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05 February 2021

The NDIS access process is changing.

The NDIS has this week announced that the access process will change from the middle of the year.

While the changes are yet to be finalised, the NDIS has confirmed that independent assessments will soon be completed for all new access requests.

Here at Leap in! HQ we know that changes to the NDIS can be overwhelming so today we will take you through the planned changes and explain more about how independent assessments will work.

What’s changing?

From the middle of this year, the following changes will apply for people applying to access the NDIS:

  • All people over the age of 7 who meet the initial eligibility requirements will be referred for an independent assessment
  • Independent assessments will replace existing processes. The NDIS says this will result in a more consistent approach to determining eligibility.
  • Disability access lists which outline the types of conditions that are likely to meet access requirements will no longer be used. These were previously used to help determine whether a condition met the disability requirements for the NDIS.

What is an independent assessment?

An independent assessment is a way to determine your ability to carry out everyday tasks and look at your individual circumstances. It also considers your environment such as where you live and who you live with.

The aim of an independent assessment is to build a picture of how you function in different areas of your life such as at work or home.

  • Independent assessments will be carried out by qualified health professionals who are members of the NDIA independent assessment panel
  • They cannot be carried out by your own doctor or treating professional
  • The NDIS will pay for the assessment so it won’t cost you anything.

What won’t change.

  • People applying for the NDIS will still need to provide evidence of their age, residency and disability with their access request form
  • A treating health professional will still provide information about whether any impairments are, or are likely to be, permanent
  • Eligibility decisions are still made by a person at the NDIA
  • There will be no changes to the review and appeals process.

NDIS access – the steps.

Under the proposed new system, an NDIS access request will follow six steps:

  1. Submitting an Access Request Form and required information.
  2. Meeting initial eligibility requirements. You will only be required to undertake step 3 if you meet the initial requirements.
  3. Referral to an independent assessor.
  4. The independent assessment.
  5. Access decision made by NDIA delegate.
  6. Applicant informed of outcome.

Independent assessments for existing participants.

Some existing NDIS participants may be required to complete an independent assessment to ensure the supports in their NDIS Plan are right for them. This may happen if you have a change in circumstances and require additional NDIS funding or if your need for NDIS supports decreases.

A recap on changes to NDIS access for children.

In case you missed it, our previous article NDIS early childhood supports are changing covers some changes the NDIS is planning for how it provides early childhood early intervention (ECEI) supports.

The changes include:

  • Making ECEI supports available to children under nine instead of only for children under seven
  • The introduction of independent assessments for children over 12 months of age
  • Enhancing short term early intervention supports
  • Making more information available about non-NDIS supports.

Leap in! can help.

Our friendly and knowledgeable plan managers help NDIS participants all over Australia to navigate the NDIS and manage their NDIS budgets. To find out more about the benefits of plan management, talk to one of our crew by calling 1300 05 78 78 or emailing crew@leapin.com.au

Further Reading

FAQs: All your NDIS eligibility questions answered.

NDIS eligibility: The basics.

NDIS glossary: Common NDIS terms you should know.