What if my NDIS application is not successful?

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Not all people with disability are eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and, in fact, only about 10 percent of Australians with disability have an NDIS plan. So what can you do if your application for the NDIS is not accepted?

Key points

  • Not everyone gains access to the NDIS the first time they apply
  • In some cases, you may not fit the eligibility criteria or you may need to provide more evidence
  • There are some steps you can take if your application is not accepted

This article outlines why you may find yourself in this situation and the options for what you can do next.

Why would an application be rejected?

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), which runs the NDIS, may not accept an application to be part of the NDIS for a number of reasons.

This includes:

  • You haven’t provided enough information
  • Your disability is not considered permanent or likely to be permanent
  • Your disability is not considered to impact your ability to do everyday activities
  • You don’t meet the NDIS eligibility criteria, such as the residency requirement
  • The supports you need are best funded through mainstream or community services rather than the NDIS

What happens next?

You should be sent a letter from the NDIA explaining that your application was not accepted and the reason why this decision was made.

In some cases, the NDIA may ask you to collect more information to go with your application and give you a deadline of when this information needs to be provided by.

If you have questions about this information or how to get it you can ask the NDIA.

In the case that the NDIA decides you are not eligible for the NDIS and you disagree, you can ask for an internal review of the decision. This is where the NDIA will look over your application again and see whether the decision made was correct.

If you still disagree with the outcome of the internal review of the decision, you can go to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

If you are able to get new information about your disability and how it affects your life, for example, a formal diagnosis that shows it is permanent, or your circumstances otherwise change, you can make a new NDIS access request.

Your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) partner can guide you with the new access request.

Who can help?

Your LAC or ECEI can also help you with any action you take after receiving the initial decision from the NDIA. You don’t have to be accessing the NDIS to get help from either of these community partners.

They can also connect you with disability-related non-NDIS supports that may develop your skills, give you opportunities for community participation or ensure you get the most out of education or employment.

For example, a LAC may suggest you join a group at your local community centre or help you to find a tutor for your child that can visit after school hours.

A LAC or ECEI can connect you with an advocate if that is the kind of help you need to be able to access disability support.

The NDIA can also help you to find an advocate or to request an internal review of the decision to not let you access the NDIS.

If you end up taking your case to the AAT you may want to contact a lawyer, although you will have to pay for this yourself, or an advocate may also be able to lend support.

What else would you like to know about accessing disability supports? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content:
Am I eligible for the NDIS?
How to apply for the NDIS
Accessing disability support without NDIS