You meet the disability requirements if we have evidence of all of the following:
- Your disability is caused by an impairment.
- Your impairment is likely to be permanent.
- Your permanent impairment substantially reduces your functional capacity to undertake one or more of the following activities: moving around, communicating, socialising, learning, or undertaking self-care or self-management tasks.
- Your permanent impairment affects your ability to work, study or take part in social life.
- You’ll likely need support under the NDIS for your whole life.
If you give us evidence you have been diagnosed with one or more conditions on List A, we’ll likely decide you meet the disability requirements.
If you meet the disability requirements, it’s likely you’ll need the NDIS for a long time. This means you won’t have to prove your disability every time we reassess your plan.
If at any time your disability support needs or situation changes, we many need to check your supports or NDIS eligibility. We will talk with you if this happens.
Learn more about how we check if you are still eligible for the NDIS.
Is your disability caused by an impairment?
When we consider your disability, we think about whether any reduction or loss in your ability to do things, across all life domains, is because of an impairment.
An impairment is a loss or significant change in at least one of:
- your body’s functions
- your body structure
- how you think and learn.
To meet the disability requirements, we must have evidence your disability is caused by at least one of the impairments below
- intellectual – such as how you speak and listen, read and write, solve problems, and process and remember information
- cognitive – such as how you think, learn new things, use judgment to make decisions, and pay attention
- neurological – such as how your body functions
- sensory – such as how you see or hear
- physical – such as the ability to move parts of your body.
You may also be eligible for the NDIS if you have a psychosocial disability. This means you have reduced capacity to do daily life activities and tasks due to your mental health.
It doesn’t matter what caused your impairment, for example if you’ve had it from birth, or acquired it from an injury, accident or health condition.
It also doesn’t matter if you have one impairment, or more than one impairment.
Is your impairment likely to be permanent?
We need evidence that you’ll likely have your impairment for your whole life.
You might have some periods in your life where there is a smaller impact on your daily life, because your impairment may be episodic or fluctuate in intensity. Your impairment can still be permanent due to the overall impact on your life, and the likelihood that you will be impacted across your lifetime.
Even when your condition or diagnosis is permanent, we’ll check if your impairment is permanent too. For example, you may not be eligible if your impairment is temporary, still being treated, or if there are remaining treatment options.
Generally, we’ll consider whether your impairment is likely to be permanent after all available and appropriate treatment options have been pursued.
If you give us evidence you have been diagnosed with a condition on List B, we’ll likely decide your disability is from an impairment that’s likely to be permanent.
Is there any medical treatment for your impairment?
We don’t fund supports to treat your impairment.
Instead, the supports we fund can help you reduce or overcome the impact your impairment has on your daily life. They can also help you increase your functional capacity, independence, and your ability to work, study or take part in social life.
Your impairment will likely be permanent if your treating professional gives us evidence that indicates there are no further treatments that could relieve or cure it.
Your treating professional will tell us or be asked to certify if there are medical, clinical or other treatments that are likely to remedy your impairment. We need to understand whether there are treatments which are:
- known and available
- appropriate for you and your impairment
- evidence-based – that is, there’s proof they are likely to be effective.
The word treatment should be understood in a broadest sense and may include changes to your diet and lifestyle. So, for example, conditions such as obesity are unlikely to be found to be permanent.
If you’re still undergoing or have recently had treatment, we’ll need to wait until you know the outcome of the treatment before we can decide your impairment is likely to be permanent.
In some situations, it may be clear your impairment is likely to be permanent while you’re still undergoing treatment or rehabilitation. For example, you may still need treatment and rehabilitation for a spinal cord injury, but it’s clear you’ll have a permanent impairment.
You might still have a permanent impairment, even if its effects may change over time.
For degenerative impairments, or those that get worse over time, we consider them permanent if treatment isn’t likely to help or improve the impairment’s effects.