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Getting ready

How does the NDIS work?

When you enter the NDIS you become a participant. Participants work with a representative from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to develop an individual plan. The NDIS funds supports that will help you to achieve your goals.

Once you have your plan you can choose how you manage your funding and you can also choose the providers you want to deliver your supports.

Your plan will be reviewed regularly to see how you are progressing with your goals, and to make sure you’re getting the right support.

If your circumstances change in between reviews, plans can be adjusted in consultation with the NDIA.

What you need to do

To access the NDIS, representatives from the NDIA will need to know some information about you. You can provide this in different ways - you might fill in a form or tell someone over the phone.

If you currently receive disability supports, your provider may be able to give the NDIA this information. If you are not currently receiving supports and think you might be eligible, contact the NDIA when the NDIS is available in your area. Go to When is the NDIS coming to you? to see the dates.

Once the NDIA has this information, they will contact you to let you know if you are able to access the NDIS, and they will also tell you what the next steps are.

How to prepare for the NDIS

  • Think about your life now, your current informal and formal supports, what is working and what might need to change. To learn about the kinds of supports available to you visit the NDIS website.
  • Think about your strengths, interests and challenges and consider your goals or what you might want to achieve. To read about the types of services and supports the NDIS can provide visit the NDIS website.
  • Write these things down and collect any reports, assessments or information from doctors, allied health staff or carers that might be helpful when the NDIS comes to you.

What kinds of services and support are available?

Each plan will set out your goals. Funding to support the goals is organised into three different budgets:

  1. Core supports — day-to-day living support and activities so you can better participate in the community
  2. Capital supports — resources or equipment, such as wheelchairs, assistive technology or home and car modifications
  3. Capacity building supports — like building life skills, educational opportunities or helping you find a job.


Self-direction means you have as much control as possible over your supports and how they are provided. Every participant who has an NDIS plan can now have control over what, when, where and by whom, most of their support is provided. This includes working with providers to determine what is provided and potentially being involved in the selection of your support workers.

Choosing supports is about thinking carefully about what you need to live your life to the full.

For more information about preparing for the NDIS go to the NDIS ready’ page of the NDIS website or call 1800 800 110.

Find out more about the transition to the NDIS