Is the NDIS Right for You?

Person with green hair and glasses, sitting in front of a wall and reading a book.

“Navigating the system is so tiring but it is worth it. I know it seems really intimidating but it’s not something you have to do by yourself. The best way for me to understand the NDIS was to talk to other people who’d been through it. Through accessing the bureaucratic scheme, I’ve managed to fill out my life in ways I never thought I’d get to have. I’m happier now than I think I ever have been. For the first time I feel excited about where I’m going and what I have yet to do.” – Robin (they/them), is a multiply disabled wheelchair user 

You’ve probably heard of the NDIS, but you may still have questions. What exactly is the NDIS? How does it work? If I’m a disabled person, how can the NDIS support me? How can the NDIS meet the particular needs of the LGBTQ+ community? Will the NDIS respect my identity and relationships?  

Our communities have a long and proud history of seeking visibility and advocating for ourselves. This toolkit looks at the NDIS through an LGBTQ+ perspective, created by and drawing on the voices of LGBTQ+ people with disability to support you in making decisions about whether the NDIS is right for you, applying for the NDIS, what to do if you’re approved for the NDIS – and steps to take if your application is rejected.   

What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was launched in 2013. It provides people with serious, permanent disability with access to funding for the supports they need. It aims to provide people with disability with choice and control by allowing them to select the providers for their disability supports.  

Am I Eligible for NDIS?

“I’ve only been on it for six months, but the NDIS has changed my life profoundly. You can start out feeling like a cog in a machine but once you come out the other end, it’s been life changing and I’m so grateful for all the support I’m receiving” – Finn (he/him), lives with Cerebral Palsy 

To be eligible for the NDIS, you need to live in Australia, be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or hold a permanent visa or special category visa, be aged under 65 at the time you apply and have a permanent and significant disability. For NDIS purposes, this means you have one or more impairments which are likely to be permanent and have a substantial impact on your ability to do daily life activities. Since July 2022, NDIS better recognises that some conditions (including psychosocial disability) may be episodic or fluctuating. 

You can find more information on demonstrating eligibility in our “How To Apply for the NDIS” section.  

Note: The NDIS uses the language/word “impairment”. Having to think about yourself in terms of “impairments” can be painful, upsetting and not the way we want to live our lives. It’s important to remember that the NDIS is just a tool to help us live our lives – It’s not our whole lives as disabled people – there are many parts of you that the NDIS doesn’t relate to. 

The NDIS and LGBTQ+ people 

You might be wondering how the NDIS can support your rights, needs and identity as an LGBTQ+ person. LGBTQ+ people report higher rates of disability than the general community. Despite this, LGBTQ+ people are under-represented among NDIS participants. Our communities may have particular concerns about accessing the NDIS, such as whether our identities and relationships will be respected and whether we can access respectful and appropriate services.  The NDIS has recently enacted changes to better reflect and support the needs of our communities. 

Disabled LGBTQ+ people who live at the intersection of these two identities can face compounded discrimination and stigmatisation. Overlapping marginalisation can lead to increased isolation and feel overwhelming, so it’s important for disabled LGBTQ+ people to build communities and draw on our collective strengths.  

The NDIA have developed the NDIA LGBTIQA+ Strategy to outline their commitment to being responsive to the needs of LGBTQ+ people with disability, their families, carers and communities.  

Changes to the NDIS: 


What this means for you: 

The NDIS acknowledges the diversity of bodies, genders and relationships.  


The NDIS aims to ensure that people with a disability can express their gender, sex and sexual orientation without discrimination.   

Updates to the Act to reflect the episodic or fluctuating nature of some disabilities, which may be considered as permanent in relation to eligibility for the NDIS.  


There is clearer guidance for the NDIA in considering whether an impairment is permanent, recognising that some conditions (including psychosocial disability) may be episodic or fluctuating. This will benefit LGBTQ+ people who experience high rates of psychosocial disabilities, that may be episodic or fluctuating 

What support can I get from the NDIS?

The types of supports that the NDIS may fund for participants include: 

  • daily personal activities 
  • transport to enable participation in community, social, economic and daily life activities 
  • workplace help to allow a participant to successfully 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 a participant by skilled personnel in aids or equipment assessment, set up and training 
  • home modification design and construction 
  • mobility equipment, and 
  • vehicle modifications 

“...the bulk of my NDIS support comes towards my cochlear implant, the other difference is that it could help give me access to speech pathology....Auslan classes that I never considered before.” -– William (he/him)  

LGBTQ+ people who choose to access the NDIS can:  

  • Seek funding to access supports to make connecting with LGBTQ+ communities easier – like transport to LGBTQ+ community events. 
  • Choose services and providers that are LGBTQ+ affirming and inclusive.  

“I’ve gone from being homeless, being fired from a job and a violent relationship and now I’ve got a new home with a partner and it wouldn’t have happened without the NDIS because the supports that I get, give me a foundation that I can do other things on. It’s just been remarkable how my life has changed” – Debbie (she/her), lives with psychosocial disability. 

Should I apply for the NDIS?

Only you can decide if the NDIS is right for you. 

You might want to discuss it with friends, partners, family, your loved ones and any professional services you use such as your GP, occupational therapist etc. 

“Anyone who’s thinking about the NDIS, if you’re not sure if you qualify or fit the criteria, just call them, they’re very willing to help. There’s also lots of resources online” – Anthony (he/they/she), lives with Tourette’s 

Find out more about the NDIS Journey

Is the NDIS right for you? | Your NDIS application | Your NDIS application was successful – What next? | Your NDIS application was unsuccessful – What next? | Self Care, Facing Stress and Anxiety | Family, Friends and Allies | Language used | Useful Links


Click here to view / download the NDIS Journey Map.

ACON Social Media Platforms