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 your 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 a trial site location (during the trial).

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

Where is the NDIS available?

The NDIS is being trialled in the following locations across Australia. The scheme will be rolled out nationally from 2016:

  • Australian Capital Territory
  • Barkly region, Northern Territory
  • Barwon region, Victoria
  • Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas, New South Wales
  • Perth Hills area, Western Australia
  • South Australia (for children aged 0–13)
  • Tasmania (for people age 15–24)

NDIS Evaluation

A comprehensive evaluation of the NDIS trial is being conducted by the National Institute of Labour Studies (NILS) at Flinders University of South Australia.

The evaluation will explore the impact of the NDIS on people with disability, and their families and carers; on the disability sector and workforce; and on selected mainstream providers and services.

In December 2013, the Council of Australian Governments Disability Reform Council approved the framework for the evaluation. The Evaluation Framework outlines the scope, design and high level methodology for the NDIS evaluation, and key evaluation challenges. It is now publicly available on the Australian Government Department of Social Services website. Please see below:

The Evaluation Framework recommends three evaluation reports. These are listed in Section 4.4 and Appendix C of the framework.

It has been necessary to adjust the timeframe for the delivery of these reports. The new reporting timeframes are:

  • Draft Initial Report by July 2015
  • Draft Intermediate Report by March 2016, and
  • Draft Final Report by November 2016.

The Evaluation Framework was current as at December 2013. Some information contained in the framework may now be out of date.

For up to date information about the progress of the NDIS trial, please refer to the NDIS website.

Up to date information about the progress of the NDIS evaluation is available on the National Institute of Labour Studies' NDIS evaluation 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. COAG will be providing a response to the review in July 2016.

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