National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new national system for disability support. This page is designed to help people who care for a family member or friend with disability to better understand the NDIS.

This page was last updated on 28 April 2017.

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About the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new, national approach to providing support to people with disability and their families and carers. It started in 2013 and is currently rolling out in stages across the country.

By 2019 it will have completely replaced the existing disability support system, which in New South Wales (NSW) was largely funded by Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC), part of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).

How does it work?

The NDIS provides funding packages to people with disability based on their individual needs and goals. It also supports people with disability to develop their skills and confidence so they can be active members of their community and have more choice and control over the supports they receive. 


When will it roll out in my area?


The NDIS is rolling out progressively across NSW. Find out more about when it will come to your area by:

Read here about what to expect if your area is due to roll out from July 2017.

Will it affect the person I care for?

If the person you care for currently uses a service that is funded by ADHC, they will most likely transition over to the NDIS. If the person you care for receives other support, or no support at all, they will have to check if they are eligible.

What about carers?

Carers cannot get an NDIS plan or funding package in their own right. However, some supports for carers can be funded in a plan if they directly relate to the person with disability. Carers are also likely to benefit from the supports the person they care for receives.

In November 2016, the National Institute of Labour Studies at Curtin University published an interim report of the official national evaluation of the NDIS. The report includes data from over 1,800 carers and shows that the NDIS has had many positive outcomes for carers, but has also created more paperwork and diminished carer support.

What about people living with a mental illness?

Some people living with a mental illness experience psychosocial disability. A person with a psychosocial disability experiences impairments and participation restrictions related to a mental health condition. This can include a loss of ability to function, think clearly, experience full physical health, and manage the social and emotional aspects of their lives.

Some people with psychosocial disability will be eligible for the NDIS. For more information, view the following resources:

What about young children?

Children under 7 years of age follow a slightly different pathway into the NDIS. Their first point of contact is an Early Childhood Partner organisation in the local community, who will link them up with early intervention support to suit their needs. Young children will only receive an NDIS funding package if they need ongoing support.

For more information on the Early Childhood Early Intervention Approach, view the following resources:

What if I am unhappy with my experience of the NDIS?

If you are unhappy with the NDIS, be sure to tell someone. You can:

Where can I find out more?

Click on the boxes below or the menu to the left to browse the other NDIS resources on this website, including fact sheets, checklists, workshops, videos and articles.

The following websites may also be of interest:

Carers Australia

National Disability Insurance Agency

NSW Government NDIS website


  • Resources for carers in NSW

    This page contains resources on the NDIS that Carers NSW has developed especially for people caring for a family member or friend with disability.
  • Carer stories

    This page contains information about carers' experiences of the NDIS across Australia, including research papers, news articles and video resources.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Carers

    The page contains links to resources designed to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and their families and carers understand the NDIS.
  • Languages other than English

    This page contains link to fact sheets about the NDIS that have been translated into languages other than English.



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Carers NSW acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land, Elders past and present and all Aboriginal people.