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Getting ready for the NDIS

How to prepare for and apply for your NDIS funding.

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or call 1800 343 287

Summary

  • Check the eligibility criteria for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
  • Start preparing for the NDIS scheme with our downloadable workbook.
  • Find out what the scheme means for you.

Who is the NDIS for?

Are you or someone you care for living with disability, mental illness or developmental delay? You may be eligible for support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Through the NDIS, you can access funding for services that help you build skills and capability to achieve your goals in life. This could include:

  • employment
  • education
  • living independently
  • community involvement
  • health and wellbeing

How can I get NDIS ready?

Understanding how the National Disability Insurance Scheme works can help you to achieve the best outcomes.

NDIS funding is based on your individual needs and goals. So the first place to start is to think about your life, what you want to achieve and the support you need.

Melbourne City Mission provides resources that can help you prepare for your plan and note your thoughts down.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for NDIS funding, you or the person you care for needs to:

  • be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or hold a Protected Special Category Visa
  • be aged under 65
  • have a permanent or ongoing condition that means you need support to do everyday things for yourself. Or you need some support now so you can do more things for yourself in the future.

For more information on eligibility criteria, have a look at the NDIS Access Checklist.

How to apply for the NDIS

Step 1: Contact the NDIS or Local Area Coordinator to see if you are eligible

If you already receive disability funding, the NDIS will contact you when the scheme is available in your area.

If you're not receiving disability support right now, you’ll need to apply to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

You can make an Access Request by contacting the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) by calling 1800 800 110.

Alternatively, you can visit an NDIA or Local Area Coordinator office near you. To find an office near you visit the NDIS website.

Step 2: Approval to access the scheme

If you are eligible, you will receive a letter saying you have been accepted into the scheme.

The NDIA or the Local Area Coordinator in your community will contact you to book a time for your planning meeting. Your planning meeting can be face-to-face or over the phone.

Step 3: Prepare for your planning meeting

At your planning meeting, you'll talk to a NDIA Planner or Local Area Coordinator about your life, your goals and your needs. You may like to talk about the support you need for:

  • daily life
  • routines
  • your network
  • hobbies
  • education
  • employment opportunities

To prepare for your planning meeting, it’s a good idea to think about and write down your interests and needs.

You’ll also need to collect any reports or assessments that will help the NDIA planner or Local Area Coordinator understand your disability or condition.

Our free NDIS Planning Workbook can support you to capture all this information in one place.

If you need help filling in your workbook call 1800 343 287.

Step 4: Meet with your NDIA Planner or Local Area Coordinator

Meeting with your NDIA Planner or Local Area Coordinator is an opportunity to talk about your life, your future, and the support you need.

Your Planner will talk to you about:

  • your day-to-day needs
  • any unmet needs
  • your short and longer-term goals
  • steps you can take to work towards your goals

Everyone’s goals are different, depending on their interests and life stage — think about what is important to you.

If you think you’ll need support to start using your funding, talk to your NDIA Planner or Local Area Coordinator about Support Coordination.

At the end of your meeting, your Planner will talk to you about the next steps. They will also discuss how long it will take to get your approved NDIS Plan.

Step 5: Receive your approved Plan

Your Plan will be submitted to the NDIS for approval. Once it’s approved, your NDIA Planner or Local Area Coordinator will share it with you in person or in the mail. Your plan will also be available online through the NDIS myplace portal.

You can ask for your Plan in your language or other accessible formats, including Braille, audio files or large print.

Step 6: Using your Plan

Once you have your Plan, you can review the funding and start looking at how and where you would like to use it. You can also begin choosing your providers.

If you have funding for Support Coordination, you can access assistance to connect to and coordinate your services. Find out more about this service on our Support Coordination page.

Get in touch

Our friendly Central Support Team are here to listen, explore your ideas and connect you to the right supports. For more information and support on how to apply or prepare, please get in touch with us on 1800 343 287 or send us an enquiry below.

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