If you are a person living with disability, or if you are caring for someone with disability, you may be able to find publicly-funded services that provide support for you. Depending on where you live, disability services may be available through government agencies, or through a new programme called the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This page outlines how the NDIS works and where you can find out more.
What is disability?
The word ‘disability’ can mean many different things. To access services through the NDIS or other government-funded schemes, however, you will have to meet some requirements. To be eligible for NDIS services, you will need to:
- have a permanent or significant disability or developmental delay
- be a certain age when you apply
- live in a part of Australia where the NDIS is available
- be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent visa or a Protected Special Category visa
What is a participant?
People who meet these requirements are called ‘participants’. Carers and family members may also be brought into the NDIS planning process as participants.
The NDIS aims to provide each participant with their own funding for reasonable and necessary supports. Reasonable and necessary supports are defined as those supports that will help you:
- pursue your goals
- become more independent
- participate in social activities and work
- actively play a role in the community — for example, through having access to sports clubs and libraries
- enjoy a normal life
As a participant, you will be able to choose your service providers, and how you receive your support. See more here about controlling your own funding through your participant plan. The NDIS website also defines the types of supports funded.
What does transition to NDIS mean?
Because the NDIS is currently being rolled out across the country, the scheme is not yet available everywhere. If you are already receiving support from a state or territory government disability program, your support will continue as usual until you are contacted to move across to the NDIS.
People with disability who are not eligible for the NDIS will continue to receive support services that are consistent with what they are already receiving from the Commonwealth, state or territory government.
How disability services are funded by the NDIS
The NDIS is jointly funded and governed by the Australian Government and the states and territories. The scheme replaces current and former disability support services provided by state and territory governments. The NDIS is run by the Australian Government’s National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
Because the NDIS is replacing state and territory government schemes, and the rollout is taking place at different times across the country, there are some differences between states in the services that are available. To find out more about how the NDIS and disability services work in your state or territory look at the relevant page below.
Last reviewed: July 2018