What is the NDIS?

Find out the difference between the NDIS, the NDIA and why we changed the way disability services and supports are delivered.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (also called the NDIS) is the new way of providing support to Australians with disability, and their families and carers.

NDIS will provide Australians under the age of 65 who have a permanent and significant disability with support they need.

People with disability will get greater flexibility and choice of supports and services to meet their individual needs.

The NDIS is a move from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to a system where people with disability have direct control over the funding they receive.

The NDIS helps people with disability to:

  • access mainstream services and supports – like the health system and education systems
  • access community services and supports – like sports clubs, community groups and charities
  • maintain informal supports – like the help people get from their family and friends. This is support people don’t pay for and is generally part of most people’s lives
  • get reasonable and necessary funded supports – related to their disability and needed for them to live an ordinary life

The NDIS is not means-tested. It has no impact on income support such as the Disability Support Pension or Carer Allowance.

The NDIS provides certainty that people with disability will receive the support they need. Disability could affect anyone at any time and the NDIS provides peace of mind.

What is the NDIA?

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is an independent statutory agency. The NDIA is responsible for implementing the NDIS in every state and territory.

The NDIA works closely with relevant Commonwealth and Victorian government departments to facilitate the transition to the NDIS.

Why the change?

In 2010 the Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to carry out a public inquiry into a long-term disability care and support scheme.

The messages were clear the current system did not work and this was the start of the impetus for the NDIS.

Find more information about the history that led to the NDIS.

Reviewed 22 July 2019

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