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(National Disability Insurance Scheme)

The NDIS is a Commonwealth scheme which assists people with disabilities. The aim is to aide participants to maintain an independent life, gain access to the community, acquire different skills, and access healthcare to maintain a good quality of life.

The scheme has been rolled out in all Australian states and is maintained by the federal government since its commencement by the Labor government on the 1st of July 2013. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) manages this scheme across the states.

Mother and Son


For anyone living with a disability or having a family member living with a disability, the care which is available to lead a fulfilling life with helpful services is paramount! In fact, this is the reason that the Australian government set up the NDIS.

However, there are certain rules regarding eligibility into the scheme which have been implemented to make the program sustainable. So, what are the key questions surrounding eligibility? As a starting point, the government has set several rules regarding age, residence status, permanency of disability, impact of disability on daily life, support requirements, and skills development to deal with the disability.

You can find a detailed description of whether you are eligible for NDIS funding on the NDIS webpage – Am I eligible?

Who manages my NDIS plan?

There are three different ways that your plan can be managed:

NDIA Managed

The NDIA is responsible for paying invoices to your providers and managing your funds.

You can only use providers who are NDIS registered.

Plan Managed

  • You can choose a plan manager of your choice - they are responsible for paying providers and managing your funds.

  • You can choose any provider for your services, regardless of whether they are NDIS registered.

Self Managed

  • You are responsible for managing your funds.

  • It is up to you to pay your providers and lodge a claim with the NDIS for payment.

  • You can choose any provider for your services, regardless of whether they are NDIS registered.

Your NDIS plan will normally be broken down into different categories and each of these categories is allocated a certain amount of funding dependent on your needs and your disability. For example, your core funding is used for services such as domestic help, daily life activities, access to the community, activities relating to personal care, amongst other things. This part of your funding can be used quite flexibly and can include low-cost assistive technology that is under $1,500.

You may also have capacity building funds. This often includes funds for services like allied health (OT, exercise physiologist, speech therapy, psychology) and coordination of supports.

It is not unusual for different categories to be managed in different ways, for example, your core funding may be self-managed, whereas your capacity building funding may be plan or NDIA managed.

It is important to work out who manages the funds for the services that are being provided to you before you engage a provider because this can impact the eligibility of a provider to provide the service. For example, an unregistered provider cannot offer services for an NDIA managed component of your plan.


If you are plan managed, you will need to engage the services of a plan manager before any funds from that category are used. This means that any invoices accrued from services in these areas need to be paid by a plan manager.

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