14 December 2021

If you are living with a permanent disability and need ongoing support, you could be eligible for the NDIS.

This guide explains how to access the NDIS, including what information you need to provide, what to do if your request is declined and where to get help.

What is the NDIS?

The NDIS stands for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It is a scheme funded by the Australian government to support people living with a permanent disability.

NDIS participants can access support and services to help them with everyday tasks at home, in the workplace and in the community.

Find out more about what the NDIS is and how it works.

Who can access the NDIS?

The NDIS supports people who are living with a significant and permanent disability. 

You may be eligible for the NDIS if you:

  • Are aged between 7 and 65 years old
  • Live in Australia and are an Australian Citizen or hold a Permanent or Special Category Visa
  • Live with a disability that is likely to be permanent (lifelong)
  • Need ongoing support to carry out everyday tasks

Find out more about NDIS eligibility.

How to access the NDIS for a child under 7

Children under 7 years old may be able to get help from the NDIA through the early childhood approach.

Find out more about NDIS for a child under 7 years old.

How to access the NDIS

The NDIS is delivered to participants through Local Area Coordinators (LACs) across Australia. 

APM provides Local Area Coordination services in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. You can contact us directly to discuss how we can support you in getting the services you need, including how to access the NDIS.

The steps below explain how to access the NDIS if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Step 1. Ask for an access request form

An access request is a form that you and a relevant healthcare or education professional must complete and submit to the NDIA for assessment.

The NDIA will use the information in your access request, as well as any supporting documents you submit, to assess whether you are eligible for the NDIS.

To get an access request form, you can:

  • Download the access form from the NDIA website
  • Call the NDIA and ask them to mail you a form
  • Call your Local Area Coordinator (see the areas that APM services)

You can also make a verbal access request by calling the NDIA and requesting to do so.

Step 2. Complete the personal details section (section 1)

The first section of the form asks you for personal information, such as:

  • Name
  • Citizenship and residency status
  • Address
  • Contact details
  • Overview of disability 

If you are a parent, legal guardian or representative filling out the form on behalf of someone else, you will need to complete Part D about yourself.

Step 3. Ask your treating professional to complete section 2

Section 2 of the access request form must be completed by a healthcare or education professional.

They will need to provide information about your primary disability, how it affects your day to day life and any assessments that have been conducted with you.

Step 4. Gather supporting documents

Along with your completed access request form, you will need to submit supporting documents which provide evidence about your age, residency status and disability.

If you are registered with Centrelink, your Centrelink records may be used to provide some of this information.

Step 5. Send the completed form to the NDIA

Completed access request forms and supporting documents can be sent to the NDIA by one of the options below:

If you have questions about the form or need help filling it out, you can contact the NDIA or call your Local Area Coordinator.

What supporting information do you need to submit to the NDIA?

In addition to the completed access request form, you will need to submit supporting information about your age, residency and disability. 

Proof of age

You will need to submit a copy of a document which has proof of your age such as your:

  • Birth certificate
  • Current passport
  • Proof of age card
  • Driver’s license

If you are registered with Centrelink, you can use your Centrelink records to confirm your age.

Proof of residency

For the NDIA to confirm your residency, you will need to send a copy of one of the following documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Australian Citizen or Naturalisation certificate
  • Foreign passport or travel document which includes a valid Australian Permanent Residency Visa or Protected Special Category Visa.

If you are registered with Centrelink, you can use your Centrelink records to confirm your residency status.

Information about your disability

An appropriate healthcare professional will need to fill out part 2 of the access request form. 

In addition, you may need to provide extra supporting information about your disability and the way it affects your life.

You should include copies of relevant:

  • Reports
  • Assessments
  • Letters

How long do you have to wait for your access request results?

Assessments typically take up to 21 days, however there may be circumstances when it takes longer. The NDIA may also give preference to urgent cases to reduce the assessment period.

How do you find out if your request has been accepted?

The NDIA will send you a letter with your access decision. You can request the information in the form of your choice, including electronic text, large print, audio or translated into your preferred language.

If your access request is accepted, the NDIA will contact you to discuss the funding, support and services that you might need.

What happens if your access request is declined?

If your access request was declined, the NDIA and Local Area Coordinators will be able to help you find and access other services which are more appropriate for your situation.

For example, a person living with PTSD and having trouble finding work may not require ongoing support from the NDIS. Support from Disability Employment Services in finding the best jobs for people with PTSD may be more appropriate to their situation.

If you disagree with the NDIA’s assessment, you can ask for them to review their decision.

If your situation changes in the future, you can complete a new access request form.

Need help? Speak with your Local Area Coordinator today.

Local Area Coordinators like APM are here to help you find support and services that can help you live a connected and fulfilled life.

Even if you are not eligible for the NDIS, we can help you find mainstream and community services which are right for you.

  • To speak to us about the NDIS, call us on 1800 276 522
  • For non-NDIS related enquiries, call us on 1800 276 276

For media enquiries, please contact

adrian.bradley@apm.net.au

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