Who is eligible for the NDIS?

A woman living with vision impairment receiving support from a guide dog.

When the NDIS was rolled out, it was relatively easy in the beginning, as all the people who were being supported by the individual State funded and run disability programs were simply ‘transitioned’ over from the State system into the NDIS.

Others at the time, who were not then receiving any funded support – and were therefore not known to the ‘system’ – had to apply for ‘access’ to the NDIS. This is where the eligibility criteria comes into play. You have to meet the eligibility requirements to apply for access to the Scheme.

Before finding out the eligibility requirements for the NDIS, find out what the NDIS does.

NDIS eligibility requirements

To qualify for the NDIS, the person must meet:

  • The age requirement
  • The residency requirement
  • The disability requirement or the early intervention requirement.

A person meets the age requirement if the person was aged under 65 when the access request was made.

A person meets the residency requirements if:

  • The person resides in Australia
  • Is one of the following:
    • An Australian Citizen
    • The holder of a permanent visa
    • A special category visa holder who is a protected SCV holder
  • Satisfies other requirements prescribed by the NDIS rules.

A person may meet the disability requirements if:

  • The person has a disability that is attributable to one or more intellectual, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairment or to one of more impairments attributable to a psychiatric condition; and
  • The impairments or impairments are, or are likely to be, permanent; and
  • The impairment or impairments result in substantially reduced functional capacity to undertake or psychosocial functioning in undertaking one or more of the following activities:
    1. Communication
    2. Social interaction
    3. Learning
    4. Mobility
    5. Self-care
    6. Self management
  • The impairment or impairments affect the person’s capacity for social or economic participation; and
  • The person is likely to require support under the NDIS for the person’s lifetime.

NOTE: The information around eligibility requirements is based on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, but is a summary only and is to be used in that context.

Learn more about the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act. You can also check the NDIS eligibility checklist.