Step 3

NDIS access requirements checklist

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The NDIS Access Checklist will to help you work out if you may be able access the NDIS. To check if you may be eligible, go to the original NDIS Access Checklist on the NDIS website.

The checklist will take you through the following requirements:

Australian residency requirements

Do you have Australian residency?

To access the NDIS you must live in Australia and be:

  • an Australian citizen (i.e., born in Australia or were granted Australian citizenship by the Australian Government) OR
  • a permanent resident (i.e., born overseas but legally allowed to stay in Australia) OR
  • hold a Protected Special Category Visa.

If you are uncertain about the residency requirements then contact the National Disability Insurance Agency: www.ndis.gov.au or 1800 800 110.

Age requirements

Are you under 65 years of age?

To access the NDIS you must be aged under 65 years.

In some parts of Australia the NDIS is being introduced to some age groups before others

To find out more about the introduction of the NDIS in your area check out access requirements information on the NDIS website or contact the National Disability Insurance Agency: www.ndis.gov.au or 1800 800 110.

NDIS availability requirements

Do you live in an area where the NDIS is available?

The NDIS is being introduced across Australia at different times. To access the NDIS now, you must live in an area where the NDIS is currently available. In some of these areas, you also need to be a certain age to access the NDIS.

Find out if the NDIS is available in your area:

You can also contact the National Disability Insurance Agency, your current service provider/s or a Local Area Coordinator to ask about this.

If the NDIS is not yet available in your area you need to wait until it is. You can use this time to:

  • learn more about the NDIS
  • prepare information for your Access Request Form
  • gather evidence of impairment/disability and how this impacts on your life
  • use the reimagine.today workbook to think about and write down your goals and support needs (this will all be helpful in your recovery whether you become an NDIS participant or not).

Support requirements for everyday things (categories for access)

To meet the NDIS disability rules you need to have an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent (lifelong) and that stops you from doing everyday things by yourself.

The following questions may help you decide if your answer is ‘yes’.

Do you usually need support from a person or assistive equipment so you can:

  • Be independently mobile (this is about getting out of bed and moving around the home and outside the home) Do you find it difficult to leave the house, use public transport, go to shopping centres, attend recreational or vocational activities, or experience mobility difficulties because of side effects of treatment (e.g. tremor)?
  • Communicate (this is about understanding and being understood by other people) – Do you experience difficulty in starting or keeping up a conversation, telling people what you need or want, understanding or following instructions, conversations or directions?
  • Interact socially (this is about making and keeping relationships and coping with feelings and emotions) – Does your mental health make it difficult to trust people? Do you find social interactions confusing or hard? Is it hard for you to have good relationships with family, peers or in the workplace?
  • Learn (this is about understanding, remembering and learning new things) – Does your mental health impact on your planning, memory, concentration or ability to learn new information or participate in group learning (e.g. classes)?
  • Take care of yourself (this is about needing help with things like showering, dressing and preparing meals) – Does your mental health impact how well you manage your physical wellbeing (diet, exercise, personal care/ grooming, sexual health), impact your ability to take medications as prescribed.  Do you experience injuries due to taking risks, lack of concentration or self-injury?
  • Manage your life (this is about doing daily jobs, handling money and making decisions) – Does your mental health affect your ability to manage your own finances, pay the bills on time, maintain your home and meet other responsibilities? Does your mental health effect your motivation, interest in life, ability to concentrate or prioritise tasks?

In Step 5 you will explore how you might need support with these parts of your life.

If you meet the eligibility requirements may qualify for NDIS funding. If this is you, consider contacting the National Disability Insurance Agency to get an NDIS Access Request Form. Step 4 will help you to complete this form.

While not an access requirement, it will be helpful for you to have some ideas about the types of services and supports that would help you in your everyday life and that NDIS funding might pay for. More ideas and some activities to help you think about this are provided in Step 6.

Supports required now

Do you need some supports now to reduce your support needs in the future?

Supports that intervene early, that are funded through the NDIS, are those not provided by any other mainstream services such as health and education.

The following questions may help you decide if your answer is ‘yes’.

Would early intervention supports:

  • Reduce the impact of your impairment or condition?
  • Stop the impact of your impairment or condition from getting worse?
  • Strengthen your informal supports, such as helping a carer to keep supporting you?

Please keep in mind that early intervention pathways into the NDIS are still being reviewed and developed to make sure they best meet the needs for people with a mental health condition.


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The reimagine.today workbook can help you prepare for the NDIS