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Tips & Guides

How Do I Apply for the NDIS?

We discuss NDIS eligibility & how to go about applying to receive support.

Written by
Dan McCutcheon

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports Australians aged under 65 living with permanent and significant disabilities. The word insurance refers to the use of social insurance principles to manage long-term financial sustainability. In plain English; by investing in people early, the scheme hopes to reduce costs down the line into the future.

The NDIS will only support you if you have a permanent disability that impacts you across a number of areas of your life such as;

  1. Self-care (e.g. showering, dressing, eating).
  2. Accessing the community.
  3. Working and studying.
  4. Forming friendships, relationships and connections.
  5. Maintaining your health and wellbeing (physical and mental).
  6. Ability to live independently or with others.

If you think you might be eligible for the NDIS, you can download and complete an Access Request Form (ARF). You may need to engage with your GP, allied health professionals, and specialists to provide information on the ARF relating to your diagnosis and ability to complete different tasks. 

A person who thinks they are eligible for the NDIS can:

  • phone 1800 800 110 and make a verbal access request, or
  • download and complete the ARF on your computer and email it to the NDIA with supporting information, or 
  • download the ARF on your computer, print it out and mail it to the NDIA with supporting information, or
  • email NAT@ndis.gov.au and ask for an ARF to be mailed, or
  • contact your local National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) office and ask for an ARF to be mailed to you.

The ARF is sent to the NDIA National Access Team (NAT) who will decide if you are eligible. Ok, enough acronyms!!

To increase your chances of getting access to the NDIS we recommend:

  • Be as detailed and thorough as possible when completing your ARF. Don’t leave anything out.  
  • Make appointments with your medical professionals like your GP, specialists and allied health professionals to help you complete the form. 
  • Include additional reports from your medical professionals to accompany the ARF you send to the NDIA. The more evidence the better. 
  • Don't sugarcoat things that you experience difficulties with. Even though this may be challenging for you, it’s important that the NDIA have an accurate picture of how your disability impacts you on a day to day basis. 
  • Submit your ARF before you turn 65yrs old otherwise you will not be eligible for the scheme. 

Remember your ARF needs to specifically contain wording that shows your disability is:

  1. Permanent (will never resolve and there are no medical 'treatment' options). 
  2. Has a functional impact (significantly impacts your ability to complete a range of day to day tasks). 

If you are not deemed eligible for the NDIS there are other support mechanisms available through government and the community services sector.

Good luck!

We discuss NDIS eligibility & how to go about applying to receive support.
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