The NDIS is administered by the NDIA. The NDIA determines who is eligible to receive assistance under the scheme and in accordance with the NDIS Act 2013 (Cth), the NDIS Rules, and the NDIS Operational Guidelines. As part of the transition to the NDIS, people who were previously receiving disability support services should be contacted by the NDIA as the NDIS becomes available in their area, to assist them to transition to the scheme.
A person (or someone acting on their behalf) wishing to join the NDIS who was not previously receiving disability assistance can complete an Access Request Form and provide it to the NDIA [National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth) s 18]. An access request form can be obtained from a Local Area Coordinator. For more information see the NDIS – What is an Access Request Form? Website.
As part of the application process, evidence of a person’s identity will be required along with evidence of their disability [see NDIS Act 2013 (Cth) s 19; the NDIS Operational Guidelines: Access to the NDIS –the Disability Requirements].
Specific forms may be sent to applicants to assist with gathering this information, and after receiving an Access Request Form the NDIA may request further information in order to process the form [s 26]. The NDIA may also require the applicant to undergo a medical examination or assessment [s 26(1)].
It may be that medical evidence from different treating practitioners is required to show evidence of disability. A person who requires assistance with collating evidence can contact a Local Area Coordinator. These are local agencies and services that the NDIA have partnered with to assist with understanding and accessing the NDIS. For information and contact details of Local Area Coordinators, visit the NDIS website or contact the NDIS on: 1800 800 110.
The NDIA has produced a comprehensive guide to assist applicants in gathering evidence to prove their disability. For more information visit the NDIS- Providing Evidence of Your Disability website.
Once the NDIA has completed the assessment of a person’s Access Request Form and related documents, the person must be notified in writing of the outcome and, if approved, that notice must include the date on which the person has become eligible for the scheme [s 28(2)]. A person who is not eligible to receive assistance under the NDIS may be able to access support elsewhere, and they must be advised of their review rights in relation to their access refusal [s 100(1)].
A formal review can be sought of the access decision [s 99(1)(a)] – see Review of NDIA Decisions.
A person who has had an access request denied is not prevented from making a further request at a later time as long as they still meet the general eligibility criteria. However, if the decision to refuse an access request is under internal or external review, a second request cannot be made while the review is ongoing [s 19(2)].