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18 August 2021

ADHD and NDIS eligibility: Your questions answered.

ADHD and the NDIS is a topic that we are often asked questions about here at Leap in!

About 5% of Australians display symptoms of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) so it’s no surprise there is a lot of interest in funding for treatment and supports.

But does a diagnosis of ADHD qualify you for the NDIS? No, it doesn’t. It is a little more complicated than that.

Today we’ll look at when you might be eligible for the NDIS if you have ADHD and the types of supports that may be available.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, one of a group of disorders that affect the development of the nervous system. It can impact how a person pays attention, controls impulses and behaves.

The severity of ADHD, the impact it can have on your life and the type of treatments can vary from person to person.

For some people it can be managed well through early interventions or medication, while for others it is a lifelong condition.

ADHD and the NDIS.

On its own, ADHD is not usually covered by the NDIS. That’s because it can be hard for someone with ADHD to meet the NDIS eligibility criteria for a severe and permanent disability.

If you have ADHD and are likely to recover or are being successfully treated with medications, then you are unlikely to be eligible for the NDIS.

Where ADHD occurs alongside another condition, such as an intellectual disability, autism, learning disability or global development delay, you may be more likely to obtain NDIS funding.

How NDIS eligibility works.

In addition to the general criteria such as age, you need to satisfy the “disability requirements” to be eligible for the NDIS.

You must be able to prove that you have a disability causing an impairment that:

  • Is permanent or likely to be permanent
  • Results in substantially reduced capacity to undertake day-to-day activities
  • Affects your capacity for social or economic participation
  • Means you are likely to require support throughout your lifetime.

Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis rather than a specific diagnosis.

Things to consider before applying for the NDIS.

  1. You are most likely to obtain NDIS funding if your condition is stable and you have exhausted all other treatment options, confirmed in writing by a doctor
  2. You’ll need to demonstrate how the impairment affects your daily life
  3. The NDIS looks at 6 different areas of functional capacity including communication, social interaction and learning. A functional assessment from a qualified doctor or therapist addressing how your life is affected in each of these areas will support your application.
  4. Include letters and reports from treating doctors, social workers, family and friends about how the impairment affects your life.

If you have ADHD which results in a psychosocial disability (a disability that arises because of a mental health condition), you may be eligible to access the NDIS. Your treating practitioner will need to complete an Evidence of psychosocial disability form as part of your NDIS Access Request.

Supports the NDIS may fund for ADHD-related conditions.

  • Capacity building supports to assist with social skills, being active in the community, self-management and communication
  • Positive behavioural supports
  • Cognitive therapy to help with thinking skills
  • Support workers to assist with daily routines and household tasks
  • Assistive technology such as screen readers and speech recognition programs.

Getting help if you are not eligible for the NDIS.

We recommend visiting the following organisations for more information and help to find the right support for you.

ADHD Australia

ADHD Foundation


How Leap in! can help.

For more information about NDIS eligibility and the application process, check out our NDIS Resources, email us at crew@leapin.com.au, call us on 1300 05 78 78 or chat with one of our friendly crew online.

Originally published 26 June 2020, updated 18th August 2021.



Further reading

NDIS Capacity Building budgets: A closer look

FAQs: All your NDIS eligibility questions answered.

Positive behaviour support and the NDIS.