The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing support for people with disability, their families and carers in Australia. Learn more about the NDIS.

The NDIS will provide about 460,000 Australians under the age of 65 with a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to live an ordinary life.

Reasonable and necessary supports help people with disability achieve their goals, including independence, community involvement, employment and well-being. Supports may include personal care and support, access to the community, therapy services and essential equipment.

The NDIS also provides people with disability, their families and carers with information and referrals to support services in the community.

Australians will now have peace of mind that if their child or loved one is born with or acquires a significant disability that is likely to be with them for life they will get the support they need, when they need it.

The NDIS commenced on 1 July, 2013 in several trial locations across the country. During the three-year trial period, 30,000 Australians with disability entered the Scheme.

Following the successful trial, the NDIS entered a unique period of transition with the commencement of the national roll-out on 1 July, 2016. The NDIS is being introduced in stages around the country over three years to ensure it is successful and sustainable.

In addition to providing much needed supports to participants, the NDIS also promotes a community-wide approach to improving accessibility and social participation for people with disability.

The NDIS replaces a disability system that was unfair and inefficient with a new, national system that is world-leading, equitable and sustainable.

The NDIS is the most significant economic and social reform since the introduction of Medicare in the 1970s which has been agreed to by governments for the benefit of all Australians.

In 2010 the Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to carry out a public inquiry into a long-term disability care and support scheme. The Productivity Commission received over 1000 submissions from people within the disability sector.

The Productivity Commission’s 2011 report stated, “from an economic perspective, the benefits of the NDIS will exceed the costs.” It found the NDIS would ultimately add one per cent to the country’s gross domestic product – a significant boost to Australia’s economy.

A PwC report released in 2011, argued that the NDIS would pay for itself. It found that by 2035, the cost to governments of disability support, without reform, would be two to three times the cost of the NDIS.

It is also expected that there will be significant workforce growth opportunities across Australia, with 88,000 new jobs being created as the demand for disability services grows.

The NDIS so far

  • $7.3 billion committed for participant support costs
  • 96,772 participants with an approved NDIS plan
  • 84% of surveyed participants in the quarter rated their experience either good or very good
  • 8,698 service providers have been registered

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