There are around 4.3 million Australians who have a disability. Within the next five years, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will provide more than $22 billion in funding a year to an estimated 500,000 Australians who have permanent and significant disability.
For many people, it will be the first time they receive the disability support they need.
The NDIS can provide all people with disability with information and connections to services in their communities such as doctors, sporting clubs, support groups, libraries and schools, as well as information about what support is provided by each state and territory government.
NDIS - What does it mean?
National: The NDIS is being introduced progressively across all states and territories.
Disability: The NDIS provides support to eligible people with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychosocial disability. Early intervention supports can also be provided for eligible people with disability or children with developmental delay.
Insurance: The NDIS gives all Australians peace of mind if they, their child or loved one is born with or acquires a permanent and significant disability, they will get the support they need.
Scheme: The NDIS is not a welfare system. The NDIS is designed to help people get the support they need so their skills and independence improve over time.
People who meet the NDIS access requirements are called participants. Participants receive funded supports and an individual plan. If you are a person with disability and want to join the NDIS, you need to meet the access requirements.
These include: availability of the Scheme where you live; your age; your residency status; your disability and in some cases your early intervention requirements.
If you think you meet these criteria, you can apply to join the NDIS.
Availability in your area
To access the NDIS right now, you must live in an area where the NDIS is available. In some of these areas, you also need to be a certain age to access the Scheme. Find out if the NDIS is available in your area:
Age limit on NDIS?
You must be under 65 years of age when you apply to join the Scheme.
To meet the residency requirements, you must live in Australia and:
An impairment that varies in intensity e.g. because the impairment is of a chronic episodic nature may still be permanent, and you may require support under the NDIS for your lifetime, despite the variation.
Upon receiving a valid access request, the NDIA must respond within 21 days. You can find more information about this in the NDIA Operational Guidelines. This timeframe applies to a person who resides in an NDIS area, and who has made a valid request with all relevant information and evidence about their disability or impairment.
In some cases, the NDIA may need more documents, assessments or evidence, which means it might take longer for your request to be assessed.