with a legislatively guaranteed “insurance” model whereby all Australians who meet the eligibility criteria are  legally entitled to NDIS funding for all ‘necessary and reasonable’ supports.
By allocating funding for disability services and supports to people with disabilities themselves rather than to service provider organisations, and by introducing individualised funding packages, the NDIS aims to ensure that Australians with disability – and their families, where relevant – enjoy far greater choice and control over all necessary services and supports.
The NDIS will revolutionise the way people with a disability, their families and carers are supported in Australia. The below information explains the NDIS, how it will work and what it means for people with a disability.

Who can support me?

When you start your planning journey, it’s a good idea to identify whether you need support for the process.  If you do, then think about a person or a group of people who know you well and can assist you to develop your plan. This might be a family member, friend or an advocate – someone who knows you well, can provide some background about your needs and can make sure your voice is heard. Some people have chosen individuals or groups such as circles of support or micro-boards to support the planning process. While service providers or staff may know you well, it is better to have someone by your side who knows all parts of your life and your needs. You can access support to implement your plan, on a short term basis to get started, or on a longer term basis if you have complex needs that require specialist coordination.

When is the NDIS coming to my area?

After being trialled in sites across Australia, including the Barwon region in Victoria, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will roll out across Australia from July 2016 until 2019.
In Victoria from 1 July 2016, people who live in the local government areas of Yarra, Banyule, Darebin, Nillumbik and Whittlesea will be able to access the scheme.
Over the following years the NDIS will be transitioned across Victoria as follows.

From 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 the NDIS will start in.
North East Melbourne, Central Highlands, Loddon.
From 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 the NDIS will start in.
Inner Gippsland,Ovens Murray, Western District, Inner East Melbourne, Outer East Melbourne,Hume Moreland, Bayside Peninsula.
From 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 the NDIS will start in.
Southern Melbourne, Brimbank Melton, Western Melbourne, Goulburn, Outer Gippsland.
1 July 2019: Buloke, Mallee, Gannawarra, Mildura, Swan Hill, Greater Shepparton, Mitchell, Moira, Murrindindi, Strathbogie, Goulburn, East Gippsland, Wellington

Download: NDIS factsheet

Download: NDIS roll out in Victoria


How does NDIS planning work?

In the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), planning is all about you – your daily needs and lifelong goals – and the support you need to make it happen.

An NDIS plan outlines a person’s needs and goals, and the disability related services and support that will be funded to achieve those goals.

Goals are matched to support categories and each category included in the plan will have a budget to purchase supports.

What should I plan for?

When it’s your turn to plan for transition to the NDIS, you should think about what is important to you. You could start by thinking about:

  • what supports you currently access and whether these meet your needs
  • what you want to learn
  • where you want to live
  • what sort of work or community activity you want to do, and
  • whether you have enough support to do these things.

What services and support can people access under the NDIS?

The NDIS funds support under three categories:

  • Capital funding: for purchasing one off items such as equipment, technology or modifications.
  • Core funding: for day to day support required, such as personal care.
  • Capacity funding: for skill building, training and learning.

Supports must be considered to be ‘reasonable and necessary’ to be funded.

How do I access the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is in place to support Australians with a permanent disability - and the wider community.

The NDIS defines this as:

People with a permanent disability, their family and carers, by funding reasonable and necessary support for each person’s unique needs other community, health and social services, by ensuring people are connected to the right services, and all Australians, by providing a safety net for anyone who acquires a disability in the future.

The NDIS is expected to provide funding to around 460,000 Australians once it is rolled out across the nation.

Who is eligible for the NDIS?

Eligibility for the NDIS depends on where you live and the nature of your disability.

To access the NDIS, you must:

  • Live in an NDIS trial site or transition area
  • Have a permanent disability that:
    • reduces your ability to participate effectively in activities, or perform tasks or actions, unless you have support, and
    • affects your capacity for social and economic participation, and
    • means that you are likely to require support under the NDIS for a lifetime.

You must also be

  • an Australian citizen, or
  • the holder of a permanent visa, or
  • hold a Protected Special Category Visa, and
  • be aged under 65.

How does someone find out if they are eligible?

To find out if you are eligible for the NDIS funding, you can use an online tool called the NDIS Access Checklist.

This tool asks questions that can help you to work out if you are eligible for NDIS support.

For more information on eligibility, please visit the NDIS website or contact the National Disability Insurance Agency on 1800 800 110.


Easy English

 You can ask for an Easy English guide to preparation and planning under the NDIS. 

Click on Easy English Summary

What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is designed to empower people with disability to work towards achievements, to identify the disability related support they need and to choose where they would like to buy their supports.

The NDIS is a national no fault insurance scheme designed to change the way that disability services are delivered in Australia. It aims to do this by:

  • recognising that disability related support is an entitlement

  • acknowledging the right of all people to an ‘ordinary life’

  • matching funding to the support needed and placing control over the funding with the person and their support network

  • ensuring that providers discuss the service they will deliver with the person who will receive it through negotiation of individual service agreements

  • supporting a social model of disability support where the community sector contributes to support as they do for all community members, and

  • facilitating choice of provider in an open market.

People who are eligible work with the NDIS through a planning process, where they can identify their needs and goals, then develop a plan that identifies the disability related support they require.

From personal support, to assistance to access study or a dream job, the NDIS is all about empowering you to live a full and independent life.

After trials across Australia, the NDIS is rolling out nationally from July 2016.

Will I be notified when the NDIS comes to my area?

When the NDIS comes to your area, it is likely that you will be contacted by the NDIS to start working on your plan.

What will happen before the NDIS comes to my area?

If your area isn’t able to access the NDIS yet, it will be ‘business as usual’ for the disability supports you receive. It’s a good idea to start understanding and thinking about the NDIS early so you can make the most of the opportunity when it’s available to you.