My child has autism, are they eligible for NDIS funding?

A young boy and his dad play with blocks together.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the largest primary disability category for the NDIS. ASD is the primary disability for nearly 30 percent of NDIS participants who have an active plan; for around five percent of participants, autism is considered a secondary disability.

The NDIS provides significant support to tens of thousands of Australians who have ASD. The funding through the NDIS is administered by the federal government’s National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

Does autism qualify for NDIS funding?

To qualify for NDIS funding, a person’s impairment may be neurological, sensory, physical, psychosocial, intellectual or cognitive. Generally speaking, autism does qualify for NDIS funding. However, each person is assessed on the level of ASD for which they are assessed. The level of ASD is what determines how much funding they may be able to access through the NDIS.

What is the criteria for NDIS funding eligibility for autism?

Eligibility for NDIS funding begins with:

  • Being aged between seven and 65 years
  • Being an Australian citizen, Permanent Visa holder or Protected Special Category Visa holder
  • Living in an area where NDIS is available
  • Having a developmental delay or a permanent impairment that significantly affects the person’s ability to take part in everyday activities.

To determine eligibility for autism support through the NDIS, the person needs to be assessed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) diagnostic criteria. This, in turn, determines the level of ASD they fit into.

Eligibility for children diagnosed with ASD is based on reduced functional capacity in one or more of the following: Communication, learning, self-care, self-management, mobility, and learning.

The levels of ASD are as follows:

  • Level 1 – Requires Support
  • Level 2 – Requires Substantial Support
  • Level 3 – Requires Very Substantial Support

If a child has a Level 1 diagnosis, it may be necessary to provide further information and assessment to provide evidence of the impact that ASD has on their life. A child diagnosed at Level 2 or 3 is considered to have a ‘permanent impairment of functional capacity’, and you may be eligible to receive NDIS funding.

Children with ASD who need disability-specific supports to participate in daily life activities may apply for NDIS funding.

What autism support can you get for a child under the NDIS?

Depending on their areas of reduced capacity, the support may include assistance with communication skills, enhancing their independent living skills, learning how to use technology and how to build and maintain social connections.

The child may require physiotherapy to develop motor skills, occupational therapy, speech therapy, support around education and employment, life-stage transition support, assistance with travel or transport, development of life skills, and support around behaviours and social participation.

NDIS funding may also cover behavioural therapy, nutritional therapy, therapeutic aids such as sensory items, and a support worker to assist in the home.

How much NDIS funding can I get for autism?

The average annualised funding that NDIS participants with ASD receive is $32,800 for those aged seven or over, and for under seven, the figure averages to $16,700 per year. The amount of funding provided to a specific individual will depend on the level of impact on their lives.

Learn more about how to apply for access to the NDIS and how to prepare for your first NDIS plan meeting.

What supports does NDIS not provide?

The NDIS does not fund supports that are the responsibility of another government system or community service, that are not related to an individual’s disability, and that relate to day-to-day living costs that don’t apply to a participant’s support needs.

Using NDIS funding to find support via Mable

If you have been approved for funding through the NDIS, there are a number of ways you can find autism support through Mable. By searching for an independent support worker on the Mable platform, you can connect with warm, friendly people who can assist your child in increasing their independence, help develop their capacity to participate in the community and pursue their goals, objectives and aspirations. A support worker can also help them around their participation in school and the workplace.

Find out how to connect with support on the platform using your NDIS funding.


ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts how a person interacts with others, learns, communicates and behaves. Learn more about autism spectrum disorder, its signs and treatments. According to Autism Spectrum Australia, it’s estimated that one in 70 people are on the autism spectrum.

There is no cure, however, treatments and therapies are available that can assist with managing symptoms and improving functioning. These can include speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioural therapy and sometimes, medications. Learn more about how to support someone with autism following a diagnosis.

Children and adults with autism can access a range of supports through Mable. These include:

  • Support to and from appointments
  • Guidance with studying, tutoring or other educational
  • Engagement in sporting or extra-curricular activities

And much more. Learn more about the support you can get.