Frequently Asked Questions

What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australia wide scheme that will support people with a permanent and significant disability that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities. The NDIS will give people with disability more choice and control over how, when and where supports are received, and provides certainty that they will receive the support they need over their lifetime.


What is the NDIA?

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has been formed to oversee the implementation of the NDIS. The NDIA is responsible for determining eligibility for the NDIS and undertaking planning with people with disability. Staff will assist participants to access the agreed supports identified in their plan and facilitate payment of providers if required.


How will the NDIS work?

If you are eligible for the NDIS you will receive funding on an annual basis to purchase reasonable and necessary supports that will help people with disability to pursue their goals, achieve increased independence and help them to participate in their community both socially and economically. The support can include education, equipment, health, well-being, employment and social participation.


How will I know if I am eligible?

The NDIS will provide funding to people who are 0-64 years of age, who have a significant or permanent disability and who need help with everyday activities. This includes people whose disability is attributed to intellectual, cognitive, neurological, sensory, or physical impairment, or a psychiatric condition. The NDIS website has a tool called My Access Checker. This application provides a series of questions to help people understand whether they may be able to access assistance under the NDIS. It might take 10-20 minutes to complete.


What is the Assessment Process?

Your pathway for accessing support depends on your situation, your goals and choices. As a first step, complete the My Access Checker application online If you are eligible and are in an area where the NDIS is operating, contact the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and arrange an appointment. You will then work with the NDIA to:

  • Confirm eligibility – at your first appointment, you will meet with a planner to confirm your eligibility.
  • Develop an individual plan – once your eligibility is confirmed you will meet with a planner to discuss your goals and aspirations for the life you want to live and the reasonable and necessary support you need to achieve this.
  • Choose your supports – if you wish, a local area co-ordinator can help you choose your supports based on your individual plan, or you can manage this yourself. This can include choosing your support providers.
  • Review your plan – From time-to-time, your planner will contact you to check whether your plan is still helping you work towards your goals.


Can I keep my DHHS ISP/Futures package and not transfer to the NDIS?

No, the Victorian government has agreed to transfer all ISP and other disability specific funded supports and services to the NDIS as it rolls out across the state.


What if I'm in Supported Employment?

Supported Employment, like The Bridge Works, is funded by the Federal Government through the Department of Social Services (DSS). Most people already in supported employment will be eligible for the NDIS and will transition to the scheme when it comes into the area where they live.


What is the process for moving from DHHS and DSS funding to NDIS funding?

The NDIS is being introduced progressively around Australia from 1 July 2016. To participate in the NDIS right now, you must live in an area where the NDIS is currently available. You may meet the access requirements up to six months prior to the NDIS rolling out in your area. If you already receive supports from a State or Territory government disability program, you will receive a letter and a phone call from an NDIS representative when it is time to transition to the NDIS. Until you have transitioned to the NDIS and have an NDIS plan, your existing supports and services will continue. If you have any concerns contact the NDIS directly.


What kinds of Services, Supports and equipment will the NDIS cover?

The NDIS will fund “reasonable and necessary” supports that:

  • support people with disability to pursue their goals and maximise their independence
  • support people with disability to live independently and to be included in the community as fully participating citizens
  • develop and support the capacity of people with disability to undertake activities that enable them to participate in the community and in employment.

The supports must assist the person with disability to pursue their goals, objectives and aspirations, encourage social and economic participation, represent value for money and be effective and beneficial for the participant. The NDIS will take into account existing supports provided through the state or Commonwealth and these existing supports may form the basis of the new plan. It has also been agreed that no person should be disadvantaged by the transition to the NDIS. Supports provided can cover areas such as Personal Care, Community Access, Transport, Interpreting and Translating and Employment. The funding covers services, supports and equipment.


When should I start planning?

You should begin to prepare now so you are ready for the transition. The NDIS has prepared a Planning Workbook. It can be found at the Every Australian Counts website.


What is an NDIS plan?

Your NDIS plan will be all about your personal goals, needs and aspirations. You should think about:

  • what support you have and what activities you do now
  • whether these are meeting your needs and support the things you want to achieve
  • what is important to you
  • how all these things will be reflected in your plan.


Who decides what is a ‘Reasonable and Necessary Support?

NDIA staff will make decisions based on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act) and the rules made under the NDIS Act. When NDIA staff members make decisions about which supports would be reasonable and necessary for a particular participant, they refer to the particular operational guideline that relates to each specific support. In order to be considered reasonable and necessary, a support must:

  • be related to the participant’s disability
  • not include day-to-day living costs that are not related to a participant’s disability support needs
  • be likely to be effective and beneficial to the participant
  • take into account informal supports given to participants by families, carers, networks, and the community.


Are ISPs the same as NDIS packages?

No, however there are many similarities to the NDIS packages.

Both packages are attached to the ‘individual’. The intention across both is to provide flexible and individualised support based on a person-centred approach. The differences include the items/services that can be purchased and the NDIS has three levels of funding management and the Victorian ISP’s have four levels of management.


Does an NDIS package have a case manager attached to them?

No, not automatically. You will have a contact at the NDIA but their job is not as broad as a Case Coordinator/ Manager. If you feel you need case management or support to coordinate your package then it would be best to talk with your NDIS planner about whether you need to build into your NDIS plan budget, funding for ‘case coordination’ and /or ‘plan management’.


At what age can an individual receive support from the NDIS?

The person with the disability needs to be under 65 years that is between 0 – 64 years to apply for NDIS support. Those over 65 can seek support from Aged Care services.


Does an individual lose their NDIS package when they turn 65?

Clients who receive an NDIS package prior to turning 65 will not lose their NDIS package. They can choose to continue to receive supports from the NDIS.


How do I find out more about the NDIS?

The Bridge has already held a number of information sessions on the NDIS and we will be running more in the lead up to the scheme coming to the southern Melbourne area in 2018.

Information on future NDIS sessions will be made available here and through our newsletters. You can sign up to our newsletter in the footer of our website.


There is a lot of information about the NDIS produced by the NDIA – see the links below.

Other useful links