Access requirements

This page contains a detailed summary of the access requirements for becoming a participant in the NDIS during the launch period of the scheme (July 2013 to 30 June 2016).

You can meet access requirements if you are in a launch area, are the right age for that location, meet residency and either the disability or early intervention requirements (see below).

If you are a person with disability or a child with developmental delay who wishes to participate in the NDIS, you must first be assessed against the access requirements.

Please use the NDIS Access Checklist to see if you might meet the access requirements.

For more information view the Our sites page.

The NDIS is available in:

  • Hunter area of New South Wales for people aged under 65 Years
  • Nepean Blue Mountains (Starting 1 July 2015) area of New South Wales for children and young people aged 17 and under
  • Australian Capital Territory for people aged under 65 years
  • Barwon area of Victoria for people aged under 65 years
  • Tasmania for young people aged 15 to 24 years
  • South Australia for children aged 13 and under (on 1 July 2014)
  • Perth Hills area of Western Australia for people aged under 65 years
  • Barkly area of the Northern Territory for people aged under 65 years

In Western Australia the WA NDIS My Way model also commenced for people aged under 65 in the Lower South West area of Western Australia, and from July 2015 will commence for people aged under 65 in the Cockburn-Kwinana area. For more information visit the WA NDIS My Way page on the Disability Services Commission website.

Age requirements

You meet the age requirements if you are aged under 65. However, for the following areas additional age requirements apply:

  • Starting 1 July 2015: Nepean Blue Mountains area of New South Wales, where you must be aged 17 years and under on 1 July 2015
  • South Australia where you must be aged 13 and under on 1 July 2014
  • Tasmania where you must be aged at least 15 and are under 25 on the day you make an access request.

Location requirements

To access NDIS now you must live in one of these areas:


Australian Capital Territory

Available across the whole territory
Location and age rules: If you are a person with disability or a child with developmental delay you must be permanently living in the ACT and aged under 65 years when submitting an access request.
Fact sheets: Participating in the ACT trial fact sheet.

For more information visit the NDIS in the ACT page.


New South Wales

NSW Hunter area consisting the local government areas (LGAs) of:

  • Newcastle
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Maitland

Location and age rules: If you are a person with disability or a child with developmental delay you must be permanently living in the listed LGAs and aged under 65 years when submitting an access request
Fact Sheets: Participating in the Hunter trial fact sheet.

Starting 1 July 2015: Nepean Blue Mountains area consisting the local government areas (LGAs) of:

  • Blue Mountains
  • Hawksbury
  • Lithgow
  • Penrith

Location and age rules: The person with disability or a child with developmental delay must be permanently living in the listed LGAs and aged under 17 years on 1 July 2015.

For more information visit the NDIS in New South Wales page.


Northern Territory

Barkly area
Covering the Barkly Shire wards of:

  • Patta
  • Alyawarr
  • Yapakurlangu
  • Alpurrurulam

Location and age rules: If you are a person with disability or a child with developmental delay you must be permanently living in the Barkly area and aged under 65 years when submitting an access request.

For more information visit the NDIS in the Northern Territory page.


South Australia

Across the whole state
Location and age rules: If you are a child with disability or developmental delay you must be permanently living in the state and aged 13 and under on 1 July 2014.
Fact sheets: Participating in the South Australia trial.

For more information visit the NDIS in the South Australia page.


Tasmania

Across the whole state
Location and age rules: If you are a person with disability you must be permanently living in the state and be at least 15 years old and under 25 years when submitting an access request.
Fact sheets: Participating in the Tasmania trial.

For more information visit the NDIS in the Tasmania page.


Victoria

Barwon local government areas (LGAs) of:

  • City of Greater Geelong
  • Colac-Otway Shire
  • Borough of Queenscliff
  • Surf Coast Shire

Location and age rules: If you are a person with disability or a child with developmental delay you must be permanently living in the listed LGAs and aged under 65 years when submitting an access request.
Fact sheets: Participating in the Barwon trial

For more information visit the NDIS in the Victoria page.


Western Australia

Perth Hills local government areas (LGAs) of:

  • Kalamunda
  • Mundaring
  • Swan

Location and age rules: If you are a person with disability or a child with developmental delay you must be permanently living in the LGAs and aged under 65 years when submitting an access request.
Fact sheets: Participating in the Western Australia trial

WA NDIS My Way

The Western Australian State Government’s WA NDIS My Way model is available in the Lower South West, with Cockburn and Kwinana joining on 1 July 2015.

Lower South West - WA NDIS My Way
Location and age rules
: If you are a person with disability living in the area on 1 July 2014 and aged under 65 when submitting an access request.

Starting 1 July 2015: Cockburn/ Kwinana - WA NDIS My Way
Location and age rules: If you are a person with disability living in the area on 1 July 2015 and aged under 65 when submitting an access request.

For more information visit the NDIS in the Western Australia page.


Full Scheme Progressive Roll out

All states and territories other than Western Australia have signed up to the full scheme.

The scheme will be progressively rolled out to cover all eligible people with disability in states (including Queensland) and territories (other than WA) from July 2016.

View the Our Sites page for more information about when NDIS will be available in your area.

Until the Scheme has been rolled out in your area, existing Commonwealth, state and territory government funded disability services will continue.

Contact details for Commonwealth, state and territory government disability services are on the Other services in your State or Territory page.

Residency Requirements

You may meet the residency requirements if you live in Australia and:

  • are an Australian citizen OR
  • hold a Permanent Visa OR
  • hold a Protected Special Category Visa, that is you
    • were in Australia on a Special Category Visa on 26 February 2001 or
    • had been in Australia for at least 12 months in the 2 years immediately before 26 February 2001 and you returned to Australia after that day.

Disability Requirements

You may meet the disability requirements if:

  • you have an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent (i.e. it is likely to be life long) and
  • your impairment substantially reduces your ability to participate effectively in activities, or perform tasks or actions unless you have:
    • assistance from other people or
    • you have assistive technology or equipment (other than common items such as glasses) or
    • you can’t participate effectively even with assistance or aides and equipment and
  • your impairment affects your capacity for social and economic participation and
  • you are likely to require support under the NDIS  for your lifetime.

An impairment that varies in intensity e.g. because the impairment is of a chronic episodic nature may still be permanent, and you may require support under the NDIS for your lifetime, despite the variation.

Early Intervention Requirements

You may meet the early intervention requirements:

  • if you have an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent and
  • there is evidence that getting supports now (early interventions) will help you by:
    • reducing how much help you will need to do things because of your imapirment in the future and
    • improving or reducing deterioration of your functional capacity or
    • helping your family and carers to keep helping you and
    • those supports are most appropriately funded through the NDIS, and not through another service system.

    OR

  • you are a child aged under 6 years of age with developmental delay which results in:
    • substantially reduced functional capacity in one or more of the areas of self-care, receptive and expressive language, cognitive development or motor development and
    • results in the need for a combination and sequence of special interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment or other services which are of extended duration, and are individually planned and coordinated; and
  • those supports are most appropriately funded through the NDIS, and not through another service system.

Qualifying Residency Requirements

It is not always possible for anyone who is living outside the launch areas to access the scheme.

You can only access the scheme if you were living in a launch area on the day that launch area commenced or if you meet what are called ‘qualifying residency’ requirements.

If you move into a launch area after the scheme has commenced in that area you can only access the scheme in limited circumstances.

You have to have moved into the launch area for a reason other than to access the Scheme, for example due to employment.

There also need to be exceptional circumstances, for example you would suffer significant financial or personal hardship if you couldn’t access the Scheme.

Access Kit additional information

Roll out information

The NDIS is not available everywhere yet, see the Our Sites page to find out which areas currently have access.

Our Sites

Fact Sheets and Publications

Check the fact sheets about arrangements in each state and territory.

Find out more