Who is eligible for support through the NDIS?
You may be eligible for the NDIS if you:
- are an Australian citizens or have permanent residency
- are under 65 years of age when you first use the scheme
- have a disability that is likely to be permanent and stops you from doing everyday things.
We know many people living with mental health conditions will do better with lifetime psychosocial support, even though how much support a person needs may change over time.
NDIS is a support scheme for people who would otherwise have difficulty living an ‘ordinary life’. The NDIS will be available to you as long as you need support to do everyday activities.
What sorts of support services can you get?
Everyone is different, and the type of support you need will be different to the next person. It may also change over time as you achieve goals and are more confident in your day-to-day life.
What you can claim for will depend on the support plan that is approved for you. This plan can change from year to year, as necessary, but it sets out the kinds of support services you can claim for.
Broadly, the support services covered by NDIS funding come under the areas of:
- daily living
- health and wellbeing
- lifelong learning
- social and community participation
- choice and control
Choosing your providers
You choose the providers you want to deliver the services you need. Most people will start in the scheme with their current provider/s, but they will begin to use other providers as they become aware of what else is available and get used to the new system.
You can choose how to manage the funding for the supports in your plan.
When meeting with a NDIS planner to develop a plan, you will need to decide which plan management option is right for you.
Your first plan
Once accepted into the scheme, you (and any nominated family member or other carer) will have support from an NDIA–appointed planner to create your first plan.
If you are already using support services, it is likely that your current support arrangements will be ‘rolled’ into this first plan – providing you are happy with the provider and the support you receive through them.
Your first plan will generally be in place for 12 months before the agency that operates the NDIS (known as the NDIA) work with you to make any changes.
It will be important to think about how your first plan is working for you – what is good and what is not. This will help you prepare for your next plan at your plan review.
Your plan budget
Your plan will be divided into separate support budgets which link to an area of your life in which you have improvement goal(s).
The funds allocated to one budget cannot be swapped to any other budget in your plan.
You cannot spend over the total amount allocated to each budget and the amount allocated will not change during your current plan.
There are 4 options for how a budget is managed and support providers paid:
1. Self-managed budgets
For budget(s) that are self-managed, the NDIS will pay you directly for the supports in those budget(s). If you are self-managing all or some of the budgets in your plan, please read: Self-managing budgets my NDIS plan
2. Agency managed budgets
For budget(s) that are agency managed, the NDIS will pay your support provider directly.
3. Plan Management Provider managed budgets
For budget(s) that are managed by a Plan Management Provider, the NDIS will pay your Plan Manager directly for these supports.
4. Automated transport payments
For a transport budget that is set up as an automated payment, the NDIS will pay you directly into your nominated bank account. You will be paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on what you have agreed during your planning conversation.
Not all plans will have a transport budget. The NDIS is only responsible for the 'reasonable and necessary' contribution toward the costs of taxis or other private transport options for those not able to travel independently or use public transport because of their disability.
Family and carers in the NDIS
Each NDIS participant will have their own plan reflecting their goals, personal circumstances and support needs. While the focus of the plan is the person enrolled in the scheme, the types of supports in the participant’s plan may also have direct or indirect benefits for families and carers.
Families and carers are recognised for the love, care and support they give to their family member. What the NDIS aims to do is support family and carers in that role – as a mum or dad, partner or spouse, brother or sister, grandparent, extended family member or friend.
The NDIS will provide information, referral and links to relevant services to ensure families and carers can get help in the community to support them in their role.
Find out more about families and carers in the NDIS.
This section includes useful links related to NDIS pathways, support, preparing for the NDIS and more.
Have a look at the reimagine today website - produced by the Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) with funding from the NDIA, and co-designed by people living with mental health conditions. The site:
outlines the steps and processes required to access the Scheme
explains the language of the NDIS including psychosocial disability with the use of a glossary
helps potential participants and their support people prepare their access request through interactive activities
helps potential participants and their support people identify goals and aspirations to support them in the planning process
provides hints and tips from people who have been through the process, and
links people who may not meet the eligibility criteria to other services available.