Who funds the supports you need when you’re not in custody?

You may need a range of supports and services throughout your life, to help you live as independently as you can and pursue your goals. This may include supports funded by the NDIS, and supports provided by mainstream and community services like health, mental health, housing and education.

You may also get some supports through community services such as church groups, charities, local councils or sporting clubs.

Sometimes informal supports, like your family, friends and other people you know in your community, can also support you. They know you, and can help you in ways other supports might not be able to.

Under the law for the NDIS, all supports we include in your plan must meet the NDIS funding criteria. We can’t replace supports and services that are more appropriately provided or funded by another service system. This includes if you’re subject to a community order requiring you to access certain supports and services.

We must consider the responsibilities of different service systems when we work out who is most appropriate to fund different supports. The law sets out the responsibilities of different service systems, including the justice system. 

Federal, state and territory governments across Australia have also agreed on responsibilities across service systems. They have agreed about:

The information in this section is a summary only. For more detailed information on responsibilities across the NDIS and other services, check out the Applied Principles and Tables of Support .

What supports should the justice system or other services provide?

The justice system and other services provide educational and other programs to the wider population. They must adapt these programs to make them accessible to people with disability.
For example, other services must provide written material in large print or Easy English, or use an Auslan interpreter for face-to-face programs.

The programs may be to:

  • prevent offending
  • lower the risks of people reoffending
  • divert young people and adults from the criminal justice system.

The justice system is responsible for managing community corrections, such as supervising you as part of a community based order.

The justice system and other services provide supports that are related to health, justice and community safety.

For example, the justice system and other services should provide:

  • cultural, linguistic and religious support while you are in custody including Aboriginal and other cultural liaison officers
  • intensive case coordination where a significant part relates to your transition from the justice system into the community
  • supports intended to make sure you keep to community or parole orders, such as drug testing, medication or supervision
  • home modifications not related to your disability, such as locks for secure doors or screens on windows – this may be for other reasons such as to restrict your movement if you’re on a community or parole order
  • clinical services aimed at reducing offending behaviour, such as anger management courses or psychology sessions for sexual or violent offending
  • clinical treatment for a mental health condition including acute mental health interventions
  • drug and alcohol clinical treatment.

What NDIS supports can you get if you’re not in custody?

If you’re involved in the justice system but not in custody, we’ll fund supports that meet the NDIS funding criteria and are related to your disability. We’ll do this in the same way as we do for any participants who are not involved with the justice system. 

Learn more about the different types of supports we fund.

Remember, NDIS supports are just some of the supports you can get if you’re not in custody. You can also get mainstream and community supports from government funded services, and other services in your local community. 

Can we fund home and living supports if you’re involved in the justice system?

When you’re not in custody, we can only fund home and living supports if they are related to your disability and meet all the NDIS funding criteria. This may be supports like Individualised Living Options or Supported Independent Living.

First, we’ll work with you to understand your support needs. We will ask you to complete a Home and Living Supports Request Form . There are also other supports such as personal care we may fund for you to live independently in your home.

We can’t fund Supported Independent Living or other home and living supports if the main reason is to:

  • make sure you comply with a community order
  • reduce your risk of reoffending.

If you need home and living supports to help you comply with a community order, or reduce your risk of reoffending, then this is the responsibility of the justice system.

This page current as of
15 June 2021
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