What is the NDIS?

About the NDIS will help you understand key information about the NDIS including what it is, if you can access it, when it will be available, and why it’s important.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers.

The NDIS will provide about 460,000 Australians under the age of 65 with a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to live an ordinary life.

As an insurance scheme, the NDIS takes a lifetime approach, investing in people with disability early to improve their outcomes later in life.

The NDIS gives all Australians peace of mind that if their child or loved one is born with or acquires a permanent and significant disability they will get the support they need.

The NDIS supports people with disability to build skills and capability so they can participate in the community and employment.

The NDIS helps people with disability to:

Access mainstream services and supports

These are the services available for all Australians from people like doctors or teachers through the health and education systems. It also covers areas like public housing and the justice and aged care systems.

Access community services and supports

These are activities and services available to everyone in a community, such as sports clubs, community groups, libraries or charities.

Maintain informal support arrangements

This is help people get from their family and friends. It is support people don’t pay for and is generally part of most people’s lives.

Receive reasonable and necessary funded supports

The NDIS can pay for supports that are reasonable and necessary. This means they are related to a person’s disability and are required for them to live an ordinary life and achieve their goals.

Assistance from the NDIS is not means tested and has no impact on income support such as the Disability Support Pension and Carers Allowance.

See the Our history page for more information about how the NDIS came about.

Where and when is the NDIS available?

The NDIS began in a number of trial sites around Australia from July 2013.

From 1 July 2016, the NDIS will be introduced in stages around Australia over three years to ensure it is successful and sustainable.

People will enter the NDIS differently. In some states and territories, the NDIS will be rolled out by area while in others people will enter by age groups.

Visit your state and territory page to find out when the NDIS is coming to your area.

You will need to meet certain requirements to access the NDIS. Learn if you might be able to access the NDIS. Complete the access checklist.