Mental health and the NDIS

What is psychosocial disability?

Psychosocial disability is a term used to describe a disability that may arise from a mental health issue.

Not everyone who has a mental health condition will have a psychosocial disability, but for people who do, it can be severe, longstanding and impact on their recovery. People with a disability as a result of their mental health condition may qualify for the NDIS.

Psychosocial Recovery-Oriented Framework

The NDIA is committed to improving the lives of people living with psychosocial disability. 

The Psychosocial Disability Recovery-Oriented Framework (Recovery Framework) has been developed to ensure that the NDIS is more responsive to participants living with psychosocial disability, their families and carers.

The Recovery Framework is informed by research, submissions, consultations, articles, reports and policy documents, both nationally and internationally.

The Recovery Framework is also informed by the experiences of participants and their families and carers, service providers and state and territory governments.

We are grateful for this input and would like to thank everyone for their contribution.

Accessing the NDIS

NDIS Mental Health Access Information - Plain English (PDF 248KB)

Access Snapshot 1: General Information (PDF 236KB)

Access Snapshot 2: Impairment and Mental Health in the NDIS (PDF 221KB)

Access Snapshot 3: Recovery and the NDIS (PDF 223KB)

Access Snapshot 4: Functional Capacity and Mental Health Issues (PDF 238KB)

Access Snapshot 5: NDIS and Other Services Supporting your Mental Health (PDF 211KB)

Access Snapshot 6: Providing evidence for NDIS eligibility (PDF 87KB)

These snapshots provide specific information to people with psychosocial disability, their families and carers, and service providers.

Evidence of Psychosocial Disability form

Evidence of Psychosocial Disability form (PDF 482KB) – to be completed by your most appropriate clinician, and your support worker or appropriate person. This evidence form makes it easier for people with a psychosocial disability and supporters to collect evidence for NDIS eligibility. 

It is important to note, still need to contact a local NDIS partner to submit an Access Request.

If you do not have access to a partner in your area, we recommend you contact the National Contact Centre on 1800 800 110 to be supported to apply to the NDIS.  

If you do not have access to a partner, you can also download and complete the NDIS Access Request Form and email it to [email protected] with supporting information. 

Everyone who applies to the NDIS must meet eligibility criteria. These include age, residency and disability requirements.

To find out more go to How to apply.

Psychosocial recovery coach

From July 2020, psychosocial recovery coaches (recovery coaches) will be available to support participants with psychosocial disabilities to live a full and contributing life.

Recovery coaches will support participants to take more control of their lives and to better manage the complex challenges of day-to-day living. 

Recovery coaches will work collaboratively with participants, their families, carers and other services to design, plan and implement a recovery plan, and assist with the coordination of NDIS and other supports. 

Participants will have the option of selecting a recovery coach with lived experience or a recovery coach with learnt knowledge of psychosocial disability and mental health. 

Recovery coaches have been developed in consultation with people with lived experience of mental health issues, families and carers of people with mental health issues, Mental Health Australia and state and territory governments.

For more information, read:

Support for carers

For more information on available supports for carers, visit the Department of Social Services website

Factsheets and resources





  • Factsheet: Accessing the NDIS (PDF115KB) . This guide was developed jointly by the Australian Government and Flinders University and will support mental health providers in making it easier for people with a psychosocial disability to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Guide builds on work occurring in the National Disability Insurance Agency to improve pathways for people with psychosocial disability and work underway by the Productivity Commission and the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS.
  • Mental Health and the NDIS: A Literature Review Commissioned by Mind Australia for the NDIS by the Independent Advisory Council (IAC) (PDF) - jointly published on the 20 May 2015, the paper provide expert advice to inform community expectations on: access to the NDIS, the nature of supports that may be provided by the NDIS, and more broadly, the current state of evidence relating to the impact of psychosocial disability in the context of the implementation of the NDIS.

External resources

Historical resources


  • The NDIS Independent Advisory Council Advice for Implementing the Scheme for People with a Psychosocial Disability - this document, along with the Agency Response to the IAC advice on implementing the Scheme for People with a Psychosocial Disability was developed for the NDIA Board’s consideration.


  • Carers Australia Victoria – Interview with Eddie Bartnik  - a resource detailing the NDIA leading work around mental health / psychosocial disability, Local Area Coordination and Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (previously called Tier 2 of the NDIS).


This page current as of
28 March 2024
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