How to apply for the NDIS

A woman working on a laptop.

Before exploring how to apply for the NDIS, find out if you or the person you might be applying on behalf of, is eligible for access to the NDIS.

With the funding comes responsibility – you should be completely open and transparent about the need for the funded support, you should be prepared to do what is required to receive the funding, and you should be prepared to be held accountable for the funding you might receive, especially if you intend to self-manage.

Before you apply for the NDIS, it is important to be aware of what the NDIS is, what the NDIS does, and what is being taken on when entering into the NDIS. There will be meetings to attend – in person, over the phone or online; reviews to prepare for; reports to be gathered; invoices to check and perhaps pay. Conversations will need to be had about what is needed; what, if anything, has changed – has it improved or gotten worse? Goals need to be identified and articulated. A MyGov account is required and an additional bank account may need to be established, if you choose to self-manage. You may then need to find the services and supports you require, yourself.

Some of these things may be done by others depending on how the funded plan is managed and whether Support Coordination is included in the plan, but some of them apply regardless. All of these things will happen to some degree or another if you go down the path of applying for access to the NDIS and it may be that there isn’t any other option. If that is the case, then you now know what you are getting involved in and applying to enter into the NDIS is the next step.

Application for the NDIS

The first step is to check if you are eligible for the NDIS. You can also find the eligibility checklist on the NDIS website, that walks you through the initial eligibility requirements regarding age, residency status and impact of the disability. It also checks whether you require equipment and support now to reduce future need.

Once you know you’re eligible, you can apply via a couple of different avenues.

  1. Call the 1800 800 110 number and ask to make an Access Request; or
  2. Complete and submit the 28 page online Access Request form; or
  3. Contact your local Local Area Coordinator Partner, if you have one, or NDIS office.

If you have a child aged 0-9 years, the pathway is different. As you may already be connected to an Early Childhood Early Intervention centre, they are the best source of information and will help you apply for the NDIS if your child has longer-term support needs.

If you aren’t already connected to an Early Childhood partner visit the NDIS website to find one in your local area or speak to your child’s GP for assistance.