The NDIS stands for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and is a new approach to funding supports for people with a disability. The NDIS funds people’s lifetime supports and puts people with a disability at the centre of the system – allowing them greater choice and control and funding matched to their support needs, goals and aspirations.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is new and comes a whole set of new terms. So below we have described some of the key elements of the NDIS.

NDIS Trial site

The National Disability Insurance Scheme has been described as the largest social policy reform since the introduction of Medicare.

If the whole NDIS was brought into operation overnight, it would be extremely difficult to get everything right first time. That’s why the NDIS is being trialed in each Australian state and territory except Queensland. The Barwon area (including Geelong) is the Victorian trial site. The rollout of the NDIS in the rest of Victoria is due to start in July 2016 and finish June 2019.

NDIS Access

Simply, access means qualifying for the NDIS. To be eligible for the NDIS individuals need to be:

  • an Australian citizen or permanent resident, aged under 65 years and have a permanent disability that significantly impacts their everyday functioning and participation in social activities and work OR
  • a person who the NDIS believes would benefit from early intervention.

The NDIS ‘My Access Checker’ allows people to check if they are eligible to participate in the NDIS trials.

You can find out more about the current access criteria for Victoria by the NDIS website.

What happens when you turn 65?

When each participant turns 65 they will have a choice of continuing with the NDIS or having the aged care sector deliver their supports.


This is the term used by the NDIS for people who meet the NDIS access criteria.

NDIS Planner

The NDIS Planner works with participants and their families to identify their support needs, strengths and goals. This forms the basis of the NDIS Plan and individual funding package.
The NDIS Planner is there to help people access, understand the system, and develop their Plan. To ensure the Plan is right, it is important that people think about and discuss their own situation and goals

Participant plans

Each person will decide how they want to manage their NDIS Plan and individual funding package.

NDIS funds can be managed in four ways. These include:

  • Direct payments to the individual or their nominee
  • Using a plan manager (a person or organisation registered as a plan manager with the NDIS)
  • Having the National Disability Insurance Agency manage the funds
  • Using a combination of these arrangements

Support Provider

A support provider is a person or an organisation that delivers support NDIS participants. Each participant decides who provides their supports. Some may use only one provider but other people may decide on more than one. Scope is a registered NDIS support provider.