National Disability Insurance Scheme

National Disability Insurance Scheme

If you have a disability, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (the scheme) may be able to pay for the care and support you need. The National Disability Insurance Agency (the agency) manages the scheme.

To get help from the scheme:

  • you must have a disability that is likely to be permanent
  • you must meet the requirements to become a participant in the scheme
  • you need to live in an area where the scheme is available.

Learn more about:

  • your rights under the scheme and how to apply for support
  • where to get help if the agency says you are not eligible for support.

About the scheme

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a new way of providing support for people with disability, their families and carers. The scheme started in July 2013 to help people with disability get the support they need to live an ordinary life and achieve their goals.

For example, if you have a physical disability, the scheme could pay for the equipment you need to get out into the community, like a wheelchair or mobility cane.

Where the scheme is available in Victoria

Victoria's scheme began in the Barwon region in mid-2013. A full roll out of the scheme began on 1 July 2016 in other areas of Victoria and will be completed over the next three years. Read more about the roll out on the National Disability Insurance Scheme website.

How to apply for support in Victoria

You can apply for support if:

  • you are under 65 years of age
  • you have a disability
  • you are an Australian citizen.

For more information on how to apply for support from the agency, see the National Disability Insurance Scheme's website. You can also visit the agency's office closest to you or call the agency help line on 1800 800 110.

If you are unsure about contacting the agency yourself, you can get help from an advocate who is independent from the agency. Find out how to get help.

Who can get support

To be able to get care and support, you need to meet the scheme's access requirements.

Disability requirements

To meet the disability requirements, you need to have an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent (lifelong) and that substantially reduces your ability to do everyday things by yourself and participate effectively in the community without support.

Early intervention requirements

The scheme has early intervention provisions if supports are needed now to reduce the need for supports in the future.

To meet the early intervention requirements you need to:

  • have an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent (lifelong) and receiving supports now may reduce how much help you need in the future, or
  • be a child under six with a developmental delay that means you usually need more help with care, communication, learning or motor skills than another child of the same age.

Supports provided by the scheme won’t be provided if those supports should be funded through another service such as health or education.

What type of support you can get from the scheme

The agency manages the scheme. Its role is to assess your application and work out what help you need with your disability.

This includes:

  • giving you access to community services and activities
  • giving you equipment such as a wheelchair or communications device
  • helping you work out a plan for the support you will need in your daily life
  • treating your disability early, so you may need less support later in your life.

Your rights under the scheme

If the agency says you can get care and support to help with your disability, you have the right to:

  • get the reasonable and necessary supports you need to meet your goals
  • have choice and control over the way in which your supports are delivered
  • have a support person help you deal with staff at the agency.

When to get legal advice

If the agency says you are not eligible for support from the scheme, you should get legal advice about whether you should appeal this decision. Find out where to get help.

More information

To find out more about how you can get help, go to the National Disability Insurance Scheme website.