Understanding the NDIS

Understanding the NDIS

Are you accessing the NDIS for yourself or your loved ones?

Perhaps the myriad of terms and wording that goes along with the NDIS is getting a bit daunting or technical?

Doing your research and understanding the terminology will help you take full advantage of all that the NDIS can provide you or your loved one. We have put together a list of some of the more commonly used terms and their explanations to help get you started.

For a full list of explanations, visit the NDIS Glossary, Dejargonator or access the online tool developed by Afford in partnership with the NDA to help people navigate the NDIS process.


NDIS stands for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and is a new approach to service delivery and funding for people with a disability. The NDIS puts people with disability at the centre of the system for the first time – allowing them to determine their own future and receive funding which matches their needs and aspirations.

Funded Supports

Supports the NDIS pay for a participant’s plan. These supports must be reasonable and necessary.

Informal Supports

The supports participants get from the people around them, for example family, friends, neighbours.

Registered Provider

A disability support provider that has met the NDIS requirements for qualifications, approvals, experience, capacity and quality standards to provide a product or service.


Things to help a person undertake daily life activities and enable them to participate in the community and reach their goals.

Full Scheme

The dates when the NDIS will be available to all eligible residents:

  • ACT – July 2016
  • New South Wales – July 2018
  • South Australia – July 2018
  • Tasmania – July 2019
  • Victoria – July 2019
  • Queensland – July 2019
  • Northern Territory – July 2019


Once you have received confirmation that you qualify for the NDIS, your planner is the first person you should speak to on your NDIS journey. Your planner is there to help you access the system, so give them as much information as possible about your situation and your goals.

Reasonable and necessary supports

Anything which is related to your disability is a reasonable and necessary support under the NDIS. This can include not just the basics like mobility equipment and therapeutic support, but support with transport, doing daily tasks, home modification, education, social participation and more. If you’re not sure what is “necessary and reasonable”, ask your planner. The general rule is that it must be related to your disability, and it can’t replicate things that your family or community already assist you with.

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