What is the NDIS? - And Other FAQs
If you or someone you love lives with a disability, you may be eligible for support under the NDIS. This FAQ page will help to answer many of the questions you may have about eligibility, applying, and your options under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Explore our comprehensive NDIS & Disability Services Guide for in-depth insights and support options tailored to your needs.
What is the NDIS?
The NDIS, or National Disability Insurance Scheme, provides funding support to Australians living with a disability. The NDIS is overseen by the National Disability Insurance Agency, or NDIA. You can view their website for more information here.
How does the NDIS work?
The NDIS was introduced by the Australian Government to ensure that Australians living with a disability have access to care and support, no matter where they live. The national scheme provides support in the form of funding for care services and other costs related to a disability. This funding, crucially, is provided directly to the individual. This allows Australians living with or caring for someone with a disability to have greater control over their care and more autonomy over their lives and lifestyles.
Who is eligible for NDIS support?
All Australian residents and citizens between the ages of 7 and 65, living in Australia, and ‘experiencing a disability caused by a permanent impairment’ are potentially eligible for support from the NDIS. Those outside the ages of 7 and 65 may be eligible for support under a different scheme. Find out more and check the eligibility criteria for NDIS support here.
How to apply for NDIS support?
Applying for NDIS support can be done over the phone (call 1800 800 110) or by completing an online Access Request Form and returning it to the NDIS. If you need some extra help applying, you can contact your local area coordinator, early childhood partner, or NDIA office.
Is the NDIS means tested?
The NDIS is not means tested and has no impact on other types of support available, such as the carers allowance or disability support pension.
What does the NDIS cover?
The NDIS covers all kinds of support, including:
- Daily personal activities
- Transport to and from community, social, and daily life activities
- Workplace help that will assist you in maintaining your employment in the open or supported labour market
- Therapeutic supports including behaviour support
- Help around the home to allow you to remain living at home
- Home modifications to design or construction that make it easier for you to live at home
- Mobility equipment and vehicle modifications
The kinds of support NOT covered by the NDIS include things that are covered by another support or health program or are not related to your disability or support needs. Find out more here.
How to get an NDIS plan?
If you have received an ‘access decision letter’ approving your access to the NDIS, the next step is to create your plan. Everyone’s plan is different. Your plan will be worked out with your input, to create a written agreement that answers questions including:
- How you are doing in different areas of your life
- Any goals you would like to pursue
- What kinds of support you need
The NDIS will set up a planning meeting with you, to discuss these questions and help create your plan. There is some excellent information on the NDIS website to help you prepare for your planning meeting and get the most out of it. Visit the site here.
What is NDIS plan management?
NDIS plan management is optional and refers to a provider supporting you to manage your NDIS funding. These providers are known as plan managers and differ from the NDIA managing the funding in your NDIS plan or choosing to self-manage your NDIS plan. Your plan manager, if you choose to use one, can help you to:
- Enhance your financial and plan management skills
- Learn to self-manage your plan if you would like greater control of your care
- Manage payments to your providers
- Increase your choice of providers
- Help with getting NDIS budget reports and offer greater budget oversight
A plan manager’s services can be covered under NDIS funding. If you would like to use a plan manager, you can request this in your planning meeting. Or, if you are already involved with an NDIS plan, you can request changes such as employing a plan manager by calling 1800 800 110.
How to apply for NDIS for my child?
If your child is over 7 years of age, they may be eligible for support from the NDIS. You can find out more about applying – including checking eligibility criteria and completing the Access Request Form – here.
If your child is under 7 and experiencing a developmental delay, you can learn more about the ‘early childhood approach’ and funding here.
Does the NDIS cover dental?
No, the NDIS does not cover dental, as this is covered by other government health services and is not considered to be related to your disability.
How is the NDIS funded?
The NDIS is funded by both the Commonwealth and state and territory governments, with the Commonwealth providing just over half of the total funding. This approach and funding arrangements are revisited every five years.
How much does the NDIS pay?
The NDIS provides funding to support participants in purchasing a variety of reasonable and necessary supports, to help increase their independence and social and economic participation. The funding you will receive under the NDIS depends on your individual participant budget, but you are free to choose which provider/s deliver your services. Although service providers may have different pricing for their support services, the amount the NDIS will fund is fixed. These fixed prices are outlined in the NDIS price guide here.
Is ADHD covered by the NDIS?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is not covered by the NDIS. However, if there is another disability present that could be considered a primary disability, a person with ADHD may be eligible for cover for that primary disability.
What can I buy with NDIS consumables?
The NDIS funds the cost of certain consumables that may be necessary to manage your disability-related needs. Items considered to be ‘reasonable and necessary’, up to the value of $1,500 are covered. The funding for consumables is flexible, which means that you can decide how best to spend your allocated budget. However, you will need to track your expenses throughout the year. The types of things you can buy with your NDIS consumables budget include:
- Disability-related skincare and wound care
- Food preparation products and eating aids
- Product and equipment delivery, unpacking, or labour services
- Specialised mattresses and pillows
- Nappies, pull-ups, and continence products
- Pumps for syringes for nutrition purposes
- Personal care and safety products
- Low-cost vision or hearing-related assistive technology
You can find more information on the types of consumables you can buy under the NDIS consumables budget here.
Can the NDIS help with housing?
The NDIA aims to break down barriers for people living with a disability and allows them greater control over where they live and with whom. This means NDIS funding extends to a range of housing options and living arrangements, including community housing in Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), Supported Independent Living (SIL), and more. You can find out more about how the NDIS can help with housing here.
Does each state have its own NDIS code of conduct?
The NDIS code of conduct is national and outlined by the NDIA. You can read it here.
Can the NDIS help with moving house?
Generally, yes, the NDIS can help with the costs associated with moving house. For more information see their operational guidelines or give them a call on 1800 800 110.
Does the NDIS cover prescription glasses?
No, prescription glasses are covered by the health system rather than the NDIS.
Does the NDIS cover psychiatry?
The NDIS does not typically fund clinical support from a mental health professional. This type of support is usually funded by other health services. However, the NDIS may provide support to assist you with associated costs, including making it to psychiatry/psychology appointments. Find out more here.
What is the NDIS worker screening check?
Some types of workers delivering services under the NDIS are required to comply with a worker screening check. If you live in New South Wales, this is called the NDIS Worker Check or NDISWC. Find out more about the worker screening check and how to apply here.
What does NDIS stand for?
See ‘What is the NDIS?’ above.
How to apply for the NDIS?
See ‘How to apply for NDIS support’ above.
What is NDIS funding?
See ‘What is the NDIS’ above.
How to apply for NDIS funding/ How to get NDIS funding?
See ‘How to apply for NDIS support’ above.
What can NDIS funds be used for/ What does NDIS pay for?
See ‘What does the NDIS cover?’ above.
What disabilities does NDIS cover?
See ‘What does the NDIS cover?’ above.
Does NDIS cover psychology ?
See ‘Does NDIS cover psychiatry?’ above.
How to apply for NDIS worker screening check?
See ‘What is NDIS worker screening check?’ above.
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