What Disabilities Does The NDIS Cover?

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What Disabilities Does The NDIS Cover?

Written by: Edwina Wilkens l Marketing + Business Development Manager for Canny Plan Management


The NDIS provides support to eligible people with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychosocial disabilities.  As well, early intervention supports can also be provided to eligible people with disability or children with developmental delays.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme provides funding to Australian citizens, residents and permanent or special visa holders with a permanent and significant disability to access reasonable and necessary supports and services they need to be able to live and enjoy their life.

It’s important to also understand that the NDIS is not a welfare system.  The National Disability Insurance Scheme is in fact, just that – an insurance scheme.  It has been specifically designed to help people get the support they need so their skills and independence improve over time.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is an independent statutory agency, and the role of the NDIA is to implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and along with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, oversee the implementation and compliance of the scheme.

NDIS Disability Requirements

As we touched on above, the National Disability Insurance Scheme provides support to eligible people with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychosocial disabilities.  These can be broken down further to give a better understanding of the disabilities that are listed to meet the requirements of the NDIS Act;

  1. Intellectual Disability
  2. Autism
  3. Cerebral Palsy
  4. Genetic Conditions
  5. Spinal Cord Injury or Brain Injury
  6. Permanent Blindness
  7. Permanent Bilateral Hearing Loss
  8. Deafblindness
  9. Amputation

There are further conditions of each of the above-listed disabilities and requirements that would need to be met to be able to be eligible to receive funding for the NDIS.

For a further comprehensive breakdown of each of the listed disability requirements, you can head to the NDIS Website to go over the list in detail.

What Types of Disability Are Not Covered By The NDIS?

The types of disability that are not covered by the National Disability Insurance Scheme are those that are time-limited or non-ongoing conditions.

For example, if you have an accident or an injury such as a lower limb fraction that causes you to have reduced mobility.  This, unfortunately, will not meet the NDIS disability requirements as there is a great likelihood that this injury will be able to be resolved over time and it is not deemed a permanent and significant disability.

Further to the above, the NDIS will also not provide funding or ongoing supports for chronic health conditions that are not related to a person’s disability.  The NDIS explains that:

In this regard, it is important to differentiate treatment and care of chronic health conditions and associated comorbidities from disability.

For example, the NDIS may fund disability supports for a person who has had to have a lower limb amputation due to peripheral artery disease in the setting of diabetes (physical impairment resulting in disability secondary to a health condition), so long as they are able to meet all of the access requirements.

It is important to note on the above, however, that the NDIS will not provide funding for the medication required as well as the medical care such as appointments with doctors, specialists or a GP visit that is related to the treatment of diabetes or peripheral artery disease.  This is where Medicare would come into play.

As well as the type of disability that is not covered by the NDIS, there are some kinds of supports that will not be funded or provided by the NDIS.  As per the National Disability Insurance website:

The NDIS Act and the rules made under the NDIS Act also tell us which supports will not be funded by the NDIS.

The NDIS cannot fund support that is:

  • The responsibility of another government system or community service;
  • Not related to a person’s disability;
  • Related to day-to-day living costs that are not related to a participant’s support needs; or
  • Is likely to cause harm to the participant or pose a risk to others

The National Disability Insurance Scheme will not provide funding for things that are not related to the disability itself.

Further to the disabilities that are not covered by the NDIS, it is important to note that there are some types of supports that are not covered by the NDIS which include day-to-day expenses such as those that are of a general nature such as rent, bills, food and entertainment, as well as direct school or study costs (i.e. general fees and stationery or book required by all students).

Does The NDIS Cover Long-Term Mental Conditions?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics from their 2018 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) for example the prevalence of psychosocial disability Australia, people with psychosocial disabilities generally report more severe limitations than those with other disabilities.

In 2018, of the 4.4 million Australians with any disability, over one-quarter (26%) had a diagnosed psychosocial disability.

Psychosocial disability is a term used to describe a disability that may arise from a mental health issue.  People with a disability as a result of their mental health condition may very well qualify to receive NDIS funding.  As per the NSW Government Health Website:

Psychosocial disability is not about a diagnosis, it is about the functional impact and barriers which may be faced by someone living with a mental health condition.  A psychosocial disability arises when someone with a mental health condition interacts with a social environment that presents barriers to their equality with others.

Not everyone who has a mental health condition will have a psychosocial disability, however, for the people who do, it can very often be severe, and longstanding and can also have an impact on their recovery.

When it comes to the NDIS and mental health the National Disability Insurance Agency wants all people with psychosocial disabilities in the NDIS to be supported in their personal recovery and to live a life that has meaning for them.  The NDIS states that:

The NDIA is committed to improving the lives of people living with psychosocial disability.

The Psychosocial Disability Recovery-Orientated Framework (Recovery Framework) has been developed to ensure that the NDIS is more responsive to participants living with psychosocial disability, their families and carers.

The overall vision for the NDIS is to ensure that participants living with psychosocial disability are supported in their recovery journey to live a meaningful life in their community and are able to access and choose supports that enable independence as well as social and economic participation.

In short, yes!  The NDIS does support those suffering from long-term mental conditions, but as always, there is an eligibility process that would have to be followed to be approved to receive NDIS funding.  While not everyone who has a mental health condition will experience psychosocial disability, those that do can experience severe effects and social disadvantage and if these people can show their disability is significant and is likely to be permanent, may qualify to receive NDIS support.

NDIS Eligibility Process

To be eligible to join the NDIS, you need to be able to meet the access requirements.  There are five quick and simple questions that you need to answer as part of the NDIS Eligibility Checklist:

  1. Are you aged between 7 and 65?
  2. Do you live in Australia and have Australian residency?
  3. Do you usually need support from a person because of a permanent and significant disability?
  4. Do you use special equipment because of a permanent and significant disability?
  5. Do you need some supports now to reduce your future needs?

Once you’ve finished the NDIS Eligibility Checklist, you will then need to complete an Access Request form.  If you’re aged between 7 – 65 years and are a person with a disability who is looking at going on the NDIS, you will need to be able to meet the requirements as well as be able to supply a Supporting Evidence Form (SEF), working with your GP, allied health, and specialist medical professionals to prepare and provide the information that is required.

Canny Plan Management + Your NDIS Disability

Where are you on your NDIS journey?  Are you looking at applying for either yourself, a loved one or even your little one?  Maybe you’ve already been accessing the National Disability Insurance Scheme for a number of years…

No matter which part of the road you find yourself on when it comes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Canny Plan Management is here to help and to make the journey as smooth as possible.  Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help you so you can get back to living your best life.

Picture of Edwina Wilkens, Marketing and Business Development Manager in the centre of the picture with her hands on her hips leaning forward and smiling wearing a striped purple and yellow shirt

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