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29 October 2021

Highlights from the NDIS Annual Report 2020-2021

There are now more than half a million NDIS participants across Australia and more than 74,620 new participants joined in the past year.

The latest NDIS Annual Report is packed with interesting information about the NDIS. It provides insights into the growth of the scheme, participant satisfaction levels and what we can expect over the coming years.

Read on for all the highlights of the recently released annual report covering July 2020 to June 2021.


Report highlights:

  • There are now 466,619 NDIS participants
  • 72,258 participants are aged 0-6 years, with an additional 13,400 children receiving early childhood early intervention (ECEI) supports
  • $6.6 billion in supports were paid in the last quarter of 2020-2021 (a 33% increase compared with the same period the previous year)
  • The NDIS is now available in every Australian state and territory
  • By 2025 there are expected to be more than 670,000 participants in the scheme


Highlights by age group.

The longer a person is with the scheme, the more likely they are to achieve their goals, with the most significant outcomes achieved by the time of a participant’s fourth plan review.

  • For children who haven’t yet started school, 95% of parents/carers say the NDIS has improved their child’s access to specialist services and 72% say it has helped their child to become more independent.
  • 72% of young adults aged 15 to 24 say the NDIS has helped them with daily living activities (compared with 58% at the first plan review).
  • For people over 25 years, 85% say the NDIS has helped with everyday tasks and 62% say it has improved their overall health and wellbeing.

However, the number of participants over 15 who would like more choice and control has increased from 77% to 87% after three reviews.


Diversity and inclusion.

More people from diverse backgrounds are receiving the NDIS than ever before including:

  • 32,396 First Nations participants
  • 44,113 participants from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The NDIA wants to develop a more inclusive workplace and is implementing a range of inclusion action plans to improve representation.

At the end of June 2021:

  • 17% of the people who work at the NDIA have a disability
  • 3% of employees are First Nations people
  • 7% are members of the LGBTQIA+ community.


COVID-19 support.

The NDIS introduced a number of new measures to support participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These included:

  • Calling to check on vulnerable participants
  • Video or phone planning meetings
  • Ability for participants and providers to claim costs of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks
  • Enabling grocery delivery for participants in locked down areas
  • Increased flexibility to purchase low cost assistive technology to reflect the new methods of support delivery
  • Supporting the vaccine rollout.


Costs of the NDIS.

There has been a lot of discussion about the growing costs of the NDIS is the media. The NDIS reports many new participants are joining and not as many are leaving which means investment continues to increase.

The average funding participants receive has increased 12% per year over the past four years. This figure increases to 17% per year if recipients of supported independent living (SIL) supports are excluded.



COVID-19 has presented new challenges to employment for people with a disability which has affected the ability for some participants to achieve their employment goals.

The NDIS reports that employment rates overall have dropped slightly except for participants aged 15-24.

A new Participant Employment Strategy action plan has been developed to help participants get on-the-job training and support, strengthen pathways from school to work and build the capacity of businesses to employ NDIS participants.


Some of the other things the NDIS wants to improve.

  • Be clearer about the words used with more consistent terms and better descriptions
  • Work well with other supports in the community
  • Give participants more choice and control over where they live
  • Provide support for children earlier
  • Provide additional support to participants living in rural and remote areas.

Information source: NDIS Annual Report 2020-2021 © National Disability Insurance Scheme Launch Transition Agency.


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Further reading

Latest update: NDIS pricing & COVID-19 measures.

NDIS update: All the info from the latest Quarterly Report.

No independent assessments for the NDIS.

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