What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is designed to provide Australians who have a disability with reasonable and necessary support in their everyday life.

Key points

  • The NDIS was launched in 2016 with the last stage rolled out in 2020
  • The National Disability Insurance Agency coordinates the Scheme
  • The NDIS allows people with disability to access the supports they need to reach goals

NDIS rollout

It was NDIS was officially launched in 2016 after a successful three year trial period. The NDIS was initially introduced to centralise disability support and replace most state-based funding.

The scheme was rolled out across Australia in stages with the last staged rolled out in July 2020. The NDIS now supports, as of 8 November 2021, an estimated 484,700 people with disability.

Who runs it?

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the independent Commonwealth Government agency coordinating the insurance scheme.

It is the central body that provides information and referrals, linking participants to services and activities in order to deliver the best individualised NDIS plans.

Taking a lifetime approach, the agency will continue to provide the NDIS for people with disability, their family and carers for as long as they need to improve overall outcomes.

NDIS objectives

The NDIS funds supports that are are necessary for you to achieve your goals.

The scheme recognises that needs and goals are different for everyone but the overall aim is to:

  • Help you develop greater independence

  • Assist you to get more involved in the community

  • Support you in getting a job

  • Find ways to improve your overall wellbeing

The NDIS funds supports that are are necessary for you to achieve your goals.

Services and support

In your NDIS plan, you are able to receive core, day-to-day living support for a range of activities so you can start or continue your participation in the community.

You may also be entitled to capital supports which will give you access to resources or equipment such as wheelchairs, assistive technology and home or car modifications.

There is also an option for capacity building supports that help you develop life skills, educational opportunities or find employment.

For more information, read our guide to NDIS supports.

Accessing the NDIS

The NDIS is available to all eligible individuals across Australia.

To determine if you are eligible, you will need to live in an area where it is available, be under the age of 65 and have a disability that affects your ability to perform everyday activities. Learn more about NDIS eligibility here.

If you have a lifelong condition recognised under the NDIS or a child under 6 with developmental delay that can be reduced by early intervention, an NDIS plan can be designed just for you.

How to apply for the NDIS

After confirming your eligibility status, you can contact the NDIA (1800 800 110) to have an access request form sent to you or you can download one from the NDIS website.

Complete the access form, ensuring you include your personal details and other supporting medical documents to help the NDIA successfully process your application.

If you have a serious condition or impairment such as blindness or cerebral palsy then you do not need to provide supporting information.

Once all information has been received, you will be contacted by the Agency. Learn more about applying for the NDIS here.