The National Disability Insurance Scheme - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the NDIS?

The NDIS is a person centred system of support. This means that people with psychosocial disability should be at the centre of decisions about their lives. The NDIS is about empowering people to make choices and then supporting those choices. This represents a fundamental shift in the way in which support has been provided to people with severe and persistent mental illness and psychosocial disability in the past. 

A big focus of the NDIS is about ensuring social and economic participation for Australians with disability. What that means will be different for everyone. The person’s individual plan will be key to the NDIS

When will the NDIS be available in my area?

The NDIS is being progressively rolled out across Australia between 2013 and 2018. The first launch-sites commenced operation on 1 July 2013 in the following locations:

  • NSW (Hunter Valley)
  • South Australia (children aged 0-4)
  • Tasmania (young people aged 15-24)
  • Victoria (Barwon)

Additional launch-sites will commence operation from 1 July 2014 in the following locations:

  • Australian Capital Territory
  • Northern Territory (Barkly); and 
  • Western Australia (Perth Hills and Rockingham-Kwinana) 

The NDIS will commence progressively rolling out to all eligible participants in all jurisdictions except Western Australia from July 2016. 

For more information on when the NDIS will be available in your area, visit Roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme

How do I access the NDIS?

If you are currently receiving services through programs that are ‘in-scope’ for the NDIS you will receive an information pack from your current support provider.  This will contain a consent form which will ask your permission for the Agency to contact you about having your eligibility and support needs considered by the National Disability Insurance Agency.  You will need to complete the form and mail it to the Agency or give it to your provider.  

If you are not currently receiving services but think that you or someone you are caring for may be eligible for support through the NDIS due to psychosocial disability, there are a variety of means through which you can access the scheme. This includes: visiting the shop-fronts, by phone, or submitting an access request in writing or electronically. A support provider may also be able to assist you to access the scheme.

At present it is likely that only two launch-sites, Barwon and Hunter are processing access requests from people with psychosocial disability as the age cohort in Tasmania (young people aged 15-24) makes this unlikely and the South Australian launch-site is restricted to children. 


Will the planning conversation require me to spend a long time with the Agency? 

Each conversation will be tailored to meet the needs of each individual.  If you have some goals that you would like to achieve but your current supports are not adequate to help you to do this, we can just focus on what we might be able to do to support you with these goals.

If you want to have a more detailed conversation about, for example, how to make all your supports work better for you, or look at accessing different supports than you do now, then the NDIA can do that as well.

The NDIA has advised that there is no set time limit for the planning conversation.  It will depend on your needs, how much adjustment might be necessary to your current supports, and the availability of other information that the planner might have. 

What Help Can I Get?

The National Disability Insurance Agency has produced the following summary of what help it can provide people with disabilities, whether they are eligible for tier 3 supports or whether they qualify for information and referral services (tier 2). For more information, go to What help can I get?

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