What is this factsheet about?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is called the NDIS. The NDIS is a new way to help people under 65 with disability get
• care
• supports
The NDIS also helps families and carers with information about services to support people with disability.
When people get help from the NDIS they can enjoy an ordinary life
• now
• as their life changes.

What supports will the NDIS pay for?

We call a person who gets the NDIS a participant.

The NDIS will pay for the reasonable and necessary supports that a participant needs to enjoy an ordinary life.

Reasonable means something that is fair.

Necessary means something a person must have.

How will the NDIS help people with disability?

The supports that the NDIS pays for can help participants

  • be more independent. Independent means you can do things by yourself. For example, changes to your bathroom so you can shower yourself.
  • join in the community. For example
  • get a job
  • join a group
  • get equipment. For example
  • a wheelchair
  • a communication device

Why do we need the NDIS?

Before the NDIS some people got the supports they needed.

Other people did not get the supports they needed. This was not fair.

We need the NDIS so that anyone with permanent disability under 65 knows that they can

  • get the supports they need


  • have
  • choice
  • flexibility
  • control over their supports

The NDIS supports can help people with disability reach their goals.

Who can get the NDIS?

There are rules about who can be an NDIS participant.

To be a participant a person must be allowed to live in Australia forever. This means you

  • were born in Australia


  • have a special piece of paper saying you can live in Australia forever

A person must be under 65.

To be a participant a person must also have a permanent disability that fits the NDIS rules. Permanent means the disability will not go away.

A person must live in an area where the NDIS has started.

We tell you more about this on page 10.

What happens if a person does not fit the NDIS rules?

If a person does not fit the NDIS rules the NDIS can still help. For example, tell the person about different services.

You can find out more on our website     

Or you can phone us 1800 800 110

When will the NDIS start?

The NDIS has started in some parts of Australia. The government has a plan for when the NDIS will start in other parts of Australia.

The plan says some people might get supports before other people because of

  • their age
  • where they live in Australia

 We want to go slowly and get things right. By 2019 the NDIS will have started everywhere in Australia.

You can find out more on our website     

Or you can phone us 1800 800 110

How long will participants get support?

NDIS participants will get support

  • now
  • as their life changes

Supports participants get now

When a participant gets help now it

  • might mean the participant needs less support later
  • can help carers and family members look after the participant
  • might make the disability better


  • might stop the disability getting worse

Supports participants get as their life changes

When a participant’s life changes, their support needs and goals might also change. 

The NDIS will make sure participants get the right supports as their goals and support needs change.

What is an NDIS provider?

Every NDIS participant has a plan with goals.

The plan says

  • what a participant wants and needs
  • how they want to be supported.

An NDIS provider is someone who has products or services that can help participants achieve what is in their plan.

For example

  • communication devices

Participants can choose and change their providers.

Our website has information for providers.


What is the National Disability Insurance Agency?

The National Disability Insurance Agency makes the NDIS happen. We call it the NDIA.

The NDIA helps participants know about

  • different support choices they have now
  • different support choices they have as their life changes
  • different NDIS providers

This can help participants decide the best supports for them.

The NDIA helps providers deliver the supports that participants need.

The NDIA also helps people in the community know more about what they can do to support people with disability.

More information

Go to our website.


Call 1800 800 110

Monday to Friday

9am to 5pm

Is English hard for you?

Do you speak a different language?

Call 13 14 50

Are you deaf or hearing impaired?

You can use TTY.

Call 1800 555 677

Then give the number 1800 800 110

Is your speech hard to understand?

You can use the NRS Speak and Listen.

Call 1800 555 727

Then give the number 1800 800 110

Send us an email.

enquiries@ndis.gov.auFollow us on Twitter @NDIS

Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/NDISAUS

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