National Disability Insurance Scheme: An Overview

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a funding approach for people with disability to receive support. Under the NDIS, individuals with a disability have individualised funding plans based on the services they require. The individual then has the choice to decide which service provider they will use to obtain that service.


The NDIS covers

  • People with a profound disability who (a) have a permanent disability that has a significant impact on their day-to-day life and ability to participate in community and (b) are going to need supports for the rest of their life, and
  • People with an early intervention support need, defined as people who (a) have a permanent impairment where (b) there is evidence that early intervention supports will be of benefit by either reducing how much help is needed for them to do things now and in the future or by helping their family and carers to keep supporting them.


The individualised plans include referrals; links to local support groups, clubs, initiatives or programs; support to access community services and activities, such as social, study, sport, or other interests; and early intervention.


There are limitations to what will be covered under the NDIS. If required, the NDIS will also cover reasonable and necessary supports, for example therapies, taking part in community activities, assistance with employment, home modifications, or mobility equipment.




In Western Australia, there is also a trial for the WA National Disability Insurance Scheme, which is run by the Disability Services Commission. The program is nationally consistent in terms of eligibility and supports, however differs in governance and service delivery. This was previously referred to as MyWay, however has transitioned to WA NDIS, as there is now a focus on consistency between the National NDIS and WA NDIS. There is a trial site in the Perth Hills, including the local government areas of Swan, Kalamunda, and Mundaring. On 1 January 2017 this area will be extended to include Bayswater, Bassendean, Chittering, Toodyay, York, and Northam.


Similar to the national NDIS, the WA NDIS creates a plan for individuals with disability that includes identifying their strengths and needs, goals, and explores pathways and strategies to reach the goals outlined in their plan. Supports and services are identified to suit their needs, and a focus is placed on developing links with local communities.


The pricing structure is developed in clusters, allowing communication with relevant disability and mental health service providers in each area. As such, these are specific to local areas and needs. Similar to the National NDIS, providers are now paid for the services they provide opposed to bulk grants or payments.


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