How to prepare

Quick jump guide:

Steps for preparing

Planning Resources



Steps for preparing

It is important for carers and people with disability to begin preparing for the NDIS even if they currently do not live in a trial site. It is a new scheme that will change how disability supports work and it will take some time for everybody to get use to.

Before preparing for the NDIS carers should find out if the person with disability is eligible and when the NDIS will be available in the area they live. More information about how the NDIS will be rolled out in each state and territory will be available later this year. NDIS Access Checklist can be used to determine this:  Click here to use the NDIS Access Checklist.

Steps for preparing for the NDIS:

  1. To find out more about the NDIS and view the website Click here. You can also sign up to receive regular updates from the NDIA about the NDIS.
  2. Update paper work – Collect paperwork you may need for the NDIS Access Request form and planning meeting, including any guardianship papers if the person needs help with making decisions. 
    Click here to view information needed to complete the access request form.
    Click here to view Information on Evidence of Disability.
    Click here to view Evidence of Disability or Developmental Delay for children under 7 years.
  3. Think through the needs and goals of the person with disability - begin completing the NDIS planning workbook. Click here to visit the section of the NDIS website that explains more information on the planning process.
  4. Think through the supports the carer may need - Get to know the roles and rights of carers in the NDIS. The Carers Australia Checklist for Carers may be helpful with this. Click here to access it in a printable version, and click here to access it in an interactive form version.
  5. Practice completing the NDIS paperwork – Use the NDIS Planning Workbook and Participant Statement Template to practice filling in NDIS paperwork. 
    Click here to access the NDIS Planning Workbook.
    Click here to access the NDIS Participant Statement Template.

Click here to view a video about preparing for the NDIS.

Click here to access the NSW Carers Association factsheet ‘How can I prepare for the NDIS?’.


Planning Resources

NDIS Carers Checklist

Carers Australia have developed a checklist for carers to complete before the planning meeting or before developing a carer statement, to help them think through the supports they provide and what assistance they may need.

Click here to access the checklist in a printable format and click here to access it as an online form.


Resources for mental health carers on the NDIS

Carers Australia have developed NDIS resources with Mental Health Australia for carers caring for someone with a psychosocial disability associated with a mental illness or mental health condition. 

1.      Guide for Mental Health Carers on the NDIS

This guide includes information about how mental health fits in the NDIS, how mental health carers can be involved and supports carers can receive.

Click here to access the Guide for Mental Health Carers on the NDIS

2.       Mental Health Carer Checklist

This checklist is to help carers prepare for the NDIS assessment and planning meetings. The checklist will assist carers to think about and describe supports they provide and help clarify the support needs of the person with psychosocial disability.

Click here to access the Mental Health Carer Checklist to prepare for NDIS assessment & planning 


Carers NSW Resources

  • Tips from Carers Fact Sheet: Carers NSW have developed a factsheet called Tips from carers on the NDIS, Click here to view it. 
  • Carers NSW NDIS Update: You can also sign up to receive monthly updates from Carers NSW about the NDIS, which will contain relevant information for carers in other states as well. This is designed to help carers stay up to date with the NDIS related news, resources and events. Click here to view past Carers NSW NDIS Updates. 
  • NSW NDIS Website: The NSW government has developed a website about the NDIS in NSW that includes helpful resources and information on how to prepare. Click here to view the website 

Carers Queensland Resources

Carers Queensland provide ‘Full Scheme Ahead’ workshops to help prepare carers for the role out of the NDIS in Queensland. Click here to find out more information about these workshops.

Planning workbook

The NDIA have developed a planning workbook which is designed to help people with disability think about their needs, goals and current supports. This may help them in the planning process and in developing an individual support plan. 

Click here to access the workbook. The workbook is also available in Easy English, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish and Vietnamese. Click here to access these versions.

Disability Loop

Disability Loop is a website for people with disability and their carers to find out more about the NDIS. The Disability Loop website includes information on:

  • How the NDIS is working for people with disability
  • Up to date news and events about the NDIS
  • How to have your say about the NDIS.

Click here to access the Disability Loop website

Peer Connect

The Peer Connect website is for people with disability, their families and carers. This website has information about:

  • Peer Support Networks
  • Having choice and control
  • Planning and decision making.

Peer Support Networks are groups of people who meet online or in person and help each other with:

  • Finding information
  • The NDIS
  • Meeting new people
  • Making plans
  • Making decisions

Click here to access the Peer Connect Website

NDIS Glossary

The NDIS is full of new terms and phrases. It may be easier to understand the scheme and communicate with the NDIA if you have an understanding of the terms. Below are explanations of some of the terms and phrases used by the National Disability Insurance Agency. 

  • Capacity building – improving someone’s or something’s ability to carry out an activity or function.
  • Carers – family members or friends who provide support to a person with disability.
  • Carer statement – a statement written on a participant's plan about the carer's role and their ability to continue to provide this care. Carers can provide their own spoken or written statement to the planner that explains their role and any supports they may need to continue in their role.
  • Disability Care Australia – the old name for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
  • Early intervention – providing supports to a person with disability early on to reduce the amount of support they may need in the future.
  • Eligible – being able to become an NDIS participant, not all people with disability will be eligible.
  • Funded supports – types of support that cost money and that the NDIS pays for.
  • Guardian – someone (e.g. a carer or family member) who has the responsibility to make decisions for a person who is not able to make their own decisions.
  • Individual support plan – a document that lists a participant’s goals, what services and supports they already receive and what funded supports they can receive through the NDIS.
  • Informal supports – any unpaid support that is provided by a family or friend carer and not a paid service provider or formal volunteer.
  • Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) – used to be known as ‘Tier 2’, aims to build the capacity of the community, people with disability and their families and carers. This part of the NDIS is still being developed.
  • Insurance Scheme – the NDIS is called an insurance scheme because it is designed to reduce future needs by providing supports and increasing capacity. Insurance principles are applied to the scheme to look at the lifetime costs of a person with disability.
  • Local Area Coordinators (LACs) – NDIA staff who link people with disability to the NDIS and service providers, and build the capacity of individuals, carers and the community to support people with disability. 
  • Mainstream services – services that provide support to a range of people and not just people with disability, such as education, income support, public housing, employment, public transport, or health services.
  • Manage – be in charge of, for example finding service providers, keeping records and receipts or paying support workers.
  • My Way – a disability service model running in Western Australia, which is similar to the NDIS.
  • National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) - an agency set up and funded by the Australian Government to run the NDIS.
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) - the National Disability Insurance Scheme is the new system of disability support that is being introduced across Australia and aims to give people with disability and their carers more choice and control over their supports.
  • NDIS Access Checklist – a checklist to help people find out whether they can join the NDIS.
  • Nominee – a person who can act or make decisions on behalf of a participant.
  • Operational Guidelines – guidelines that are designed to assist the NDIA in making decisions and performing functions.
  • Participant - a person with disability who has an individual support plan and their supports paid for by the NDIS.
  • Peer Mentoring or Peer Support - where a person with a lived experience helps a person new to that experience.
  • Planner - a person who works for the NDIA and whose job it is to help participants put together their individual support plans.
  • Planning meeting – a conversation where a planner, a participant and any other person supporting the participant work together to develop an individual support plan for the participant.
  • Price Guide - A list of supports developed by the NDIA that contains the maximum prices service providers can charge for particular supports. Each state and territory have a different Price Guide.
  • Reasonable and necessary supports – supports that are related to the participant’s disability, are likely to help the participant and take into account informal supports provided by families, carers and the community. 'Reasonable' means something that is fair, and 'necessary' means something you must have.
  • Regional Support Officers – NDIA staff who help participants access local supports after they have received an individual support plan through the NDIS.
  • Respite – short break from the caring role that can include in-home respite, day care and residential respite.
  • Significant, permanent disability – a disability that a person will have for the rest of their life and that makes it difficult for the person to do everyday things without assistance. This includes some kinds of mental illness.
  • Trial sites – an area in Australia where the NDIS is currently available for people with disability.
  • Your Life, Your Choices – program in Queensland where people with disability choose and control their supports to help them prepare for the NDIS.




Last updated: 9 December 2015

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