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National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) FAQs: A Guide for Parents

25 May 2024

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can provide support for children with developmental delays or disabilities to access the things they need to reach their goals and improve their quality of life. That includes therapies, support workers, assistive technology, and resources. This guide answers your questions about the NDIS and children.

What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a government initiative in Australia that provides support to people with disability. It provides Australians under the age of 65 who have permanent and significant disability with funding for supports and services. For families with children who have a developmental delay or disability, the NDIS can provide early intervention supports.

What does the NDIS fund?

The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports that help a participant to reach their goals, objectives and aspirations, and to undertake activities to enable the participant's social and economic participation. This can include education, employment, social participation, independence, living arrangements and health and wellbeing.

What doesn’t the NDIS fund?

The NDIS does not fund supports that are:

  • Not related to the person’s disability.
  • Part of day-to-day living costs that are not related to a participant's support needs.
  • Likely to cause harm to the person or pose a risk to others.
  • Related to income replacement.

How can my child younger than 9 years get support from the NDIS?

Children younger than 9 years with a developmental delay or disability may be eligible for the NDIS's Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach. This approach supports children aged 0-6 years to access timely, appropriate, and sustainable supports that enhance their development.

How can my child aged 9 years and older get support from the NDIS?

Children aged 7 years and older with a permanent and significant disability can become NDIS participants. They will go through an individualised planning process to identify the reasonable and necessary supports they need to live an ordinary life.

What is an NDIS plan?

An NDIS plan is a document that outlines a person's goals and aspirations, their informal supports, the community and mainstream supports they require, and the funded supports the NDIS will provide.

What if I disagree with the support in my child’s NDIS plan?

If you disagree with the supports in your child's NDIS plan, you can request an internal review of a decision. A different staff member from the NDIA will review the decision and the evidence used to make the original decision.

Will my child’s plan be reassessed?

Yes, your child's plan will be reassessed regularly to ensure it continues to meet their needs. This typically happens every 12 months but can be sooner if your child's needs change significantly.

How will my child’s NDIS plan be managed?

Your child's NDIS plan can be managed in several ways: self-management, plan management (by a professional), or NDIA management. You can also choose a combination of these options.

Can I choose the providers in my child’s NDIS plan?

Yes, you can choose the providers in your child's NDIS plan. The NDIS operates under a choice and control principle, which means participants and their families can choose who delivers their supports.

What can I do if my child’s NDIS application is unsuccessful?

If your child's NDIS application is unsuccessful, you can apply for a review of the decision. If the decision remains unchanged after the review, you can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

What other support can I get if my child isn’t eligible for the NDIS?

If your child isn't eligible for the NDIS, they might be able to access other government services and supports such as Medicare, Centrelink, and community health services.

How does the NDIS support families and carers?

The NDIS supports families and carers by providing information and referrals, support to access community services and activities, personal plans and supports over a lifetime.

How is the NDIS funded?

The NDIS is funded through the federal, state and territory governments. This includes money from the Medicare Levy, which was increased by 0.5% to help fund the NDIS.

We hope this guide has answered your questions about the NDIS and how it can support your child and family. If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to the NDIS directly or speak with a disability support worker.