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National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) – A quick guide

Shine Lawyers' Senior Solicitor Laura Hadfield guides you through the key features of Australia's NDIS.


A person with a disability can apply to become a participant of the NDIS if they satisfy the following criteria:

  1. They must be under the age of 65 at the time of applying;
  2. They must reside in Australia;
  3. They must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or special category visa holder);
  4. They must meet all of the following disability requirements:

    1. They have a disability due to an impairment that is intellectual, cognitive, neurological, sensory, physical or psychological; and
    2. Their impairment is, or is likely to be, permanent; and
    3. Their impairment results in substantially reduced functional capacity in their communication, social interaction, learning, mobility, self-care or self-management; and
    4. The disability affects the person’s capacity for social and economic participation; and
    5. The person is likely to require support under the NDIS for their lifetime.

Once accepted, a participant will remain in the scheme for life; however, payments may be reduced or extinguished should the participant become reliant upon aged care services.

Rollout of the NDIS

The NDIS is rolling out in stages across Australia. Full details of roll out dates can be found on the NDIS website.

Funded support

The NDIS will fund all reasonable and necessary support that is related to the participant’s disability. This support is aimed to:

  • Help participants increase their independence and social and economic participation;
  • Develop their capacity to actively take part in the community; and
  • Assist in pursuing their goals, objectives and aspirations.

Reasonable and necessary support will be assessed on a case by case basis by the National Disability Insurance Agency and may include aids & equipment, home or vehicle modifications, continence aids, occupational therapy, speech therapy, personal care, transport assistance, house cleaning, and gardening.

The NDIS does not fund treatment costs or the cost of medication.

Compensation claims

The participant has a duty to notify the NDIA of any past, existing or potential compensation claim in respect to their disability.

The NDIA can compel a participant to bring a claim if they are entitled to and, in some circumstances, has the power to bring a claim on the participant’s behalf.

Whilst a compensation claim is ongoing, the NDIS funding will continue.

Receipt of compensation that includes compensation for NDIS type supports impacts a participant’s entitlement to NDIS funding in two ways:

  1. Any funding already provided by the NDIS must be refunded;
  2. Future NDIS funding will be reduced based upon the amount of compensation received by the participant (the amount of this reduction will be calculated by the NDIA).

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: August 13, 2017.

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