What do we mean by applying to the NDIS?

Applying to the NDIS means doing things to find out if you can become a participant and start getting supports under the NDIS. There is a process to follow when you apply to the NDIS. After you apply, we’ll look at all of the information you provide and decide if you’re eligible.

If we decide you’re eligible, you’ll become a participant in the NDIS. We’ll then work with you to create your first plan, which will include funding for any reasonable and necessary supports .

If you’re not eligible, there are other services available to you, such as other government and community services. We can help you connect to these other services.

For children younger than 9, we encourage families to talk to an early childhood partner before applying to the NDIS. They can help families connect to the right supports and let families know if the NDIS is right for their child. Learn more about our early childhood approach and early connections

Learn more about our early childhood approach.

Are you eligible for the NDIS?

To be eligible for the NDIS, you first need to meet the age and residence requirements. This means you need to be younger than 65 when you apply, live in Australia, and be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. 

You also need to have a disability caused by an impairment.

When we say impairment in this guideline, we mean a loss or significant change in your body’s function, structure, or in how you think and learn. Under the law for the NDIS, we check if you’re eligible based on your impairments, not your type of disability or diagnosis.

You will need to meet either the disability requirements or the early intervention requirements.

Disability requirements

To meet the disability requirements, we must have evidence of all of the following:

  • You have a disability caused by an impairment.
  • Your impairment is likely to be permanent.
  • Your impairment means you have a substantially reduced functional capacity to do one or more daily life activities. These activities include moving around, communicating, socialising, learning, undertaking self-care, or self-management tasks.
  • Your impairment affects your ability to work, study or take part in social life.
  • You’ll likely need NDIS supports your whole life.

Early intervention requirements

To meet the early intervention requirements, we must have evidence of all of the following:

  • You have an impairment that’s likely to be permanent, or that you are a child younger than 6 with developmental delay
  • Early intervention will help you by reducing your need for supports in the future.
  • Early intervention will help you by either reducing the impact your impairment has on your functional capacity, or support your informal supports to build their skills to help you.
  • The early intervention you need is most appropriately funded by the NDIS.

If you’re receiving disability supports from the Western Australian government, you might already meet most of the eligibility criteria.

We’ll use information in your application to decide if you’re eligible for the NDIS.

If you’re eligible, you become an NDIS participant. The length of time you’ll be an NDIS participant will depend on your situation and disability support needs.

For more information, check out our information on leaving the NDIS .

This guideline has detailed information on how we decide if you’re eligible for the NDIS. For general information about who’s eligible, read Am I eligible and Applying to the NDIS factsheet.

Check out our website for information about children younger than 9 .

We also have information on Mental health and the NDIS . If you have a psychosocial disability, this webpage has information on whether the NDIS is right for you, and what information we need if you apply.

A psychosocial disability isn’t a mental health condition or diagnosis. A psychosocial disability means you have reduced capacity to undertake tasks and activities of daily living due to your mental health.

This page current as of
16 April 2024
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