Step 5 – Support with decisions

In the NDIS there are lots of decisions to make, like the types of supports you want and how you get them. These may be things you’ve never had to consider before, such as how often you are visited by a support worker, or what activities you do during the day.

The NDIS supports your right to choose and this can include choosing to have someone support you to make decisions. You do not have to make decisions on your own if you don’t want to. Sometimes having someone to talk it through with can help. They may ask you questions, discuss the pros and cons, or give you other ideas you hadn’t thought about.

Is there someone you trust that could help you decide? It could be a family member, friend, support worker or community member.

When you choose to have other people support you with decision-making, this is called supported decision-making.


Supported decision-making is when another person supports you to make choices. It is your right to ask for support. You may find making decisions about certain types of things – such as money, housing, health and relationships – particularly difficult. You may need different levels of support at different times.

Asking for someone’s thoughts, and choosing whether to accept their ideas, puts you in control. You still make the final decision. This person may simply help you think about what is important to you, what your goals are and steps you might take to get there. You can still make a choice that suits you, even if other people don’t agree with it.

Other people can assist you to:

  1. Collect and understand information
  2. Look at the benefits and risks of a decision
  3. Explore decision outcomes for you and other people in your life
  4. Make a plan for the decision to happen

A person who supports you with decision-making should listen to you and help you find the choice that suits you. They should not try to change your decision; they should respect it whether they agree or not. They should accept that you can take as much time as you need to make your decision.

A good support person will support you to achieve your goals

To explore supported decision-making more, check out these websites:

(A tool to explore decisions, decision-making and support for decision-making (from both the decision-maker and the supporter’s perspectives).

(A website with information and videos about supported decision-making from the perspective of people living with a mental health condition).

The NDIS is there to support you to live a meaningful life. You can use this support to help you manage your life as it is now, but more than that you can also use it to help move towards the life you dream about.

To do this, you need to understand:

  • your daily activities and support needs 
  • your hopes and dreams 
  • your goals.

Many different people may support you. They might help every day or only sometimes. Consider who you might ask for support and how they could help.

In your workbook (or app) under ‘Important Contacts’, list the people who support you and how they help. You can change or add people to the list at any time, as your support needs change and grow.

From this list of support people, you might choose a person, or people, to help you start reimagining your life.

It is also useful to think about where you can discuss things with your support person, and how much time you need to talk.

A comfortable place and a relaxed timeframe will make a big difference!

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.
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Accessing the ndis in 6 Steps.