Carers Australia

The voice for carers across Australia

If you care for a person with a disability who is eligible for NDIS funding, they will need to go through a planning process with an NDIS representative to develop an NDIS plan. This plan will include details of the participant’s goals and needs, information about the supports they need, and will outline the level of funding they will receive. As a carer you may play an important role in this process.


Applying to access the NDIS starts with determining eligibility. If the person you are caring for meets the eligibility requirements, you can make an Access Request, where you will need to provide proof of eligibility.

To be eligible for the NDIS, a person must:

  • be under the age of 65 years old when applying
  • meet citizenship requirements
  • meet disability requirements.
The NDIS Access Checklist

To understand if the person you care for meets the eligibility requirements, view the NDIS Access Checklist on the NDIS website.

How to apply

If the person you are caring for is eligible to access the NDIS, you can make an ‘Access Request’.

An Access Request can be made two ways:

  • You can make a Verbal Access Request (VAR), or
  • Fill out a paper Access Request Form (ARF)

When making an access request, you will need to provide proof of eligibility, including:

  • Proof of age
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of disability, confirmed by a treating health professional
Make an Access Request

To make an access request, or get an access request form, you can call the NDIA on 1800 800 110.

Getting help applying

If you need help making an access request, a Local Area Coordinator, Early Childhood Early Intervention partner, or your local NDIA office can help.

The planning process

There are four major phases in getting NDIS support.

The pre-planning phase happens between making an Access Request and attending a planning meeting. This phase involves collecting information about current supports, and other supports that are required. You will also need to provide evidence of disability from treating health professionals. This assessment and planning process form the basis of an NDIS plan.

Find out more about NDIS planning

At the planning meeting, you’ll discuss all of the participant’s support needs and their goals for the future. You may also provide more evidence, and reports from treating health professionals and therapists, which will be used to form your NDIS plan. Your plan will outline the needs, goals and disability supports needed, along with any funds the participant will receive.

There are different ways to manage the NDIS plan. The NDIS participant can choose the option that best meets their needs. One consideration will be the role of the carer— for example, whether you will help manage the plan.

NDIS plans are usually reviewed every 12 months, or when there has been a change in the participant’s circumstances.


If the NDIA determines a person with disability to be ineligible, that person cannot receive funded supports through the NDIS.

However, if you’re not happy with a decision made by the NDIA, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed.

For example, this may be a decision that the person you are caring for is not eligible, or a decision not to provide funding for some supports that you believe are necessary.

The first step is to ask for an internal review of the decision. You must ask for this review within three months of the initial decision.

If you still do not agree with the internal review decision, you can have an external review of the decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Find out more about internal reviews

If your application for NDIS funding is not successful, you can apply for other government-funded or community-based services.

Find out more about services outside of NDIS funding