NDIS eligibility is based on several criteria including age, residency and disability. There are also specific requirements for children aged 0-6 and people with psychosocial disabilities.
To enter the NDIS, you’ll need to complete an “Access Request”. This is where you fill out some forms and provide background information so the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) that operates the NDIS can determine if you’re eligible.
We’ve outlined some of the important NDIS eligibility requirements below.
1. Age requirements.
You may be eligible for the NDIS if you are aged between 7 and 65. See Early Childhood Early Intervention section below for information for children aged 0-6.
2. Residency requirements.
You must live in Australia and:
- Be an Australian citizen or
- Hold a permanent visa or
- Hold a special category visa (SCV).
If you spend a lot of time overseas, you’ll need to demonstrate strong ties to Australia such as owning a home or having a long term tenancy agreement and having family in Australia.
You might also have to provide information about how often you travel overseas and the duration of your trips.
3. Disability requirements.
You must be able to meet each of the following criteria to be eligible for the NDIS:
- You have a disability that results in an impairment which affects your ability to perform certain activities.
- The disability must be attributable to one or more intellectual, neurological, sensory or physical impairments. Alternatively you may have an impairment attributable to a psychiatric condition.
- You are likely to require support under the NDIS for the rest of your life. If the impairment varies in intensity, such as experiencing chronic episodes, you may still be eligible.
Review the NDIS Eligibility Checklist for details.
More about the NDIS disability requirements.
For the purposes of becoming an NDIS participant, the focus is on the reduction or loss of ability to perform an activity, caused by an impairment.
The impairment must result in substantially reduced functional capacity or psychosocial capacity relating to one or more of the following activities:
- Social interaction
- Self care
- Self management.
You will need to supply information about your disability as part of your Access Request and may need supporting documentation from a treating medical professional.
In assessing your eligibility, the NDIS will consider the following criteria in relation to your support needs:
- Do you need support from a person because of a permanent and significant disability?
- Do you use special equipment because of a permanent and significant disability?
- Will providing some supports now reduce your future needs?
NDIS eligibility for people with psychosocial disabilities.
If you have a psychosocial disability, you may be eligible for the NDIS, depending on your individual circumstances.
A psychosocial disability is a disability that arises from a mental health condition. Only people with a long-term disability resulting from a mental health condition may qualify for the NDIS.
In addition to meeting the usual NDIS eligibility criteria, you’ll also need to meet the all of the following additional criteria:
- Your mental health condition has caused difficulties in your everyday life
- The difficulties you experience as a result of your mental health condition mean you will likely always require NDIS support
- The difficulties you experience as a result of your mental health issue have substantially reduced your ability to do everyday activities.
Applicants must provide evidence of a mental health condition, although the name of the condition itself does not need to be supplied.
For more information, check out Psychosocial disability and the NDIS.
Early Childhood Early Intervention for children under 7.
The NDIS supports children aged 0 to 6 who have a developmental delay or disability under its Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) program.
Early Childhood Partners deliver ECEI, which supports families to help children develop the skills they need to take part in daily activities and set them up for the best possible outcomes throughout their life. This may include connecting you to supports in your area or providing short-term early intervention.
Your Early Childhood Partner will help you to request NDIS access if your child requires long-term early childhood intervention supports. They can also help you transition to the NDIS when the child turns 7.
Is the NDIS income or asset tested?
The NDIS is not means tested and does not take into account your income or assets (such as your home or investments) when determining eligibility.
How to make an NDIS Access Request.
To apply for the NDIS, you need to complete an Access Request form which can be obtained from the NDIS website or you can ask for one to be posted to you.
The NDIS is required to respond to Access Requests within 21 days. If your application is approved, the next step is to attend a planning meeting where your NDIS Plan will be created.
What does Leap in! do?
Leap in! is an NDIS plan manager. We are an independent non-profit organisation that supports NDIS participants to get the most from their NDIS Plans. We don’t make decisions about whether you are eligible for the NDIS but we do help NDIS participants manage their budgets and prepare for their NDIS Plan and Plan Review meetings.
When you attend your NDIS Plan meeting, you will be asked how you want to manage your NDIS Plan. Plan management is one of the options. Choosing a plan manager like Leap in! is a bit like having a bookkeeper to help you with the financial aspects of your NDIS Plan.