Fact Sheet - NDIS

NDIS heading

NDIS - extended version

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme?

The NDIS, funded by an increase to the Medicare levy, is a new insurance scheme that funds reasonable and necessary supports to assist individuals with a disability to:

  • pursue their goals, objectives and aspirations,

  • increase their independence,

  • increase social and economic participation, and

  • develop their capacity to actively take part in the community.

NDIS sites

Since 01st July 2016, the full NDIS scheme is being progressively rolled out across all states and territories (except WA). Further details are available at www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/our-sites

What does the NDIS mean for individuals and their families?

Under the NDIS, individuals eligible for a plan will have choice and control in purchasing supports and services that match their needs. To make the most of this opportunity, people with a disability (including students on the autism spectrum) and their families will need to be prepared to talk about their support needs and goals during a meeting with a NDIS planner. This meeting can often be an emotional time as some of the planning time is spent discussing your child’s difficulties and support needs.

Eligibility & access to the NDIS

To be eligible for a plan an individual needs to meet the following requirements:

  • have a permanent disability that significantly affects their ability to take part in everyday activities,

  • be aged less than 65 when they first access the scheme,

  • be an Australian citizen, live in Australia and hold a permanent visa or hold a Protected Special Category visa.

If your child meets these eligibility requirements then you need to complete an Access Request Form to apply for your child to become a participant in the NDIS. You can obtain this form by calling 1800 800 110 or by visiting your nearest NDIA office.

Pathway to NDIS support

The pathway that you will follow to access support depends on your child’s age. See Appendix A for a flowchart of the different pathways.

How to get the most out of my planning meeting?

Below are some guiding questions to assist you in preparing for your son/daughter’s initial meeting with an NDIS planner. Starting to collate existing documentation related to your child’s disability (such as Individual Education Plans and reports from doctors and therapists), will also help you to prepare for the meeting. Consider the following questions:


  • What are your son/daughter’s interests?

  • What areas do they have strengths in?

  • What would you like to see your son/daughter achieve in the next few years?

  • What can be done this year to help work towards this goal?


Support needs

  • What support does your son/daughter need to do everyday activities?

  • What support does your son/daughter need to access the community?

  • What support does your son/daughter need to access family life?

  • What support does your son/daughter need to access education/employment?

  • Does your son/daughter need any special equipment? (i.e. speech aid, sensory equipment)

  • Does your son/daughter have any travel needs? (i.e. travel training, taxis to access services)

  • What therapy/therapeutic supports does your son/daughter need? (including behaviour support)

  • What informal support does your son/daughter get from others?

  • Are there any other supports your son/daughter does not currently receive that would be beneficial?

Weekly routine

  • What is your son/daughter’s weekly schedule? (i.e. extra-curricular activities, therapist appointments)

  • What is your family’s weekly schedule?

  • What part/s of the week are the most challenging for your son/daughter? (i.e. getting to school on time, homework, managing other children’s commitments)

The planning meeting

  • Who will support you at the meeting? (i.e. a professional advocate, a family member)

  • What reports will you take to the meeting as supporting documents? (i.e. therapy reports)

  • Do you want to self-manage? If not, who will manage your funds (the NDIA/a plan nominee/a registered plan management provider)?

Choosing a service provider

  • Am I happy with my current service provider?

  • Do they provide the support my son/daughter needs?

  • Do they provide support during the hours my son/daughter need? (i.e. evenings)

  • Do they provide individual support packages as well as group programs?

Managing the funding for supports

  • Do you want to self manage the funds?

  • Do you want a service provider to manage the funds?

  • Do you want the NDIS to manage the funds?

  • Do you want a combination of the above?

Further information

National Disability Insurance Scheme website: http://www.ndis.gov.au/

Raising Children website: http://raisingchildren.net.au/ndis/national_disability_insurance_scheme.html


Appendix A: Pathways to access support from the NDIS


(Reviewed in September 2016)