Access requirements

This page contains a detailed summary of the access requirements for becoming a participant in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

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

Availability in your area

To access the NDIS right now, you must live in an area where the NDIS is available. In some of these areas, you also need to be a certain age to access the Scheme.

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 your Territory page

Find out if the NDIS is available in your area:

For more information view the Our sites page and the Completing your Access Request 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