Navigating the NDIS can be daunting, especially if the NDIS marks the first time you or your loved one are accessing supports and services. The Inform Online NDIS 101 series aims to take some of the confusion out of understanding, accessing and using the NDIS by providing straightforward information and resources.
The first step in accessing the NDIS, is to determine if you’re eligible. The following short guide explains the eligibility requirements for the NDIS.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for the NDIS you must:
- be under 65 years of age and over 7 years of age
- be an Australian citizen or the holder of a Permanent Visa or Protected Special Category Visa
- have a permanent impairment or condition that requires support for everyday activities
When determining your access to the NDIS, the National Disability Insurance Agency or the NDIA, will first check that you meet the age and citizenship requirements. They will then consider your disability and the supports you may require.
What if I’m over 65?
If you’re over 65 years of age at the time of your application, you won’t be able to access the NDIS. Instead, you can access the aged care system.
Similarly, if you are under 7 years of age, you won’t be able to access the NDIS. However, you may be eligible to access Early Intervention supports under the Early Childhood Early Intervention approach. These supports are aimed at children aged 0-6.
In both cases, speak to your Local Area Coordinator or your local NDIA office about what is available to you.
What are the NDIS disability requirements?
While the age and citizenship requirements for accessing the NDIS are pretty straightforward, it can be a bit harder to determine if you meet the disability requirements.
Eligibility can be broken down into a few key requirements:
Firstly, access to the NDIS requires that you must have a disability that is ‘attributable to one or more intellectual, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairments or to one or more impairments attributable to a psychiatric condition’.
In addition, such a disability must be, or is likely to be, permanent. And it must affect your capacity for social and economic participation.
Further, your disability must result in a ‘reduced functional capacity to undertake’ one or more of the following activities:
- Social interaction
Finally, you must be likely to need support for your lifetime.
The NDIS provides a checklist that can help you determine your eligibility at https://www.ndis.gov.au/applying-access-ndis/am-i-eligible
Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the next step is to make an Access Request. You can call 1800 800 110 to make an Access Request.
For more information on eligibility, visit the NDIS website at www.ndis.gov.au or contact your Local Area Coordinator, Early Childhood Intervention partner or your local NDIA office.
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