NDIS Appeals Program

Overview

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Appeals Program helps people with disability, and other people affected by reviewable decisions of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The Appeals Program helps you access support when seeking a decision review through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), or approved alternative dispute resolution models.

The NDIS Appeals Program is funded under the Department of Social Services’ Disability and Carers Support Activity. Information about the Disability and Carer Support Activity, including the NDIS Appeals Program, is available through the Disability and Carer Support Guidelines. Read the Operational Guidelines for more specific information on NDIS Appeals.

NDIS Appeals Program supports

There are 2 types of supports available under the ongoing NDIS Appeals Program, for people appealing internal NDIA decisions before the AAT:

  • access to a skilled disability advocate who acts as a support person
  • access to funding for legal services, where there is wider community benefit and/or disadvantage that would substantially benefit from legal representation.

Support persons are also National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) disability advocates. They are available in every state and territory. An NDIS Appeals Program advocate can help by:

  • explaining the review process, including what is involved in appealing to the AAT
  • helping to prepare documents
  • providing advice and skills so you can better represent yourself
  • attending AAT conferences and hearings to help you put your case to the AAT.

While the focus of the NDIS Appeals Program is advocacy support, you may also be able to access legal services. This is available where there is wider community benefit and/or disadvantage that would substantially benefit from legal representation. Legal Aid Commissions provide legal services. This will determine your eligibility by assessing your application against publicly available criteria.

All NDIS Appeals supports are free of charge.

A pamphlet is available with more information on NDIS Appeals:

Accessing support

Before accessing NDIS Appeals Program services you need to apply to the NDIA for an internal review. If you are unhappy with the outcome of the internal review you can apply to the AAT for an external review and access NDIS Appeals Program services.

An application for an AAT review must be made within 28 days of receiving the NDIA decision made. The AAT can grant extensions.

Applying for NDIS Appeals Program legal services

Legal Aid Commissions in the relevant state or territory assess applications and determine whether there would be wider community benefit and/or disadvantage that would substantially benefit from legal representation and are eligible for funding for legal services. You will need the following documents to apply for funding for legal services:

You must apply for funding of legal services by email or post. See the NDIS Appeals Application Form for more information.

There is a 30 day processing period for assessments.

Independent Expert Review supports

The Independent Expert Review (IER) program is being trialled in 2022–23 to help reduce the number of cases requiring an AAT hearing. The IER program aims to resolve disputes arising from NDIS decisions in a way that is accessible, fair and efficient and provides for better and earlier outcomes for NDIS participants.

If you have lodged an application for an external review with the AAT, the NDIA may invite you to take part in the IER program. This means an Independent Expert will review your case before your AAT hearing and recommend an outcome to you and the NDIA.

The Department of Social Services is funding advocacy and legal support for NDIS participants are invited to have their AAT appeals case considered through the IER program.

If you have received an invitation to participate in the IER, you may wish to contact the NDIS Independent Expert Review Advice Service (IERAS) Information line on 1800 44 1800 or email ieradvice@legalaid.qld.gov.au. The IERAS is a free national legal advice service that can support people with disability, their families and carers participating in the IER process. The IERAS is an initiative of National Legal Aid and can provide information, advice and referral to an advocate and/or a lawyer in your state/territory.

Advocacy support

A number of designated NDIS Appeals providers are able to offer IER advocacy support. To assist, they can:

  • provide information on the IER process
  • help you to decide on whether to participate in the IER or continue with an NDIS Appeal at the AAT
  • refer you to the IERAS
  • help prepare documents
  • help you to decide whether to accept the recommendations of the Independent Expert or to continue to the AAT.

To find advocacy support, visit the Support Services for People with Disability - Independent Expert Review (IER) page, or contact the IERAS Information line on 1800 44 1800 or on email ieradvice@legalaid.qld.gov.au.

Legal support

When you receive a recommendation from an Independent Expert, you may wish to contact the IERAS who can advise you about whether to accept the recommendation or continue at the AAT. To access legal assistance, contact the IERAS information line on 1800 44 1800. You can also contact them at ieradvice@legalaid.qld.gov.au.

Further information

For further information on the IER program, please visit the NDIS website: An improved approach to dispute resolution | NDIS.

If you have an NDIS Appeal at the AAT, you may be eligible to participate in the IER program. To enquire, contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110 or at independentexpertreview@ndis.gov.au.

Finding a provider

Use the map below to find to help you find an NDIS Appeals Program provider. Alternatively, relevant services in your area can be found using the Disability Advocacy Finder at AskIzzy - NDIS Appeals search. When using the Finder, you can filter by postcode, town or suburb to find your nearest provider.

Map of Australia

Contact

Contact the department about the NDIS Appeals Program via:

Email

disabilityadvocacy@dss.gov.au

Post

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

Last updated: