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Everything You Need to Know About NDIS: Common Questions Answered

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an essential insurance scheme for people with disabilities in Australia. It is designed to provide support and services to individuals with disabilities. If you are new to the NDIS or looking to learn more, here you can find answers to some of the most common questions to help you better understand this important initiative.

What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?

NDIS-abbreviation for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

  • National: The NDIS is being introduced progressively across all states and territories.
  • 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 delay.
  • 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.
What is the role of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)?

The NDIA makes decisions about whether someone is eligible to become an NDIS participant and, if so, how much funding they will receive. This is based on legislation called the NDIS Act 2013  which sets out what supports and services are considered reasonable and necessary for the NDIS to fund.

What is the role of the Quality & Safeguards Commission?

The NDIS Commission’s role is to promote the rights of NDIS participants and work with providers to provide safe and high-quality supports and services to people with disability.

Am I Eligible for the NDIS?

The NDIS is for people with disability who live in Australia and-Are under 65 years of age when they first access the NDIS.

Are an Australian citizen OR a permanent resident, OR a New Zealand citizen who is a Protected Special Category Visa holders Have a disability that will not go away, is ‘lifelong’ and affects their ability to take part in everyday activities.

For people who are not eligible, the NDIS may be able to link them to find other suitable supports.

Please refer to the eligibility checklist of the NDIS via the link below:

Am I eligible | NDIS

How the NDIS works?

The NDIS is Australia’s first national Scheme for people with disability. It provides funding directly to individuals.

How the NDIS works | NDIS

Who is a NDIS Participant?

People who meet the NDIS access requirements are called participants. A NDIS participant is a person with disability who meets the access requirements to become a participant in the NDIS.

What is a Registered NDIS Provider?

A registered provider is a person or an organisation that meets the NDIS quality and safeguards standards and delivers services and supports to the participants of the NDIS. If you decide to use a provider that is not registered, ensure they have the correct qualifications, training, and safety checks.

Registration provides some assurance to NDIS participants that the provider’s services and supports meet the level of quality and safety.

What is the role of a Nominee?

If you’re not able to make decisions, even with support, the NDIA will explore who else can make decisions and do things on your behalf. They call this representative decision-making, and we call this person a nominee.

The role of a nominee is voluntary, which means they don’t get paid. If you have a nominee, they’ll be responsible for making decisions about your business with the NDIS and doing things on your behalf. They must listen to your wishes and do things that support your personal and social wellbeing.

Who can be my Nominee?

There are some people who can’t be appointed nominees. A person under the age of 18 can’t be a nominee. The NDIA can’t be a nominee, but in some cases, someone who works for the NDIA could be your nominee. They would need to have a personal relationship with you, for example, if they’re a family member or friend. If so, they would be a nominee because of their personal relationship to you, not as part of their work at the NDIA.

Appointing a nominee | NDIS

What kind of Plan Management options do I have to manage my NDIS funding?

There are three options to manage your NDIS funding – self-managed, plan-managed and NDIA-managed. You can also choose a combination of the three options. For example, you may choose to self-manage one part of your plan to start with and have the rest managed by the NDIA.


The NDIA provides you with funding so you can access the supports that will best help you pursue your goals.

Plan-managed funding

The NDIA will provide funding in your plan to pay for a Plan Manager who pays your providers for you, helps you keep track of funds and takes care of financial reporting for you. 

NDIA-managed funding

The NDIA pays your providers on your behalf. 

How does the NDIS support participants?

People who are participants in the NDIS will be assisted to develop a personal, goal-based plan about how they will be provided with general supports and reasonable and necessary supports. The NDIS will respect the interests of people with disability in exercising choice and control about matters that affect them.

What is support coordination (Coordination of Support)?

You can gain valuable skills with support coordination and learn how to understand and use your NDIS plan to reach your goals. Organising and locating the best support for your needs can help you make the most of the NDIS plan. You’re getting supportive services that the NDIS calls ‘capacity building’ – designed to equip you with the skills for managing your support.

Who benefits most from the support coordination services?

Taking the time to coordinate your support is a little difficult. Loyal Support Services’s dedicated support coordinators are always ready to assist participants in finding the right provider for your needs, monitoring your support regularly, and implementing your plan. When you have to work with many different service providers, this feature is especially useful.

Is coordination of support available to everyone?

Whether or not coordination support complies with provided criteria which is decided by the NDIS for each case individually.

What is a NDIS Capacity Building Supports budget?

A support that enables a participant to build their independence and skills so they can participate in community, social and recreational activities. This may include employment-related support, training and assessments that help you find and keep a job, such as the School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES). 

What is a NDIS Core Supports budget?

A support that enables a participant to complete activities of daily living and enables them to work towards their goals and meet their objectives. Transport and assistance with household tasks are examples of core supports.

What is PACE?

PACE refers to the Provider and Participant Connection Experience. PACE is an initiative by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) in Australia to improve communication and collaboration between NDIS participants and service providers.

The PACE initiative aims to enhance the experience of NDIS participants by facilitating better coordination and understanding between participants and their chosen service providers. It focuses on establishing strong relationships, effective communication, and mutual partnership between all stakeholders involved.

Under the PACE framework, service providers are encouraged to actively engage with participants, ensuring their needs and goals are understood and addressed. This includes fostering open lines of communication, actively listening to participants’ input, and consistently seeking feedback to improve service delivery.

Similarly, participants are encouraged to actively participate in their support planning, providing input, and collaborating with their service providers to determine the best outcomes for their individual needs. This includes expressing their preferences, sharing their goals, and actively engaging in the decision-making process.

The PACE initiative ultimately aims to create a person-centered approach within the NDIS, where participants have greater control and choice over their supports and service providers work in collaboration to meet their individual goals and needs.

How often does my Support Coordinator need to report back to the NDIA about my progress?

The frequency of reporting by Support Coordinators to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can vary depending on individual circumstances and the requirements outlined in your NDIS plan. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Plan Review: Support Coordinators typically provide updates and progress reports during scheduled plan reviews. These reviews are usually conducted annually or at specified intervals outlined in your plan.
  2. Significant Changes: If there are significant changes in your circumstances that may impact your support needs or goals, your Support Coordinator may need to report back to the NDIS more frequently. This could include changes in your health condition, living situation, or goals.
  3. Service Delivery Monitoring: The NDIS may require periodic reporting from Support Coordinators to monitor the quality and delivery of supports and services. This helps ensure that participants receive appropriate and effective assistance.
  4. Updates on Goals and Supports: Your Support Coordinator may need to provide regular updates to the NDIS regarding progress made towards achieving your goals, any challenges or barriers faced, and adjustments made to supports and services.

It’s important to note that the specific reporting requirements may differ for each individual and can be discussed and defined in your NDIS plan. It is recommended to communicate with your Support Coordinator and review your plan to understand the reporting expectations and frequency that apply to your specific situation.

If you have further questions about reporting requirements or any other aspect of the NDIS, feel free to ask for more information.

What is NDIS Pricing Arrangements and the Price List?

NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits (previously the NDIS Price Guide) assist participants and disability support providers to understand the way that price controls for supports and services work in the NDIS. Price regulation is in place to ensure that participants receive value for money in the supports that they receive.

The Support Catalogue lists all of the available supports those providers can use when lodging a payment request. It also provides information on the current (and previous) price limits for each support item and indicates which claim types (travel, non-face-to-face, etc.) apply for each price-limited support item.

Price limits are the maximum prices that registered providers can charge NDIS participants for specific supports. Participants and providers can negotiate lower prices. NDIS pricing arrangements and price limits must be followed when supports are delivered to NDIA-managed or plan-managed participants.

The NDIA regularly updates pricing arrangements, and the updated NDIS support catalogue can be accessed via the link online: Pricing arrangements | NDIS

What is a Service Agreement?

It is a written agreement created with a service provider that sets out:

  • What supports the participant will receive from the provider
  • How and when supports will be provided
  • The cost of these supports
  • How long the agreement will last
What is Choice and Control?

In the past, many people with disabilities in Australia often felt excluded from community life and had little choice in how their supports were provided. In the NDIS, participants can decide what supports they want and how they receive them.

What is Reasonable and Necessary Support?

The NDIS will pay for support that is related to the disability, is necessary, and will help a person reach their goals and dreams and help people to become more independent.

What types of support are funded by the NDIS?

There are many supports available from many specialist NDIS providers, based on what your needs are in relation to your disability. These supports span from practical daily living arrangements through to modifications in your home.

What the NDIS won’t fund?

The NDIS will not fund anything that- is not related to the person’s disability relates to day-to-day living costs that are not related to the person’s support needs should be funded by another agency, such as education, health, or housing is likely to cause harm to the participant or to others.

How Does the NDIS Planning Process work?

The planning process is centred around establishing your ongoing and future needs by looking at your current supports and reports and assessments from providers as well as your future goals.

What is Pre-planning?

People can start thinking and planning now about how they want to live their life and what help they will need to do this. There is a NDIS planning workbook that people can complete to help them get ready for the planning process.
Copies of the workbook are on the NDIS website. This has been translated into the following languages- Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Greek, Italian, and simplified and traditional Chinese.

What do I need to know about working with a NDIS Planner?

When you are notified that you are eligible for the NDIS you will receive a planning kit. The planning kit explains the planning and assessment process and includes a participant statement that should be completed before the planning and assessment process.

If people need assistance such as an interpreter or translated materials, the NDIS can help organize this. You can also request to have materials translated if you need them for these meetings.

There will be a variety of ways you can develop your NDIS plan, including meeting with a NDIS planner. The NDIS helps you discuss your needs, goals, and aspirations and the supports you currently receive.

This may take more than one conversation and you can have someone with you for support.

Using this information, the NDIS will then develop a plan of supports that best meets your needs and your goals.

You can invite other people to support and assist you during the planning process.

What happens after a NDIS plan is approved?

Once a plan is approved, a Local Area Coordinator or a funded Support Coordinator will help the participant to access other government and community services; to select providers to provide services to them and develop Service Agreements with these providers; and to understand how to track expenditure of NDIS funds throughout the life of their plan.

What is the process after a person is granted access?

If a person is deemed eligible for the NDIS, a NDIS representative (such as a Local Area Coordinator or a NDIA planner) will contact the participant to gather information to develop a NDIS plan. NDIS plans are built in accordance with the participant’s immediate needs, and their medium to longer-term goals. All supports in a NDIS plan must be reasonable and necessary and related to their disability. Funds will be approved to help a person to have an ordinary life and increase their social and economic participation.

The NDIS plan will detail how the funding is expected to help the person. The NDIS places great emphasis on building an individual’s independence and many NDIS plans will specify supports that build a person’s ability to develop their skills and independence. Equipment, home and/or vehicle modifications are considered an investment in a participant’s increased independence.

What is Local area coordination (LAC)?

Local area coordination (LAC) partners support the NDIS to deliver social and economic outcomes for people with disability. For most people aged seven years and older, a LAC will be their main point of contact for the NDIS. LACs work with all people with disability (not just NDIS participants). 

LACs can: 

  • help all people with disability to connect with supports, activities in their community and other government services to meet their needs.
  • share information about the NDIS and help people access the NDIS if needed. 
  • work with NDIS participants to develop and use their NDIS plan.
  • work in local communities to help them become more accessible and inclusive for all people with disability.


What is a Plan review?

A NDIS participant’s plan will generally be reviewed after 12 months. At this time the NDIA will contact the participant to check if their supports are working well and if they are making progress towards their goals.

A person can also request a review of their plan at any time if their situation has changed or if they are not happy with what is in their plan.

What happens if a NDIS participant turns 65?

If a NDIS participant is receiving support and reaches the age of 65, they can choose to stay as a NDIS participant and continue to receive the supports in their plan or they can choose to leave and access supports provided by the aged care system. If they are from an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background, they are able to switch at 50 years of age. If they do choose to move to the aged care system, they are unable to return to the NDIS.

Is the Disability Support Pension and the NDIS linked?

While both the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and the NDIS provide support for people with disability, they perform very different functions and have different assessment criteria. Therefore, an application for a DSP cannot be used as part of an application for the NDIS. Assistance from the NDIS is not means tested and has no impact on income support such as the Disability Support Pension.

Can NDIS funds be used to pay the gap for Medicare services?

No. The NDIS is not designed to fund supports more appropriately funded or provided by the health system. NDIS funds cannot be used to pay Medicare gap fees. A support the NDIS pays for is not claimable against any other Commonwealth Program such as Medicare.

What address can doctors send medical documents to?

Medical information can be sent through email, post or be delivered in person into a local NDIS office. To send it by mail: GPO Box 700, Canberra, ACT 2601 To send it by email: NAT@ndis.gov.au If sending items through post, it is recommended that a photocopy is made.

Are copies of plans automatically supplied to GPs and health professionals?

No. GPs and health professionals should ask participants to bring a copy of their NDIS participant plan to a subsequent consultation. It may be useful to be aware of what services can be purchased by the participant with NDIS funds, as these may complement those already available through Medicare.

What are some of the keywords used by NDIS?


Access Request Form

A form used to make a request to become a participant of the NDIS.

The completion of an access request form for a child younger than 7 is usually supported by an early childhood partner, who has met with the child and their family or carer and supported the family to gather evidence of the child’s developmental delay or disability.

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 paperwork letting you live here permanently.
  • Disability: your disability is permanent (will not go away) or you need early intervention (to be treated early that will help by reducing the future needs for supports).



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 and who from.

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.


If you’re unhappy with any part of the process, system, product or service provided by the NDIA, you can make a complaint. It can be either written or verbal and can be provided by a participant, provider, family member or carer.


Developmental concerns

When a child’s development is delayed, but they do not fully meet the definition of developmental delay. Refer to ‘developmental delay’ below. For children younger than 6 with developmental concerns, the early childhood partner will discuss the supports that may be available to the child and family. This support may include a program of short term early intervention called ‘early supports’ and connections to mainstream and community supports.

Developmental delay

Under the NDIS (NDIS Act 2013 s.9), developmental delay means a delay in the development of a child younger than 6 that meets all the criteria described in the Access to the NDIS Operational Guidelines – Early intervention requirements. 


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 Approach

The early childhood approach is the way we work with children younger than 7 who have a developmental delay or disability, and their families. Children who do not fully meet the definition of developmental delay and have developmental concerns will also be supported through our early childhood approach. This support may include a program of short term early intervention called ‘early supports’ and connections to mainstream and community supports. The early childhood approach is based on the principles of best practice in early childhood intervention to achieve better long-term outcomes for children.

Early Childhood Partner

Early childhood partners are local organisations we fund to deliver the early childhood approach. Early childhood partners have teams of professionals with experience and expertise in working with children with developmental delay and disability. The term early childhood partner may refer to either the partner organisation or the professionals working within the organisation.

Early intervention: Providing support to a person, either a child or an adult, as early as possible to reduce the impacts of disability or developmental delay and to build their skills and independence.


Whether a person can become a NDIS participant or not. This is determined using the information 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. See ‘Support’.

Full plan

Glossary | NDIS

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 3 budgets in a support package: Core, Capacity Building and Capital.



Things a participant wishes to work towards, with the help of the NDIS.


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


Informal supports

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

Insurance model

The NDIS spreads the cost of individual’s current and future needs across the broader community. It is available to every Australian that meets the access requirements. It places emphasis on 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.


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


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



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


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

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) is a new independent Commonwealth agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. For information about the NDIS Commission and what they do, please visit the NDIS Commission website.

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.


A person who can make NDIS decisions for a participant aged 18 or older. A nominee can do things on behalf of the participant when working with the NDIS.



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 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).


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. Each participant has their own individual plan.

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.


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


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 pursue 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. 



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.


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.

Service provider

Glossary | NDIS


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

Supports and services: Assistance or products that help a person in their daily life and help them participate in the community and reach their goals.



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



refers to people working in the disability support sector.

Reference: Glossary | NDIS

Remember, while the answers provided here offer general information about the NDIS, it’s always recommended to consult with the NDIA or relevant authorities for specific details related to your unique circumstances.

Whether you are considering applying for the NDIS or already participating in the program, understanding the basics and having your questions answered is essential. Embrace the opportunities and support the NDIS offers and embark on a journey towards empowerment, inclusivity, and improved quality of life.

If you have any more questions or require further clarification on specific aspects of the NDIS, please feel free to ask.

We help people in Sydney with NDIS services as a local provider.

As a local provider of the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) in Sydney, we are dedicated to helping individuals navigate the NDIS and access the services and support they need, either through our organisation or through other providers or organisations in Australia.

Our team is committed to assisting people with disabilities in understanding their NDIS plans, connecting them with appropriate service providers, and advocating for their rights. We work closely with our NDIS participants to ensure they receive the care and resources necessary to improve their quality of life and achieve their goals.

Our goal is to make the NDIS process as seamless and stress-free as possible, providing personalised and compassionate support to each individual we work with.

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Did you know that NDIS service agreements with NDIS providers are not lock-in contracts?

You can exit your existing NDIS Service Agreements in accordance with the stipulated notice as detailed in the agreement. The notice period may vary, typically being 7 days, 14 days, or sometimes even 28 days, depending on the type of support you currently receive.

Feel free to contact us to arrange an obligation-free consultation. During this consultation, we can explain how we can assist you in transitioning your NDIS support services to Loyal Support Services. With us, you can anticipate receiving expert NDIS support services customised to suit your unique support requirements.

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