Q and A - 14 May
Q&A Subject: Accessing the NDIS
You can get an idea about whether you're eligible for the NDIS by answering the questions on the NDIS Access Checklist.
You might also want to visit the Access Requirements page. This page has more information about the basic access requirements that you will be assessed against to see if you can become an NDIS participant with an individual plan.
If you already receive supports from a State or Territory government, there are agreements in place which may mean you qualify to directly enter the Scheme. In this case, you will be contacted by someone from the NDIA when it is time to transition from your existing program into the Scheme.
Your existing supports and services will continue until you have an NDIS plan. The NDIS will use the information about your existing disability supports to help develop your plan. An NDIS representative will also have a conversation with you and/or your nominee to see if there are other supports you might need.
Your next steps are:
- The first step is to find out when the NDIS is available in your area and apply – you can do this by calling 1800 800 110 or visiting one of our offices. You will then fill out an Access Request Form. There is also a video and factsheet with further information to help with this step.
- Get ready for your planning conversation. There are lots of things you can write down by yourself or with a family member, carer or provider to help you get ready for your NDIS planning conversation. We will ask questions about how you are going in different areas of your life. This will help us to develop a plan that provides the right support for you. Read about getting ready for your planning conversation.
- Develop your NDIS plan. You will meet with your Early Childhood Partner, Local Area Coordinator or NDIA planner at a time that suits you. Your Early Childhood Partner or Local Area Coordinator will contact you to arrange a meeting in person or by phone, whichever you prefer. You will talk about you and your current supports, your weekly routine, your current and future goals and how your plan can be managed. Bring any relevant reports or assessments.
- Start your plan. Once you have had your planning conversation and developed your plan, it is time to start you plan. You can start your plan by yourself if you choose to self-manage your plan, or with the support of an Early Childhood Partner Local Area Coordinator or Support Coordinator, if you have one funded in your plan. There is a video and factsheet about starting your plan.
You can apply to enter the NDIS six months prior to the Scheme rolling out in your area.
If you already receive supports from a State or Territory government disability program, you will be contacted when it is time to transition to the NDIS.
If you don't currently receive supports you can visit an NDIS office to begin the access request process.
If you are applying on behalf of a child under the age of six, you will be referred to an Early Childhood Partner. They will work with you to understand your child's individual needs and circumstances.
They will also:
- connect you and your child with the most appropriate supports in your area, such as community health centre, playgroups, etc
- provide some short-term early intervention where it has been identified as the most appropriate support, and
- help you to request NDIS access if your child requires longer-term early childhood intervention supports. If your child becomes an NDIS participant the Early Childhood Partner will work with you to develop an NDIS plan.
If you are aged between seven and 65 you will most likely work with a Local Area Coordination (LAC) Partner to help you understand and access the NDIS. LACs can also help you fill out the Access Request Form.
The completing your access request form page provides you with information about the paperwork and evidence you'll need to provide when you apply for the NDIS.
To allow the NDIA to determine whether you meet the disability or early intervention access requirements, you may need to provide evidence of your disability. This includes information on what your disability is, how long it will last and how it impacts your life.
We have recently updated our guide for GP and Allied Health professionals (PDF) which can help people when working with their local health professional.
Providing clear information about your disability and its impact on your day-to-day life will support the NDIA to make a decision about your eligibility for the NDIS. Good evidence is:
- completed by a treating professional who is relevant to your primary disability;
- confirms your primary disability;
- confirms the impacts of your disability on the different areas of your life;
- describes previous treatments and outcomes; and
- describes future treatment options and expected outcomes of those treatments.
The treating professional who completes the evidence of your disability should:
- be the most appropriate person to provide evidence of your primary disability; and
- have treated you for a significant period of time (e.g. at least six months).
If you need help to getting your evidence together, your Local Area Coordinator can help.
Visit the Evidence of disability page for more information.