A red and white banner reading Community Update sits in the middle of 2 rows of 5 images of people smiling.
Share or print this story.
28 May 2021

NDIS update: Highlights from the latest NDIS Quarterly Report.

Here at Leap in! HQ we know how important it is for our community to keep up-to-date with the latest information in relation to the NDIS.

The NDIS is in the news a lot lately and it can be difficult to get your head around what’s changing and what it might mean for you. The NDIS Quarterly Reports are a great place to start because they cover statistics for the reporting period as well as some of the proposed changes.

Today we take a look at the highlights of the most recent report which covers January to March 2021.



  • There are now 450,000 NDIS participants across Australia
  • 71,000 children aged 0 to 6 have an NDIS Plan
  • More than 19,000 people joined the NDIS in the January to March quarter
  • The number of people with disabilities aged under 65 living in aged care has decreased by 30% in three years
  • Participants from diverse backgrounds are entering the scheme at increasing rates
  • 14.2% of participants who received a plan this quarter have a psychosocial disability.


Participant outcomes.

Participants who have been in the NDIS for at least two years are continuing to report positive outcomes.

  • 95% of parents and carers of children aged 0 to school age agreed the NDIS improved their child’s development
  • 69% of parents and carers of children starting school to age 14 felt their child had become more independent
  • 68% of participants aged 15-24 said the NDIS had helped them have choice and control over their life
  • 82% of participants aged over 25 said the NDIS had helped them with daily living activities.


Higher levels of funding.

The NDIA reports that participants are receiving higher levels of support than previously.

  • Participants entering the NDIS after receiving supports from state or territory systems receive 50% more funded supports on average.
  • 450 participants received support packages over $1 million per annum and 5100 received between $500,000 and $1 million.
  • Average payments have increased by 42% over the past three years. Participants now receive $52,200 on average per year.
  • Payments have increased in almost all support categories and all disability groups.


Children and the NDIS.

A new approach to early childhood early intervention (ECEI) is being proposed which includes the following measures:

  • Developing new early childhood specific operating guidelines
  • Considering tailored independent assessments for young children
  • Increasing early childhood partner capacity to provide short term early intervention (STEI) support to eligible young children and families for longer
  • Clarifying the developmental delay criteria
  • Improving the existing review process.

Consultation with the community was completed in February and feedback is now being reviewed. It is expected the new ECEI approach will be implemented from late 2021.


Participant Employment Strategy.

The NDIS reports that the employment rate for participants of working age has remained stable at around 22.8%. Eligible supported employees working in Australian disability enterprises (ADEs) have now been transitioned to the NDIS.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming story focusing on the Participant Employment Strategy.


Participant Service Guarantee.

The Participant Service Guarantee covers the commitment made by the NDIS to deliver better service alongside key published targets.

For the first quarter of 2021:

  • 100% of access decisions were made within the target 21 days
  • 91% of complaints were closed within 21 days
  • 96% of first plans were approved for participants aged 0-6 within 90 days.


Plan length.

Participant plans are now enabled for up to three years. The ‘Light touch plan review’ process has been implemented, allowing participants to make minor changes to their plan without a Plan Review. The NDIS will now check in with participants between Plan Reviews, particularly those considered vulnerable or at risk.


Scheme affordability.

As expected, the report includes a lot of discussion around the sustainability and affordability of the NDIS as it continues to grow. The NDIA and the government are currently considering a range of changes.

  • The introduction of independent assessments is on hold until the current pilot program is completed. It does however appear that the NDIA is committed to implementing this change.
  • Further development and support for Individual Living Options (ILO) as potential longer-term alternatives to Supported Independent Living (SIL).
  • Determining an overall package of supports rather than support line items, allowing participants to more flexibly use funding across support categories.
  • Developing new guidelines and information about what is considered “reasonable and necessary” for children on the autism spectrum.

Improving choice and control for all participants in line with the original intentions of the scheme, such as choosing your own providers.


Leap in! can help.

Here at Leap in! we support thousands of Australians and their families to navigate the NDIS. If you’re not utilising all of your NDIS Plan and want some help to make the most of your NDIS funding, get in touch with our crew. Call 1300 05 78 78, email crew@leapin.com.au or chat with us online.


Further Reading

Supported Independent Living Update.

COVID-19 vaccinations start this month. Here’s what you need to know.

Our top tips for managing COVID fatigue.