What is the NDIS?

Are you living with a permanent disability and need support with everyday tasks at home, in the community and at your workplace?

Find out if you're eligible for the NDIS, what happens when you're an NDIS participant and how to access the right support and services for your situation.

In this article you will find information about:

What is the NDIS?

The NDIS stands for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Through the NDIS, Australians living with a permanent and significant disability can access support services to do with things like daily tasks at home, transport, employment, education, social interaction and well being.

APM provides NDIS Local Area Coordination services in locations across Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Call us on 1800 276 522 to talk with one of our team members about how we can support you.

Who funds the NDIS?

The NDIS is run by the National Disability Insurance Agency (also known as the NDIA). It is funded by the Australian Government and participating state and territory governments.

What does the NDIS fund?

The NDIS funds reasonable disability supports and services that help a person achieve their personal, social and employment goals.

To be funded by the NDIS, the support services must be related to your disability.

The NDIS does not fund support services that are the responsibility of another government agency or community organisation.

If you need a support or service that is not funded by the NDIS, the NDIS can still help you find and access the appropriate organisations even if you are not an NDIS participant.

Examples of support services that the NDIS funds include:

  • Help with everyday activities at home such as cooking, self-care and mobility.
  • Transport to work, social activities and daily errands such as shopping or medical appointments.
  • Modifying your home to make it safer and more accessible.
  • Help with home maintenance tasks like cleaning and gardening.
  • Employment support when looking for work.
  • Workplace modifications, equipment and support to help you succeed in your job.

Who is eligible for the NDIS?

The NDIS is for Australians who are living with a permanent and significant disability.

You may be eligible if you:

  • Have a permanent and significant disability that affects your ability to do everyday activities.
  • Are aged between 7 and 65 years old.
  • Live in Australia and are an Australian citizen, Permanent Visa holder or Protected Special Category Visa holder.
  • Usually need support from someone else because of your disability.
  • Use special equipment because of your disability.

If you're not eligible, the NDIS will still help find government and community services that might be the right fit for you.

How does the NDIS work?

The NDIS is delivered to eligible people across Australia through partners in the community. These are organisations that can help you access the support services which are relevant to you.

You can find Local Area Coordinator Partners in your local government area by searching on the NDIS website.

Local Area Coordinator Partners can help you:

  1. Find and connect with local services that are relevant to your situation, even if you're not an NDIS participant.
  2. Access the NDIS if you're eligible.

What locations does APM offer Partner in the Community services?

APM delivers NDIS Partners in the Community services in different locations across Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

You can contact APM Local Area Coordinators to find and access government and community support services right for you.

Find out more about the NDIS Local Area Coordination Services that APM offers, including specific locations.

NDIS for children under 9 years

If you are a parent of a child under 9 years old who has a developmental delay or disability, you can get in touch with a local Early Childhood Partner of the NDIS.

Early Childhood Partners can help you access support that's right for your child's individual needs and situation. That may include short or long term early childhood intervention support services.

Find out more about the NDIS for children under 9 years.

NDIS and aged care

If you are aged over 65, you aren't eligible for the NDIS but you may be eligible for other community and government support.

My Aged Care provides a range of government funded support for Australians over 65 years. That includes things like help around the home, short term rehabilitation services, moving into an aged care residence and more.

Find out about APM’s aged care assessments to empower you to live independently at home and access the right support services.

Other support services that might apply to you include:

If you need help finding the right support services near you, the NDIS can help even if you're not an NDIS participant.

How to access the NDIS

The steps below explain how to access the NDIS if you are aged between 7 and 65 years old.

1. Find out if you're eligible.

Read the eligibility information on the NDIS website to determine whether you're eligible.

If you are not eligible, you can still contact the NDIA for information about support services you could be eligible for.

2. Complete an access request.

You can either call the NDIA and ask to make an access request or complete an access request form and send it to the NDIA via email.

You can also call your Local Area Coordinator and ask for information on how to make an Access Request.

What is an access request form?

An access request form is the document you fill out when you apply for the NDIS.

You will need to provide information about your age, residency status and disability.

Your health professional will have to fill out part of the form or supply appropriate documents when you submit the form. You may be required to submit additional evidence about your disability and its impact on your life.

If you need assistance filling out the access request form, you can call your Local Area Coordinator.

3. Provide information about your disability.

You may be asked to provide additional information about your disability and how it affects your life.

This could include letters, health reports and signed forms from your health care providers.

Evidence should include information about your primary disability, when it was diagnosed (if relevant), how long it will last, available treatments and the specific impacts it has on your day-to-day life.

What happens when you're an NDIS participant?

NDIS participants can access funding for supports that relate to the goals in their NDIS plan. The steps below explain how to create a NDIS plan, use it and update it.

1. Create your NDIS plan

An NDIS plan explains ways you and your support services will work together to achieve your immediate, short term and long term goals.

If you are eligible for the NDIS, you will need to complete an Access Request. Then you will have a planning meeting with a Local Area Coordinator to help create your NDIS plan.

Your NDIS plan is personal to you and should include goals that are relevant to your needs and situation.

Everyone has different goals, but here are some examples of goals you might include in your NDIS plan:

  • Improving communication skills through speech therapy
  • Getting special equipment to help you perform everyday tasks at home
  • Learning new skills
  • Finding and keeping a job
  • Making friends and social connections

2. Start your plan

Most NDIS participants will work closely with a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) who will explain how to start using your plan.

That might include things like teaching you how to use the online portal for NDIS, connecting you with the right support services and checking in with you to see how your plan is going.

If there are no Local Area Coordinator partners or early childhood partners where you live, the NDIA might arrange a support coordinator to help you use your plan.

3. Review your plan

About 12 months after you create your plan, you will have your first plan review where you can talk about whether you're getting the right support to help you towards your goals – and if your plan needs changing.

As you progress with your plan, you might find that you need less or different kinds of support. It's important to work closely with your Local Area Coordinator or Support Coordinator to make sure you're getting the right support at the right time.

Who are NDIS service providers?

Service providers are the people, businesses and organisations that will support you to achieve your goals.

NDIS providers might offer a professional service, such as occupational therapy, speech therapy or physiotherapy.

You can also use the NDIS to:

  • Access a carer
  • Get assistive technologies at home and in the workplace
  • Get home modifications to make your house safer and more accessible

Do you need to use an NDIS registered service provider?

If your NDIS funding is managed by the NDIA, you will need to choose an NDIS registered service provider.

If your NDIS funding is managed by yourself or a Plan Manager, you may be able to use NDIS registered and non-registered service providers.

Read more: Find a registered provider.

Are Disability Employment Services part of the NDIS?

Disability Employment Services (DES) is a separate service to the NDIS.

Disability Employment Services is a government funded program which helps people living with injury, illness or disability find and keep a job.

You may be eligible for Disability Employment Services if you:

  • Are an Australian resident
  • Are between 14 to 65 years old
  • Are an NDIS participant or receive a disability support pension or income support payment
  • Are able to work between 8 and 30 hours a week

Find out more about how to access Disability Employment Services.

If you are not eligible for Disability Employment Services, you may be able to get employment support through the NDIS. Speak to your Local Coordinator Partner for more information.

Where to get more information

Use the following links to find more information about:

Speak to an APM consultant about accessing support which is right for you.

Whatever your needs, there are supports and services out there to help you achieve your goals at home, in your community and at your workplace.

At APM, we're passionate about helping people reach their goals and thrive in life.

If you’re looking for an NDIS Local Area Coordinator, employment services or support to stay in work, give us a call on 1800 276 276 to see how we can help.