Engaging with the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing disability support.

The NDIS will provide all Australians under the age of 65 who have a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to enjoy an ordinary life. Find out more here.

NDIS support information is available on the Illawarra Shoalhaven and ACT & Southern NSW HealthPathways websites.

To become an NDIS participant a person must:

  • have a permanent disability that significantly affects their ability to take part in everyday activities
  • be aged less than 65 when they first enter the NDIS
  • be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent visa or a Protected Special Category visa
  • live in a part Australia where the NDIS is available.

Additional information and resources:

If your patient is aged 6 years or younger, the NDIS utilises an Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach. This means you can refer the child directly to an NDIS ECEI Provider in their area, they do NOT require an Access Request Form to be completed. In NSW the new partners delivering ECEI services are found here.

Individuals aged between 7 and 65 years who wish to join the NDIS will need to contact the NDIA (the Agency responsible for running the Scheme) and request an Access Request Form (ARF). This can be done by:

  • phoning the NDIA on 1800 800 110
  • completing an online contact form
  • visiting an NDIA Office (NSW list here)
  • contacting your Local Area Coordinator (Uniting for COORDINARE region) by email lacinfo@uniting.org or go to the Uniting website for more information.

If your patient is aged over 65, they will not be eligible to apply for the NDIS (see eligibility criteria listed above). If they were already receiving government funded disability supports services prior to the NDIS’ roll-out in their area, they will not be disadvantaged. They will continue to receive supports that achieve similar outcomes to those they currently receive under the Continuity of Supports (CoS) program.

Early Childhood Intervention resources:

Resources for people aged 65 years and over:

Patients seeking to join the NDIS will need to complete an Access Request Form (ARF).

GPs play an important role in supporting their patients to complete the ARF, particularly Section F which captures information relating to the impact of the individual’s disability on the functional domains of:

  1. Mobility
  2. Communication
  3. Social interaction
  4. Learning
  5. Self-care
  6. Self-management

The GP may also help complete other appropriate sections.

In addition to completing the ARF, an applicant may also supply the NDIS with additional documentation to further support their application, such as:

Some patients may have a specific condition or be part of a program that automatically qualifies them for entry into the NDIS, or that requires no further evidence of disability. Information on providing evidence of disability, and a list of these conditions can be found here

GPs may also be asked to provide updated information about the functional impact of the participant’s disability on their day to day life for consideration during a Plan Review. This information will help the NDIA develop the participant’s updated Plan and address any changes the supports they require.

A useful GP resource: How do I bill? MBS Billing for Completion of the NDIS Access Request Form (ARF).