NDIS Terms and Definitions

While navigating the NDIS you may come across terminology you've never heard before. We’ve put together a glossary of commonly-used NDIS ‘terms and definitions’ to explain the meaning behind these words. 

Access requirements - Criteria that need to be met for someone to become a participant in the NDIS. These requirements are: you must be under 65 years of age, live in Australia as an Australian citizen or permanent resident and have a permanent disability or need early intervention.

Accessible - A place that is able to be reached, entered or used by every individual, including those with disability, for example by elevator, ramp or chair lift. 

Advocacy - A person or organisation that acts as your voice and supports your rights. Advocates campaign and speak up for social change, inclusion, equal rights and opportunity. 

Assistive technology - A product, device or equipment that helps maintain, increase or improve your skills and functional abilities. 

Agency managed - One of the funding options available where the funding included in a participant’s plan is managed by the NDIA. Participants can only choose service providers who are a NDIS registered provider. Providers will make a payment request for services from the Agency. Also see ‘Plan managed funding’ and ‘Self managed funding’.

Capacity building support - one of the three support groups under NDIS. Funding supports therapies and services that will help you build your skills and independence. 

Capital support - one of the three support groups under NDIS. Funding supports equipment to help with you to live independently or helps your carer to support you. Can also include funding for specialist accommodation. 

Core support - one of the three support groups under NDIS. Includes funding for supports that will help you go about your daily life.

Developmental delay - When a child develops at a slower rate than other children of the same age and doesn’t reach milestones at the expected times. 

Diagnosis - The identification of a disease, disorder, condition or disability following assessments, tests and discussion about symptoms. 

Disability - A physical, mental, cognitive or developmental condition that limits a person’s ability to engage or take part in everyday activities or interactions. The condition is permanent or likely to be permanent.

Eligibility - Whether a person is able to receive support through the NDIS. Certain access requirements need to be met to be able to enter the scheme.

Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) - Supports available under NDIS for children under the age of 6 years to help reduce the effects of a disability and improve their skills to limit the need of assistance in later life.

Formal support - When you pay someone to help you with things like going to the shops, helping you take a shower or preparing a meal. You may find these people through an agency or your service provider sends these people to help you.

Funding - supports paid for under the NDIS. These supports are documented in a person’s plan and must meet their goals and needs.

Government funded - Money or funds for supports made available by the State/Territory or Federal Government 

Informal support - Help you’re receiving from family, friends and social networks with things like cooking meals, going shopping or driving you to appointments. You don’t pay these people to help you.

Intervention support - A combination of the different supports available to help maintain or improve your independence and participation within your community. 

Local Area Coordinators (LAC) - Local community organisations that have partnered with the NDIA to help people with disability, their families and carers access and manage the NDIS by providing information, preparing plans and connecting participants to services and providers.

Modifications - Changes made to an environment, product or equipment to make it easier to use or access to help increase your independence. 

National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) - The independent Government agency that looks after the funding and coordination of the NDIS.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) - The Government run program that helps support people living with disability or early intervention needs to meet their individual needs, reach personal goals, participate in the community and increase their independence.

Participant - Someone who has been approved to receive supports through NDIS.

Participant statement - a document describing the goals and aspirations you want to achieve with the help of the NDIS. 

Plan - A document created under NDIS detailing the individual needs and goals of a participant and the types of supports that will be funded under the NDIS to help meet those goals.

Plan implementation - Organising the supports and funding within your NDIS plan so it works for you. 

Plan managed  - One of the funding options available where a Plan Manager manages a participant’s NDIS plan and will look after the payment of services and products. The Plan Manager is required to be an NDIS registered provider, but can connect participants with both NDIS registered providers and providers that aren’t registered with the Scheme. Also see ‘Agency managed funding’ and ‘Self managed funding’.

Plan manager - A professional who can help you get the most out of your NDIS funding by handling the paperwork and payments associated with your supports.

Plan review - Meeting with your LAC or NDIA representative to review your plan, measure your progress against your goals and discuss what supports are or aren’t working as well as explore and set new goals for your next plan.

Planning meeting - Meeting with a LAC or NDIA representative to discuss your needs and goals that will form the basis of a plan of supports. 

Provider - A person or organisation that delivers products or services to people living with disability. Also see ‘Registered provider’.

Registered provider - A person or organisation that has registered with NDIS and meets certain criteria to provide a product or service to participants of the NDIS. Also see ‘Provider’.

Registered provider - A person or organisation that has registered with the NDIS and meets certain criteria to provide a product or service to participants of the NDIS. Also see ‘Provider’.

Respite - A break from your usual living or caring environment. This could be at a day centre, within the community, at someone else’s home or in home support. 

Scheme - Other word for program. Used as a short term to refer to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Self managed - One of the funding options available to participants where they receive some or all of the funding from NDIS and manage payments for supports themselves. Also see ‘Agency managed funding’ and ‘Plan managed funding’.

Service agreement - a contract between a participant and a provider detailing the types of services and supports that will be delivered.

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) - Funding towards the cost of purpose built or specialist designed housing. Available under the Capital supports group to some high support needs NDIS participants.

Unregistered provider - A person or organisation that has chosen not to register with the NDIS and does not need to adhere to NDIA guidelines and pricing. Also see ‘Provider’. 

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