A visually impaired woman is standing in an office space using her smart phone.
Share or print this story.
25 February 2021

NDIS Quarterly Report October to December 2020

Here at Leap in! HQ, we always keep a keen eye out for the release of the NDIS Quarterly Reports.

Not only do these reports provide some interesting statistics on NDIS participants and how the NDIS is performing, they often provide a useful summary of recent or upcoming changes.

The latest report for October to December 2020 has just landed so today we’re providing an update on some of the most interesting insights.


  • 432,649 people with a disability are now supported by the NDIS
  • 21,283 people joined the NDIS in the last quarter
  • 35% of new participants (7,437) were children
  • 22% fewer young people in residential aged care compared with two years ago
  • $5.5 billion was paid out in NDIS supports during the December 2020 quarter.

Tracking performance.

In line with objectives of the new Participant Service Charter, the NDIS has reported on a series of performance indicators.

  • 100% of access decisions were made within 21 days
  • 92% of complaints were closed within 21 days
  • 98% of first plans are approved for participants aged 0-6 within 90 days
  • 92% of first plans are approved for participants aged 7 and above within 70 days (compared to 64% a year ago)
  • 72% of reviews requested by participants are completed within 42 days.

General updates:

  • Independent assessments will commence in mid-2021. You can read more about those in our previous story, The NDIS access process is changing.
  • Changes have been made to letters from the NDIS which will now include the name of an NDIS contact.
  • The NDIS website now includes a Participant Information Access section so you can obtain information without needing to submit a Freedom of Information request.
  • The NDIS is launching a Carer Connect Network for ageing parents of people with a disability.
  • Plan utilisation is still low (just 61%) for participants without Supported Independent Living in their plan.

Home and living supports.

The NDIS is working to make it easier for participants to set up funded support in their homes.

If you have a goal related to home and living supports that can’t be met by mainstream, informal or community supports, you can now complete a Home and living supports request form on the NDIS website to see if further assistance may be available.

The form includes information about your current circumstances, strengths, barriers and ongoing requirements. The NDIS will review the information and determine if any of the following may be appropriate.

  • Capacity building to support independence at home or in the community. For example, improving money skills.
  • Home modifications
  • Assistive technology
  • Daily personal care assistance
  • Help around the home such as cleaning and laundry.

Plan management usage.

More than 54% of NDIS participants over 25 are using a plan manager like Leap in! to manage their NDIS Plan.

Participant diversity.

The NDIS reports that participant diversity is continuing to grow.

  • 9% of participants who received an NDIS plan in the quarter were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (compared to 6.6% in the combined previous quarters)
  • 10.5% were from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds
  • 1.8% were from remote and very remote areas.

Specialist community connectors are also being rolled out to improve engagement with diverse communities.

Improving employment opportunities.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, the NDIS continues to work towards the goal of 30% of working age participants having paid work by 2023.

In this quarter, the NDIS has focused on supporting participant’s employment-related goals and improving choice and control over the pathway to employment.

  • More information is now available about how the NDIS makes decisions about employment related support funding and the types of support available
  • A new handbook about School Leaver Employment Supports has been produced
  • Frontline planning staff and LACs have access to more employment related resources
  • Support Coordinators have been provided with information and training
  • A research project is underway to better understand barriers to employment for people with intellectual disability, autism and psychosocial disability

Longer plans.

Participants can now receive plans for up to three years. The NDIS will check in to see how things are going and whether an update or review is needed.

A ‘Light touch plan review’ will enable you to make minor changes to your plan without the need for a Plan Review or a new plan.

Clearer information.

New Operational Guidelines are being rolled out to provide more information about how the NDIS makes decisions.

New documents are now available for:

  • Specialist Disability Accommodation
  • Short term accommodation or respite
  • Medium term accommodation
  • Supported independent living
  • Younger people in residential aged care
  • Assistive technology
  • Social and recreation supports
  • Work and study supports.

Stay up to date with Leap in!

You can find all our latest stories on the news section of our website.

If you’d like to get in touch with the Leap in! Crew, call us on 1300 05 78 78, visit our website (online chat available) or email crew@leapin.com.au

Further Reading

LATEST UPDATE: Changes to the NDIS planning process and new budget flexibility.

LATEST UPDATE: NDIS early childhood supports are changing.

LATEST UPDATE: Transport funding changes for NDIS participants.

    Never miss an update – subscribe to Leap in! eNews.