National Disability Insurance Scheme

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports people with a permanent and significant disability that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities.

What does the scheme do?

The NDIS works with you to identify the supports you need to achieve goals in many aspects of your life. This may include independence, involvement in your community, education, employment and health and wellbeing.

It provides greater choice and control over how and when you receive your supports and ensures you receive the support you need over your lifetime.

It also focuses on early intervention where getting early support can reduce the impact of disability for you or your child.

Can I access the NDIS?

You need to meet the following requirements:

  • have a permanent and significant disability that affects your ability to take part in everyday activities
  • be aged less than 65 when you first access the scheme
  • be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen who holds a Protected Special Category Visa.
  • live in an area where the NDIS is available.

Use NDIS Access Checklist to find out if you can access the NDIS and register your interest.

Where is the NDIS available?

The NDIS is gradually being rolled out nationally over three years from 2016 to 2019.  To find out where the NDIS is available follow these links:

NDIS in Western Australia

The National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) Perth Hills trial site opened on 1 July 2014 for people with disability aged up to 65 living in the local government areas of Swan, Kalamunda and Mundaring.

On 28 April 2016, the Commonwealth Government announced the trial site would be extended by 12 months to 30 June 2017 to ensure people with disability continue to receive supports while a full scheme approach is finalised.

The trial area is also being expanded from 1 January 2017 to the local government areas of Bayswater, Bassendean, Chittering, Toodyay, York and Northam, covering more than 1200 people by 30 June 2017.

NDIS Evaluation

The independent evaluation of the NDIS was conducted by the National Institute of Labour Studies (NILS) at Flinders University, South Australia.  The evaluation has been tracking the roll-out of the NDIS since the Scheme’s start in July 2013.  The evaluation was completed in February 2018

The evaluation considered the impact of the NDIS on:

  • NDIS participants, and their families and carers;
  • the disability sector and workforce;
  • selected mainstream services;
  • the wider community

The following reports from the NDIS Evaluation have been published.

The Intermediate Report was used in the Productivity Commission’s review into NDIS costs.

For up to date information about the progress of the NDIS Transition to full scheme, please refer to the NDIS website.

NDIS Integrated Market, Sector and Workforce Strategy

On 24 April 2015 the Disability Reform Council (the Council) agreed the Integrated Market, Sector and Workforce Strategy (the strategy) in preparation for the full roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The strategy has been developed by the Commonwealth, states and territories and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to provide a clear plan to align market, sector and workforce development activities. The strategy provides a vision of what a robust market will look like and` how it will function. A key theme of the strategy is that over time, the role of governments in supporting the market will diminish as consumers and industry increasingly takes the lead shaping the future market of the NDIS. The strategy brings together actions that will occur at the local, jurisdictional and national levels to achieve a market characterised by effective and informed consumers, responsive and diverse suppliers of supports and an adequate and diverse workforce. The strategy provides guidance to governments and the NDIA in relation to implementing the NDIS so that it achieves a better life for people with disability and their families and carers. The strategy also considers how to leverage the existing work of jurisdictions to support the scheme’s implementation. The strategy has now been publically released and is available on the Integrated Market, Sector and Workforce Strategy page.

Commonwealth Programmes transitioning to the NDIS

The NDIS is being introduced gradually, ensuring a smooth transition for people with disability and service providers. The NDIS will eventually replace a range of Commonwealth funded disability programmes. Find more information on which Commonwealth programmes are transitioning to the NDIS.

Independent review of the NDIS Act

In July 2015, the Department of Social Services commissioned Ernst & Young to conduct an independent review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth). It is a requirement under section 208 of the NDIS Act 2013 that such a review be undertaken two years after the commencement of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The purpose of the review was to assess the operation of the NDIS Act 2013, as well as to consider whether or not any amendments can be made to better enable the Government to further the objects and principles of the NDIS Act 2013. As part of undertaking the review, Ernst & Young released a discussion paper and conducted public consultations with relevant stakeholders.

The Independent Review of the NDIS Act found that there are opportunities to provide greater clarity to the legislative framework and provided recommendations for consideration. Recommendations included strengthening the Objects and Principles of the Act, providing a more detailed definition of Information, Linkages, and Capacity Building (ILC) within the Act, addressing technical inadequacies of the legislation, and conducting another review in two to three years. Ernst and Young delivered their report in December 2015.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) considered the review’s recommendations and developed a response, which was agreed in December 2016.

View the COAG response to the independent Review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013.

Australian Government response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme report: Accommodation for people with disabilities and the National Disability Insurance Scheme

The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme report: Accommodation for people with disabilities and the National Disability Insurance Scheme was developed as part of the Committee’s review of the implementation, administration and expenditure of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This report was released in May 2016.

In the report, the Committee examined the issue of affordable and appropriate accommodation for people with disabilities. The Committee noted that a lack of appropriate accommodation can limit a person’s ability to fully exercise their individual choice and control, as well as their ability to fully participate in society and live an ordinary life like any other Australian.

The Australian Government welcomes this report and recognises the ongoing work of the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS in reviewing the implementation and administration of the Scheme. Since the Committee released this report in May 2016, there has been progress in the implementation of NDIS supports relating to housing and specialist disability accommodation (SDA), including development and finalisation of policy settings for SDA supports.  These are set out in the SDA Pricing and Payments Framework and the NDIS (Specialist Disability Accommodation) Rules 2017 and allow for SDA supports to be included in NDIS participant plans.

The Australian Government considered the report’s recommendations and has agreed five recommendations and notes one recommendation.

View the Australian Government response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme report: Accommodation for people with disabilities and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Australian Government response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme interim report: Provision of hearing services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme

The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (the Committee) released an interim report: Provision of hearing services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), in September 2017.

The Australian Government welcomes the Committee’s report as part of the Committee’s inquiry into the implementation, performance and governance of the NDIS.

The Committee’s report focuses on the NDIS access criteria for deaf and hard of hearing people, and access to and delivery of, early intervention services.

In September 2017, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIA) released revised access criteria guidelines for people with hearing impairment. The Committee’s interim report welcomes the release of the NDIA access criteria guidelines and notes that the revised access criteria for people aged 0-25 years is consistent with the current practices of Australian Hearing. The report notes that the revised guidelines have been broadly welcomed by stakeholders.

The interim report’s six recommendations relate to issues about the availability of services for people who are not eligible for the NDIS, eligibility criteria for determining access to the NDIS, referral pathways for access to early intervention services, and the adequacy and approach of early intervention reference packages for people aged 0 to 25 years of age.

The Australian Government considered the Committee’s recommendations and supports or partially supports all the recommendations made in the report.

View the Australian Government response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme interim report: Provision of hearing services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Australian Government response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme progress report: General issues around the implementation and performance of the NDIS

 Australian Government Response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme: Progress Report [PDF 420 kB]

 Australian Government Response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme: Progress Report [WORD 72kB]

The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme progress report: General issues around the implementation and performance of the NDIS covers events from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, and provides an overview of activities relating to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) implementation, performance and governance, as well as outlining the Committee’s activities during the year. The progress report considers issues raised to the Committee and provides its findings and recommendations. The progress report was released in September 2017.

The progress report made five recommendations to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) focused on improving the participant experience and reporting. Of the five recommendations, the Government agrees four, and agrees‑in‑principle to one.

The Australian Government recognises the ongoing work of the Committee in reviewing the national implementation of the scheme and welcomes the opportunity to address issues to ensure the NDIS is rolled out effectively and sustainably.

View the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme progress report: General issues around the implementation and performance of the NDIS.

Australian Government response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme inquiry: Transitional Arrangements for the NDIS

The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (the Committee) inquiry: Transitional Arrangements for the NDIS examines a range of issues affecting participants and providers of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as the responsibility for disability supports transitions from state and territory governments to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The inquiry report was released on 15 February 2018.

In the report, the Committee made 26 recommendations covering a range of issues relating to transition of the NDIS to full scheme. These include the interface between the NDIS and mainstream service systems; access, planning, review and support coordination processes; strategies to address thin markets; funding issues; and cultural appropriateness for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Australian Government recognises the ongoing work of the Committee in reviewing the national implementation of the scheme. The NDIS is designed to assist people with disability to achieve their goals while exercising choice and control, though it is acknowledged that a number of implementation challenges have emerged throughout the transition period. The Australian Government welcomes the opportunity to address issues affecting participants and providers to ensure that the NDIS is rolled out effectively and sustainably.

View the Australian Government response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme inquiry: Transitional Arrangements for the NDIS.

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