Understanding the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (“NDIS”) is a Government funded scheme providing support to eligible persons with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychosocial disability.

The purpose of the scheme is to provide a unified national approach to improving the lives of people with disability, their families and carers, and to provide leadership for a community-wide shift in attitudes.

The needs/supports which may be funded include:

  • Daily personal activities;
  • Transport to enable participation in community, social, economic and daily life activities;
  • Workplace help to allow participant to successful get or keep employment in the open or supported labour market;
  • Therapeutic supports including behaviour support;
  • Help with household tasks to allow the participant to maintain their home environment;
  • Help to participate by skilled personnel in aids or equipment assessment, setup and training;
  • Home modification design and construction;
  • Mobility equipment;
  • Vehicle modifications.


To be eligible for assistance through the NDIS, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be in between the ages of 7 and 65;
  2. Reside in Australia and be an Australian citizen or permanent visa holder;
  3. Have a need for support from a person or require the use of special equipment because of a permanent and significant disability.

How to Apply

If you meet the eligibility criteria, and you wish to become a participant in the NDIS, you can contact the NDIS on 1800 800 110 and ask to make an access request.

Alternatively, you can visit the NDIS website at ndis.gov.au and download an “Access Request Form” to complete and lodge.

The process of requesting access to the scheme will involve providing evidence of disability including medical reports, letters of support etc.  A consent form also must be executed enabling the NDIS to attain information from medical and other support providers.

What if my access request is denied?

In the event that you make an access request to the NDIS and it is declined, you have an entitlement to seek review of such decisions.

The first step is to make an application for a Review of a Reviewable Decision.  That application must be lodged within 3 months of receiving the original decision.

A request for a review may be made by:

  1. Sending or delivering a written request to the National Disability Insurance Agency (“NDIA”); or
  2. Making an oral request, in person or by telephone or other means, to the NDIA;
  3. Completing and lodging an “Application for a review of a reviewable decision”.

There is a long list of “reviewable decisions” which include but are not limited to:

  1. A decision that a person does not meet the access criteria;
  2. A decision to revoke a person’s status as a participant in the scheme;
  3. A decision to approve the statement of participants support in a participants plan;
  4. A decision not to review a participant’s plan.

If a participant or a potential participant’s complaint is not resolved via an internal review process, there is one final right of review to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.  An application for review of a reviewed decision by the NDIA must be lodged with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal within 28 days of the review decision being made.


The NDIS is a wonderful initiative which has the opportunity to significantly improve the lives of persons with disabilities.  However, the scheme is not without its pitfalls.  Any scheme involving a bureaucratic process of assessing eligibility criteria is fraught with controversy and error.

Since the scheme’s introduction, it has been a fertile source of complaint and frustration for participants and potential participants.

Notwithstanding this, it is an important source of assistance for persons with disabilities and advice should be obtained early and quickly should any problems arise in the application process.

How can Crew Legal help?

Crew Legal pride ourselves on providing quality advice at the right price. We will ensure that you receive the best advice for your situation and are committed to ensuring that everybody has access to that advice.

We provide a first consultation completely free and with no obligation. If the claim is undertaken, we will proceed with such claims on a ‘No Win/No Fee’ basis.

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