NDIS Definitions

We understand that the NDIS can be confusing. So we have gathered all the NDIS definitions you should need to help you make sense of it all. You can also find these terms on the NDIS website.

NDIS - What does it mean?

National - The NDIS has been rolled out across all states and territories, except for a few locations in Western Australia.

Disability - The NDIS provides support to eligible people with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychosocial disability. Early intervention supports can also be provided for eligible people with disability or children with developmental delays.

Insurance - The NDIS gives all Australians peace of mind if they, their child or loved one is born with or acquires a permanent and significant disability, they will get the support they need.

Scheme - The NDIS is not a welfare system. The NDIS is designed to help people get the support they need, so their skills and independence improve over time.


Other NDIS Definitions

Access Request Form - The form people fill out that helps NDIA identify if a person is eligible to become a participant.

Access requirements - The criteria someone must meet to become a participant in the NDIS. The access requirements are:

  • Age: under 65 years.
  • Residency: live in Australia and be an Australian citizen or have a Permanent or Special Category Visa.
  • Disability: your disability is permanent, or you need early intervention to reduce the future need for support.

Assessments (disability evidence) – To allow the NDIA to determine whether you meet the disability or early intervention access requirements, you may need to provide evidence of your disability as part of your access request. LiveBig can help you with this by conducting assessments and providing evidence.

Carer - Someone who provides personal care, support and help to a person with disability and is not contracted as a paid or voluntary worker. Often a family member or guardian.

Choice and control - A participant has the right to make their own decisions about what is important to them and to decide how they would like to receive their supports.

Community engagement - Describes the range of ways people are involved in the wider community.

Community services - Activities and interests (not supplied by government groups), which are available to everyone in the community, e.g. social, study and sporting interests.

Disability - Total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions (The Disability Act 1992). Describes a person’s impairment of body or function, a limitation in activities or a restriction in participation when interacting with their environment.

Early Childhood Early Intervention - ECEI - Providing support early in life to reduce the effects of disability and to improve the person’s functional capacity.

Eligibility - Whether a person can become an NDIS participant or not. This is determined using the information provided on the Access Request Form.

First plan - The start of a participant’s journey with NDIS. An NDIS plan documents a participant’s goals and the supports needed to work towards these. NDIS plans are reviewed regularly.

Formal supports - Supports participants have to book and pay for.

Full scheme - The dates when the NDIS will be available to all eligible residents. NDIS is available for all Australian residents with disability, except for the following areas:

  • Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands, which will be July 2020

Funded supports - Supports the NDIS pays for through a participant’s plan. These supports must be reasonable and necessary.

Funded support package - The funding available to a participant. There are three budgets in a support package: Core, Capacity Building and Capital.

Goals - Things a participant wishes they could do or achieve in the future, with the help of the NDIS.

Guardian - A person in a formal caring role, acting for a person with a disability. Parents are usually guardians.

Informal supports - The support participants get from the people around them, for example, family, friends, neighbours.

Insurance model - The NDIS spreads the cost of an individual’s current and future needs across the broader community. It is available to every Australian that meets the access requirements. It emphasises up-front investments to reduce a participant’s future NDIS needs.

Insurance principle - The same as insurance model.

Lived experience of disability - A person’s own experience of living with a disability or having a close relationship with someone with disability, e.g., a family member or partner.

Local Area Coordinators (LAC) - LACs are local organisations working in partnership with the NDIA to help participants, their families and carers access the NDIS. LACs will help participants write and manage their plans and also connect participants to mainstream services and local and community-based supports.

Mainstream services - The government systems providing services to the Australian public, e.g., health, mental health, education, justice, housing, child protection and employment services.

Market - A collection of providers offering products and services to NDIS participants.

Multidisciplinary team - A team of professionals who work with one another and share the jobs of evaluating, planning and providing services to a participant.

NDIA - National Disability Insurance Agency. The Commonwealth government organisation administering the NDIS.

NDIS - National Disability Insurance Scheme. A new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission - a new independent Commonwealth agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services.

National Access Team (NAT) - NDIA staff members who work in locations around Australia to review NDIS access applications and decisions relating to a participant’s eligibility for the NDIS.

Nominee - A person who is appointed to act and make decisions for a participant who does not have a parent or guardian.

Participant - A person who meets the NDIS access requirements.

Participant Statement - Information setting out a participant’s living arrangements, relationships, supports, description of day to day life, as well as their short and longer-term goals.

Permanent and significant disability - A permanent disability means your disability is likely to be lifelong. A significant disability has a substantial impact on your ability to complete everyday activities.

Person with disability - A person who has any or all of the following: impairments, activity limitations (difficulties in carrying out usual age-appropriate activities), and participation restrictions (problems a person may have taking part in community, social and family life).

Plan - A written agreement worked out with the participant, stating their goals and needs, and the reasonable and necessary supports the NDIS will fund for them.

Plan review - NDIS plans are reviewed annually. This is a chance for participants to check if they are receiving the right support and if they are achieving their goals.

Privacy Act 1988 - The NDIA Privacy Notice explains:

  • What kind of personal information the NDIA needs to collect about prospective and existing participants
  • The people the NDIA may need to collect information from
  • Why the NDIA needs the information, and
  • What the NDIS usually does with this information.

Provider - Someone who has products or services to help participants achieve the goals in their plan. Participants can choose their providers and change providers at any time. This is also known as choice and control.

Psychosocial disability - When a person’s mental health issues cause disability.

Reasonable and necessary - Reasonable means something fair and necessary means something you must have. The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports relating to a person’s disability to help them live an ordinary life and achieve their goals.

Registered provider - A disability support provider that has met the NDIS requirements for qualifications, approvals, experience, capacity and quality standards to provide a product or service.

Sector - The organisations and companies providing disability support services and the peak bodies that represent them.

Self-management (funding) - Participants receive all or part of their NDIS funding and they manage their payments for supports and pay their providers directly.

Self-management - The amount of help a participant needs doing daily tasks, making decisions and handling problems and money.

Service agreement - A contract between the participant and the service provider they have chosen to deliver the supports in their participant plan.

Supplier - Someone who provides items to support participants, e.g., equipment.

Support coordinator - A person who can help people with disability to understand and implement the funded supports in an NDIS plan and link them to community, mainstream and other government services.

Supports - Things to help a person undertake daily life activities and enable them to participate in the community and reach their goals.

Transdisciplinary - similar to multidisciplinary, but one professional is chosen as the lead participant provider. A full team is involved in working with the participant. However, the lead provider is responsible for coordination and progress reporting for the participant.

Workforce - refers to people working in the disability support sector.

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