Step 3 – NDIS access requirements checklist


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

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 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: or 1800 800 110.

Are you under 65 years of age?

To access the NDIS you must be 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: or 1800 800 110.

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

The NDIS is available across Australia and is rolling out in Western Australia.

Find out more about NDIS in your area:

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

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 have substantial difficultly leaving the house, using public transport, going to shopping centres, attending 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 others) – Do you experience substantial 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 cause you substantial difficultly with trusting people? Do you find you are unable to participate in social interactions, or have good relationships with family, peers or in the workplace, due to your mental health?
  • Learn (this is about understanding, remembering and learning new things) – Does your mental health substantially impact on your planning, memory, concentration or ability to learn new information or participate in group learning (e.g. classrooms)?
  • Take care of yourself (this is about needing help with things like showering, dressing and preparing meals) – Does your mental health make you unable to manage your physical wellbeing (diet, exercise, personal care/ grooming, sexual health), and impede 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 substantially affect your ability to manage your own finances, pay 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.

Is your condition permanent, with no known, available or appropriate evidence-based treatment?

Think about – can you show that all suitable evidence-based treatments for your condition have been tried? Can your clinician provide clinical rationale that your condition has been fully treated and no further treatments will alleviate it?

Note: While your mental health condition may be episodic, the resulting impairment(s) may still be considered permanent. 

Also, the NDIA does not require specific information identifying a trigger for your mental health condition – you do not need to share private information relating to trauma and/or abuse.

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

Note: NDIS-funded early intervention supports are those not provided by any other mainstream services such as health and education. These don’t usually apply to psychosocial disability, as early diagnosis and treatment is the responsibility of the health system.

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

Would early intervention support:

  • 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.

To help support your application to the NDIS download the Reimagine Your Life Workbook

As you explore the 6 steps to accessing the NDIS, you will be guided to activities in the Reimagine Your Life Workbook, where you can complete questions and activities to support your application.

Co-designed with people living with mental health conditions and their support networks.
  • Produced by the

  • Funded by the

Accessing the ndis in 6 Steps.