NDIS eligibility: everything you need to know

The NDIS provides ongoing support and services for people living with a lifelong disability. Find out if you’re eligible.

Participants of the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) can access support and services to help them carry out day to day tasks at home, in the workplace and in the community.

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

In this guide to NDIS eligibility, we discuss who can access the NDIS and what to do if you’re not eligible.

If you need to talk to someone about the NDIS or other services you might be eligible for, you can call an NDIS Local Area Coordinator such as APM.

We provide Local Area Coordination services in locations across Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

What are the NDIS eligibility requirements?

In brief, to be eligible for the NDIS, you need to be:

  • Aged between 7 and 65 years old
  • An Australian resident
  • Living with a permanent and significant disability

You may not be eligible if there are other supports and services which may be more suitable for your needs.

Use the following questions to help work out if you meet the NDIS eligibility requirements.

Are you aged between 7 and 65 years old?

To access the NDIS, you must be aged between 7 and 65 years old. If you are outside that age bracket, other services may be available to you.

NDIS for children under 7 years old

If you have a child under 7 years old with a developmental delay or disability, you may be eligible for support through the NDIS early childhood approach.

Find out more about NDIS for a child under 7.

NDIS and aged care

If you are over the age of 65, you may be eligible for other services such as My Aged Care.

Are you an Australian resident?

To be eligible for the NDIS, you must live in Australia and fit one of the following categories:

  • Australian citizen
  • Permanent Visa holder
  • Protected Special Category Visa holder

Do you live with a permanent disability?

The NDIS provides support for people living with a disability that is likely to be lifelong.

That includes disabilities and impairments within the following categories:

  • Intellectual
  • Cognitive
  • Neurological
  • Sensory
  • Physical
  • Psychiatric

A disability is considered permanent if there are no known and available treatments that would relieve the impairment.

Does your disability impact your ability to do everyday tasks?

You may be eligible if your disability significantly affects your ability to perform everyday tasks or to participate economically or socially in your community.

This may include difficulty with things like:

  • Communication – understanding or being understood by others.
  • Social interaction – making and keeping friends, regulating emotions and interacting with the community.
  • Mobility – moving around the home and public spaces and performing everyday tasks.
  • Learning – learning new things, applying new skills and understanding information.
  • Self-care – activities such as bathing, feeding, dressing, toileting and grooming.
  • Self-management – organising your life, making decisions and taking responsibility.

Are your support needs ongoing?

If you need ongoing support from someone else or use special equipment to help with everyday tasks, you may be eligible.

The NDIS supports people who:

  • Are likely to need support for the rest of their lives; or
  • Need support now to reduce their future needs.

Are mental health conditions supported by the NDIS?

The NDIA uses the term “psychosocial disability” to describe a disability that arises from a mental health condition.

Not everyone who lives with a mental health condition like depression, anxiety or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will have a psychosocial disability.

However, some people require ongoing support as living with their mental condition has a significant impact on their day to day activities. They may be eligible for the NDIS.

The NDIS provides psychosocial recovery coaches to assist participants living with a psychosocial disability.

If you are living with a mental health condition and not eligible for the NDIS, you may be eligible for other types of support and services.

For example, if you are having difficulty finding employment, you may be eligible for Disability Employment Services. Providers like APM can assist people in finding a job with depression, anxiety, PTSD and other supported mental health conditions.

How to access the NDIS if you’re eligible

If you satisfy the questions above, you can make an access request to the NDIA. Access requests can be made by filling out an access request form or verbally over the phone.

The first part of the form will need to be completed by the applicant, or a parent, legal guardian or representative on their behalf.

The second part of the form will need to be completed by a treating health or education professional. 

You may also need to submit additional supporting documents to provide more information about your age, residential status and disability.

Find out more about how to access the NDIS.

What happens if you’re not eligible?

If you don’t meet the NDIS eligibility requirements, you may be eligible for other types of support and services. This may include government-funded services as well as community based services.

Even if you are not eligible for the NDIS, the NDIA and Local Area Coordinators like APM can still help you find services in your area that are suited to your situation.

This may include services like:

Find a list of further services on the NDIA website.

Need help? Get in touch with your Local Area Coordinator today.

APM is an NDIS Local Area Coordinator. We help deliver NDIS services to people living in locations across Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

If you have questions about NDIS eligibility or need assistance finding services that are right for your situation, we can help.

Call us today on 1800 276 276.

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact us via the National Relay Service.

If you require an interpreter to assist with your enquiry, please contact the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50.