NDIS Appeals

(Previously known as External Merits Review – Support Component or EMR-SC)

The NDIS Appeals has been set up to ensure that all people with disability, and others affected by reviewable decisions of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), have access to support when they are seeking review of those decisions in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

EMR-SC supports are not available to service providers.

How are NDIS Appeals services accessed?

Before a person can lodge an appeal to the AAT, and access the supports available under the NDIS Appeals, they must apply to the NDIA to have the decision reviewed internally. If they are dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal review they can then apply to the AAT for an external review. An application for an AAT review must be made within 28 days after you receive the decision from the National Disability Insurance Agency, but extensions can be granted by the AAT.

What type of assistance is available?

There are two main types of assistance available via the NDIS Appeals:

  • access to a skilled advocate who acts as a support person, and
  • access to legal services - where a case raises complex or novel legal issues.

The services of a support person are provided by National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) agencies located in every National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) site. A support person can help by:

  • explaining the review process, including what is involved pursuing an appeal to the AAT
  • assisting with the preparation of the required documents
  • providing advice and skills so the person who is lodging the appeal can better represent themselves, or
  • attending AAT conferences and hearings to help the person to put their case to the AAT.

While the focus of NDIS Appeals is on providing non-legalistic supports, access to legal services can also be made available – where it is established by an assessment against criteria defined by the Department of Social Services that the case raises complex or novel legal issues. Legal services are provided by Legal Aid Commission personnel in every state and territory in which NDIS sites are located.

All services provided under NDIS Appeals are free of charge.

An NDIS Appeals pamphlet has been developed that briefly explains the process. There is also an NDIS Appeals Fact Sheet available with more information.

How to find an NDIS Appeals Provider

The Disability Advocacy Finder is a web-based application that has been developed to assist people with disabilities, carers and their families, to search for NDIS Appeals providers, government and state funded disability advocacy agencies.

You can also contact an NDIS Appeals provider through the following links:









For full agency details, see the NDIS Appeals Support Person Providers Contact List.

Legal services can only be accessed following a referral from the support person, Legal Aid Commission or other legal representative of the AAT applicant.

NDIS Appeals Program Guidelines

The Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS) has developed a suite of Program Guidelines which provides grants funding, and the suite of Activities that contribute to that Program. The Program Guidelines provide the key starting point for organisations who are considering whether to seek funding, and form a business relationship with DSS.

Information about the Disability and Carer Support Activity, which includes the NDIS Appeals is available through the Disability, Mental Health and Carers Program.

Operational Guidelines are also available as an adjunct to the DSS’ Program Guidelines, for the NDIS Appeals. These provide more specific information about the program, and should be viewed in conjunction with DSS Program Guidelines.


The Department can be contacted about the NDIS Appeals via:

Department of Social Services
Disability and Carers Group
Tuggeranong Office Park, PO Box 9820
Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610


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