How to apply for the NDIS
January 30, 2020
by Joshua Cook

How to apply for the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports over 180,000 people with permanent and significant disabilities in Australia each year.  

Designed to both help people participate in everyday activities and improve their independence, the NDIS has rapidly become one of the world’s most discussed support schemes. 

How do you apply for the NDIS and give yourself the best chance for approval? Read on below to understand. 

Step 1: Check your state or territory

Firstly, check that the NDIS is offered in your area by selecting your Australian State or Territory and reviewing the information under the Availability section. You can apply to join the NDIS up to six months before the scheme is available in your region. If you have any concerns, or are unsure about your area’s NDIS availability, you can call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 to clarify. 

Step 2: Checking your eligibility

You then need to check your eligibility using the NDIS checklist. You need to verify that you meet all the following three steps: 

  • are aged between 7 and 65;
  • live in Australia and have Australian residency; and,
  • need some supports now to reduce your future needs.

You may also be eligible if, in combination with the previous three steps, you: 

  • need support from a person because of a permanent and significant disability; and/or,
  • use special equipment because of a permanent and significant disability.

Step 3: Make an Access Request

Once this has been completed, you can call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 to complete an Access Request (either over the telephone or by requesting an Access Request Form) to begin the application process. 

If you need help completing either the telephone call or the application form, you can search and contact your Local Area Coordinator, Early Childhood Early Intervention partner or your local National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) office. Breakthru can also help you apply for the NDIS should you prefer more personalised assistance. 

As part of the Access Request process, you will be asked: 

  • to confirm your identity and/or a person’s authority to act on your behalf;
  • questions to see if you meet the NDIS access requirements (age, residence and disability); and,
  • questions about providing consent to enter the NDIS and about seeking information from third parties.

Step 4: Gather supporting evidence

You may be asked to provide some additional information after you make your Access Request. This may include information about your disability and how it impacts on your daily life. You can provide copies of existing information, including letters or reports, or you can ask your treating health professional to complete and sign a form. 

Providing good evidence of disability will support the NDIA to decide your NDIS eligibility. Presenting recent information, and working with your treating health professionals, can help you provide good evidence.  

For information about what evidence to include in your Access Request, you can review the information on the following webpages: 

If your Access Request is completed over the telephone, you can email or post copies of your evidence, including letters or reports, to one of the following: 

Additional supports

If you need help with English, you can call the NDIS’ Training and Interpreting Service on 131 450

If you have hearing or speech loss, you can use the NDIS Text Telephone service on 1800 555 677. For Speak and Listen, call 1800 555 727, or for Internet relay services, visit the Relay Service webpage

What happens after you apply

When an Access Request decision is complete, you will be advised of the decision in writing. 

If you do not meet the NDIS Access Request Criteria, and your previous Access Request was made within the last three months, and additional evidence is available, the NDIS can reassess your eligibility based on the new information you provide. Alternatively, you can ask for a formal review of the original Access Request decision. 

Help applying for the NDIS

Breakthru understands that applying for the NDIS can be a stressful. We can help you during this process to provide a strong NDIS application by supporting you to connect and successfully engage with the NDIA, plan meetings, provide advice on what evidence you need and how your health professionals can complete the required documentation to ensure the language is aligned with the NDIA’s expectations. 

Breakthru will continue to empower you throughout your NDIS journey by also helping to personalise your plan and achieve your goals; helping you to lead your best life. To receive help applying for the NDIS, simply contact one of our friendly staff today.

About the author

Joshua Cook

Holding dual degrees in Business Marketing and Commerce Accounting, Josh brings more than half a decade of experience to his role as National Marketing Manager at Breakthru, based in Brisbane, Queensland. His life's journey has uniquely equipped him to serve in this vital position. Raised alongside his younger sister Katey, who has Down Syndrome, Josh has gained an intimate understanding of the challenges and societal stigmas associated with disabilities. This personal connection fuels his commitment to the mission of Breakthru - to empower individuals like Katey to access the resources and support they require to live fulfilling lives. Through his role at Breakthru, Josh aims to break down the barriers and dismantle the misconceptions that often surround people with disabilities.

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