The NDIS gives participants an individualised ‘plan’ that is designed to help them to achieve, as far as possible, a ‘normal’ life. The plan includes amounts of money specified for certain things that the participant has identified as important to them. This money can only be spent towards meeting the specific personalised ‘goals’, and for the services identified, but the participant has choice and control about who will provide that service.

Some examples of things that NDIS might support are:

  • support workers to assist in the home (cleaning, food preparation, etc)
  • equipment to assist with mobility (for example, electric wheelchairs)
  • home modifications (adapted shower/bathroom, etc)
  • access to allied health workers to help prevent deterioration over time

There is also a housing scheme called Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), which can be accessed by people who are deemed eligible. If you may wish to be housed through the scheme in the future, it is important to include this as a goal, and to request SDA eligibility testing sooner rather than later. Most people in Specialist Disability Accommodation are also accessing Supported Independent Living (SIL). Again, it is important to put this as a goal in your plan - the correct terminology is that you would like to be considered for suitability for supported independent living. 95% of people who are in specialist disability accommodation are also suitable (and accessing) supported independent living. About 65% of people who access supported independent living reside in supported disability accommodation. 

Supports given by the NDIS must be deemed 'reasonable and necessary'. There are also a number of other criteria. For example, supports must:

  • relate to the goals mentioned in your plan

  • support your social and economic participation in society

  • be considered value for money - supports do not have to be the cheapest in the marketplace, but they do not meet the threshold criteria of being considered to be value for money

  • be considered good practice and beneficial – the NDIS will not fund anything that is not evidence based. This means that some (but not all) alternative therapies might be out

  • consider what supports could reasonably be expected to be provided by parents or the community – for example, if the person with a disability is a child, it is reasonable to expect their parents to cook for them. However, if the person with a disability is an adult, then it is not reasonable to expect their parents to cook every meal. In this case, the person may receive funding for meals and cooking support. This criterion would not expect a parent or the community to do beyond what they are expected to do for a person without a disability

  • is most appropriately funded by the NDIS – NDIS will not fund anything that should be funded by another government department, such as Health, Education or Human Services. For example, the NDIS will not pay for the treatment of a condition or hospital stays. However, they will pay supports to help that person live an ordinary life within their condition