How NDIS works, how to navigate your way through it and how it will transform your life.

The NDIS trials are underway and the full rollout is getting close. How does it all work?

The full roll of the NDIS has started in many areas of Australia. How does it all work?
The NDIS connects and supports.
The NDIS is a national scheme to provide targeted support and better coordination and access to services for people with disability. It’s a single national system, which means regardless of what kind of disability you have and where you live, you will be able to equally access existing services.
The choice and control the NDIS offers means you can work with your own carers or with registered external carers and supports. You and your family will have more control over choosing the services that work best for you and get the support you need.

It’s a huge change to the way disability support services are delivered. To make the transition as smooth as possible the NDIS is being rolled out in stages around the country based on the experiences from NDIS trial sites over the past three years.
Roll out timetables have been developed by each state and territory. In some states the roll out will be geographically based, in others it is age based.

Roll Out

The NDIS was launched in trial sites on 1 July 2013. The Scheme is being progressively rolled out over the next few years across Australia. In each State or Territory, the roll out will be staged to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. Everyone who needs the NDIS will have access by 2020.

For a detailed map on the Roll Out, use this link; http://www.everyaustraliancounts.com.au/about-ndis/rollout/


The NDIS supports people with significant and permanent disability that affects how they can independently take part in everyday activities.

By developing individualised and personal support plans with NDIS participants, the Scheme takes into account the circumstances of families and carers as well as the person with disability.

To receive an individualised support plan you must meet certain eligibility criteria:

– you have a significant and permanent disability. This can include a disability that is ‘episodic’, meaning that some days are more affected by it than others

– you are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen who holds a Protected Special Category Visa

– you are younger than 65 when you make a formal request to join the NDIS (once you are in though, you have the NDIS for life)

NDIS Access Checklist

An accessible on-line list of questions, the Access Checklist, will tell you in a few minutes if the NDIS will be likely to support you.

It checks information about you, your age, where you live and any supports you may need to live your life. It is an easy needs-based assessment, rather than ruling in or out based on a specific type of disability.

Don’t worry if the NDIS isn’t in your area right away, as it’s rolling out across Australia over the next few years your existing supports will continue until then.

What You Can Get

What’s the NDIS all about?
The greatest strength of the NDIS is that it puts choice and control over the support you receive in your hands. Through personal, individualised planning and co-ordination – connecting the information, access and support you and your family or carers need to how you hope to live your life – the NDIS will improve the lives of people with disability and their families.

An agency responsible for the NDIS, the NDIA, will allocate you a planner, who may be called a local area coordinator or something similar in some states, who will help you bring it all together. It is their job to assist you put in place the disability support arrangements you need to live a better life. They can help you think about what your current and future needs and goals are. Importantly, you can plan for your immediate and longer term needs and as your circumstances change over time they can help you to make the changes that suit you as an individual.

The NDIS will fund what it calls “reasonable and necessary supports”. This means they are supports that are related to a person’s disability are value for money and are not day-to-day living costs.

Different kinds of support at different times


Sometimes it is as simple as needing a bit more information or checking now and then that your current services and supports fit with your life and goals.


If you need new or different supports, or you want to try a different support provider, your NDIS planner or local area coordinator can help you get there.

Choice and Control

It’s your life, your plan, and your future. The NDIS exists to make sure you can choose and control the ways your plan works to support you to live the life you want.

Making your plan work for you

Your first NDIS plan will be called My First Plan, but it’s not a ‘one-off’ event. The NDIS has been established to help you throughout your life. As your needs change your plan will help you look ahead and plan for the changes everyone goes through.

Some specific examples of support and services:

– Personal care

– Work and study

– Mobility and technological aids

– Living skills like shopping or cooking

– Connecting you with support groups and mentors

– Support for family and carers

– Therapy help like occupational therapy or physiotherapy

– Community and sports activities

– Accommodation services

How It Works

Check your eligibility for the NDIS

Check you are eligible for individual support within the NDIS.

If you just want information or a referral you can also contact the NDIS Agency (NDIA) directly.

Start planning

Get ready to make your plan before you are asked to make your plan.

Think about what you want in life – now or in the future. Think about what kind of supports you may need to help you live better now and live better in the future.

Talk through with your family and any carers who already support you about what’s missing in your current supports, activities and plans, your quality of life.

Get a better idea of what you believe you need and what will work for you, your family and carers.

Work with a planner

Meet with your NDIS planner or local area coordinator to talk through your needs and the supports you need to meet them. It’s a good idea to bring someone with you to any NDIS meeting for support.

At your NDIS meetings you’ll talk about getting your plan into action, what supports and services you can access and if you need more information.

The planner will work through a plan with you. The planner is there to help you to get your plan into action.

Choose your supports

Choosing supports is about thinking carefully about what you need to live your life to the full.

It’s also important that you ask around and to speak to people in your networks about their experiences. New tools are being developed every day that provide reviews of services providers to help you choose those that best fit your needs.

Once you have your plan in place

Once you have your NDIS plan in place you can choose how the funds are managed.

You can choose to manage your plan yourself – which is called self-managing. The NDIA will help and advise you if you decide to self-manage. There are also peers support groups and non-government organisations that can support and advise you.

If you chose not to self manage your NDIS plan, the NDIA will liaise directly with providers to organise payments on your behalf. However you will still remain in control of which providers you select and when and how your supports are delivered.