National Disability Insurance Scheme

Helping children and young people with disability live a good life


    The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was created through the NDIS Act 2013 to provide support and services for people with permanent or significant
    disability from 0 to 65 years old to live an ordinary life.

    The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the government agency implementing and managing the NDIS. The NDIS has also community partners delivering early childhood early intervention and local area coordinator services.

    The NDIS participants will receive funding for reasonable and necessary supports according to the following criteria in section 34 of the NDIS Act 2013:

    • The support will assist the participant to pursue the goals, objectives and aspirations
    • Disability-related supports
    • The support will assist the participant to undertake activities to facilitate the participant’s social and economic participation
    • The support represents value for money
    • The funding or provision of the support takes account of what it is reasonable to expect families, carers, informal networks and the community to provide
    • Supports that are not funded or provided by other systems

    Useful link:

    Image description: Boy in a park

    NDIS pathways

    The NDIS has three pathways

    • Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach supports children aged 0-6 years who have a developmental delay or disability, and their families/carers
    • NDIS standard pathway which supports for participants from 7 to 65 years old
    • Complex support needs pathway to provide specialised support for participants who require a higher level of assistance in their plans. Examples of this are the participants dealing with multiple systems, for example the NDIS and health or justice system. The Complex Needs Support Pathway started on the 30th November 2018 and is being progressively rolled out nationally.

    Useful links:

    NDIS plans

    The NDIS plan is the document that outlines the goals, aspirations and the funds allocated for support and services to achieve them. The funds are divided into three categories:

    • Core: support to complete daily living activities
    • Capacity building: support to build independence and learn new skills
    • Capital: support that requires a bigger investment and will need to be tailored to your needs e.g. home modifications, wheelchair, vehicle modification

    There are three options to manage your NDIS funding - self-managed, plan-managed and NDIA-managed. If the NDIS participant is a child or young person, a plan nominee may be a family member or carer.

    Useful links:

    Support for families and carers

    Family and caregivers can access support directly or indirectly from the NDIS and this assistance will be different according to the circumstances of the participant and their family. Examples of these supports are:

    • Respite: This support allows carers to have a short break from their caring responsibilities. The respite can be in or out of the home.
    • Parent and carers training related to the participant disability
    • Capacity building for families or carer as plan nominees to manage the participant NDIS plan e.g funding to build skills to self-manage the plan.
    • Family support and counselling due to family members' disability

    Useful links:

    More information for carers and how to include respite in an NDIS plan is available on the Carers Australia website and ECIA: About Early Childhood Intervention

    For more information visit the or call 1800 800 110

    CYDA NDIS self-management project

    CYDA is currently working on a project funded under the NDIS Information Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grants to provide information and build capacity of families of children and young people with disability interested to learn or keen to self-manage their child or young person NDIS plan. For more information about this project visit our NDIS for families page



    • Where is the latest information about the NDIS?

      The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) website is regularly updated with new information. Visit the NDIS website.

      You can also contact the NDIS directly by phone  or contact Early Childhood Early Intervention providers, Local Area Coordinators, or NDIS through the NDIS directory.

    • What is the duration of an NDIS plan?

      The NDIS plan length can vary depending on the participant circumstances. For children and young participants is common to have a twelve month NDIS plan due to the likely changes of support needs as the child grows.

      For participants with support needs that are unlikely to change, you can request a plan duration of up to three years. If the participant’s circumstances change they can request a plan review.

      Useful link:

      Longer plan durations of up to 3 years

    • How long does it take to have an NDIS plan approved for children aged 0 - 6 years?

      The pathway for children aged 0-6 is called the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) pathway. To reduce the waiting periods for children aged between 0 - 6 years who have been found eligible for the NDIS and have been waiting more than 50 days, the NDIS has introduced a six months interim plan with a value of $10,000 for participants who are not categorised as complex. At the end of this plan a full NDIS plan will replace this interim plan with no gaps in between plans.

      If the child is transferring from an existing program outside of the NDIS, the interim six months plan will support the current funding levels. If the current funding of the existing program is less than $10,000, the child will still receive the $10,000 standardised interim plan for up to six months.

      Reference: Children to get faster access to NDIS supports

    • How can I prepare for a planning meeting?

      An NDIS planning meeting is an opportunity to discuss how the NDIS participant is progressing with their goals, what is working well and what needs to be changed or added. Being prepared for your planning meeting or plan review will assist in helping develop the new plan for the child or young person. You can have a friend, family member or advocate with you in the meeting to support you. Here are some tips on what you can bring/prepare:

      • Reports or assessments from therapies or allied health providers to show how the participant is progressing and working to achieve their goals. This may be good for the continuity of goals or the creation of new ones. It is often best to request reports in advance at least six weeks before your plan review meeting.
      • Any information about a new diagnosis or disability changes
      • Your thoughts on the current goals and whether you need to add new ones. The goals can be short term or long term. It is good to have broad goals to allow you to use supports more flexibly.
      • If possible, quotes or a list of costs of what you are currently using or need e.g. continence products.
      • Think about new activities or skills you would like to gain e.g. learn how to cook to improve your independence skills
      • A calendar of your current routine or daily activities and supports needed that are disability-related.
      • A Carer statement, which is the document where you can describe all the caring responsibilities and support you already have or may need to support the participant, family situation. This could include a parent with disability or family with multiple children with disability, the impact of participant disability on the carer and their family, and whether you require training for the carer role.
      • Whether your current plan management is working, for example agency or plan managed or or self-management

      Useful link: 10 steps to excellent NDIS therapy reports

    • What does the NDIS fund and what do education systems fund?

      The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has information on the NDIS and education and what the NDIS funds and what the education systems funds. The NDIS funds disability-related supports for the student. Education systems fund schools, teachers, curriculum support, aids and equipment to make curriculums accessible, and a range of other educational supports.

      Visit NDIS and education page for more information.

    • I am not happy with my child NDIS plan, what should I do?

      You can request an internal review of your child NDIS plan. You must request this review within the three months of the notification of the decision. There are different forms to request an internal review:

      You can complete an application for a review of a decision however is not mandatory. It is advisable to collect evidence of how the decision was wrong or is affecting your child to support your request. The NDIA will review your request and will confirm, vary or substitute the original decision.

      If you are still unsatisfied with the outcome of the internal review you can apply for an external review with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). You can represent yourself or may want assistance with your review, visit the NDIS Appeals Supports

      Useful links:

      Review of Decisions Operational Guideline - Internal review by the NDIA

      How to review a planning decision


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