Starting Your NDIS Application

Man with short bleached hair and a check shirt sitting in front of a dressing table mirror.

 “When you’re applying and collecting all the documents, make sure you put everything. If you think it’s too much, don’t! The more you put, the easier it is for them to assess you. I wrote a four page personal account about how disability affects me daily, because the NDIS people aren’t necessarily medical professionals… this will help them understand” – Anthony (he/them/she), lives with Tourette’s


What you need to know

  • An application to receive NDIS supports is known as an access request.
  • Before you can receive support from the NDIS, you need to lodge a formal application and be approved by the NDIA.
  • This process can seem lengthy and complicated, but there are ways to get through it.
  • Much of the language used in the next section reflects the language used on the NDIS application form. You might find some of this language confronting. If this raises any issues for you, you can

There are several ways to make an Access Request:

  • You can make an Access Request by calling 1800 800 110

Alternatively, you can download an Access Request Form here and return the completed form  by email to NAT@ndis.gov.au, or by post to GPO Box 700, Canberra, ACT 2601


Applying for the NDIS

Information for trans & gender diverse people

Trans and gender diverse people may have concerns that the NDIS will not respect your name, pronouns or gender identity. You may have experienced this discrimination before.

The NDIS requires you to provide your name and gender as shown on your legal documents such as your driver’s licence and Medicare card.

If you legally change your name and gender, you won’t be able to change your details with the NDIS online – you will need to contact the NDIA by phone.

You can find more information on legally affirming your gender, and a range of other resources for transgender people, at Transhub.

What to expect on the NDIS Access Request Form:

You will need to provide:

  • Your details – name, date of birth, address, gender, country of origin, language spoken at home, any Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, whether you are an Australian citizen or visa category if you don’t have citizenship.
  • You will need to sign a privacy disclaimer and consent to release your information on the access request form.
  • Contact details for how you would like the NDIA to contact you.
  • Parental consent (if you are under 18).
  • Information about your carers and family members (if applicable).
  • They will ask you to describe your ‘primary disability’. You may have multiple conditions and impairments that have a disabling effect, but the NDIS wants to know ‘what is your primary disability’ – the condition and/or impairment that has the most impact on your life – and then any secondary disability You will need to tell the NDIS whether you acquired your disability as a result of an injury and if so, whether you received compensation for that injury.
  • You will need to provide supporting documentation to verify the nature of your disability and the impact they have on your daily life. This may include any diagnostic or assessment reports, or having a medical or allied health professional complete this information on the form.
  • You won’t need to explain what support you want to get – this will be worked out after you’re approved, when you have your first planning meeting.

Supporting evidence

For your NDIS application, you will need to provide evidence from treating professionals, describing your disability and the impacts it has on your daily life (functioning).

  • Supporting evidence reports need to be detailed. The more information and detail you provide, the better
  • For your NDIS application, you will usually need to provide assessments or reports from medical or disability specialists, outlining the nature of your disability, the impact it has on your daily functioning, and your likely needs for support.
  • This is so the NDIS can assess your need for them to provide supports.
  • It can sometimes be difficult to get an assessment. There can be long waiting times to see specialists, and the cost of seeing specialists can be expensive.

Supporting evidence reports need to be detailed – not just a sentence or two. If you see your GP, they will need to write a detailed report on your assessed disability, how they made the assessments, and the impact of your disability on your daily life.

  • For your NDIS application, you will usually need to provide assessments or reports from medical or disability specialists, outlining the nature of your disability, the impact it has on your daily functioning, and your likely needs for support.
  • This is so the NDIS can assess your need for them to provide supports.
  • It can sometimes be difficult to get an assessment. There can be long waiting times to see specialists, and the cost of seeing specialists can be expensive. See our supports section for help and resources.

“Documentation, documentation, documentation. Keep as much of a paper trail as possible, get as many letters from as many doctors as you can” – Sarah, she/her, lives with ADHD, Dyspraxia and CPTSD and a child with ADHD & Dyspraxia


Submitting your application and waiting for a response

“Once my application to the NDIS was submitted, I had a lot of stress and anxiety around what was happening. Things just seemed to move very slowly. In terms of coping with that stress, I think it’s really important to have a good support network. I have close friends I talked to a lot as I was going through the process and vented anxieties and frustrations around that” – Finn, he/him, lives with Cerebral Palsy  

Barriers and Challenges

  • Sometimes, when you apply for NDIS access or contact the NDIS, you might have to wait a long time for a response.
  • If you are waiting a long time to hear back from the NDIS, it isn’t personal and doesn’t mean your request will be rejected.
  • You can always contact the NDIS again and ask if there is any update on your request.

Find out more about the NDIS Journey

Is the NDIS right for you? | Starting your NDIS application | Your NDIS application was successful – What next? | Your NDIS application was unsuccessful – What next? | Self care and other supports | Language used | Useful Links

 

Click here to view / download the NDIS Journey Map.

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