The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides support for people with disability, including disability related to a mental health condition. It puts people at the centre of making decisions about their life and it supports them to achieve their goals.
Once a person is accepted into the scheme, they can stay in the scheme and continue to get a ‘package’ of supports.
Mind is a registered provider in the NDIS. Download our Certificate of Registration here (PDF 123 KB).
If you have an approved plan, you can purchase services from us. Please contact us on 1300 286 463 (1300 AT MIND) and ask for our NDIS intake team, or email [email protected]
The great things about the NDIS:
- You can apply to access the NDIS until you turn 65. If you have been accepted into the scheme by the time you turn 65 - you have the option of transitioning to 'My Aged Care' or continue receiving support under the NDIS.
- You will be able to choose who gives you the support services you need.
- You will have help to work out what kinds of supports should be in your ‘package’.
- It is likely that you will get many more support services to choose from than you can get now.
- The supports you get can change from year to year, depending on what you need.
- Getting support services through the NDIS does not change your Disability Support Pension – that is a different kind of support. It also doesn’t affect the Carers’ Allowance.
- Getting support services through the NDIS does not change the way Medicare works – you will still claim medical and mental health treatment through Medicare.
Who is eligible for support through the NDIS?
You may be eligible for the NDIS if you:
- are an Australian citizens or have permanent residency
- are under 65 years of age when you first use the scheme
- have a disability that is likely to be permanent and stops you from doing everyday things.
We know many people living with mental health conditions will do better with lifetime psychosocial support, even though how much support a person needs may change over time.
NDIS is a support scheme for people who would otherwise have difficulty living an ‘ordinary life’. The NDIS will be available to you as long as you need support to do everyday activities.
What sorts of support services can you get?
Everyone is different, and the type of support you need will be different to the next person. It may also change over time as you achieve goals and are more confident in your day-to-day life.
What you can claim for will depend on the support plan that is approved for you. This plan can change from year to year, as necessary, but it sets out the kinds of support services you can claim for.
Broadly, the support services covered by NDIS funding come under the areas of:
- daily living
- health and wellbeing
- lifelong learning
- social and community participation
- choice and control
Choosing your providers
You choose the providers you want to deliver the services you need. Most people will start in the scheme with their current provider/s, but they will begin to use other providers as they become aware of what else is available and get used to the new system.
You can choose how to manage the funding for the supports in your plan.
When meeting with a NDIS planner to develop a plan, you will need to decide which plan management option is right for you.
Your first plan
Once accepted into the scheme, you (and any nominated family member or other carer) will have support from an NDIA–appointed planner to create your first plan.
If you are already using support services, it is likely that your current support arrangements will be ‘rolled’ into this first plan – providing you are happy with the provider and the support you receive through them.
Your first plan will generally be in place for 12 months before the agency that operates the NDIS (known as the NDIA) work with you to make any changes.
It will be important to think about how your first plan is working for you – what is good and what is not. This will help you prepare for your next plan at your plan review.
Your plan budget
Your plan will be divided into separate support budgets which link to an area of your life in which you have improvement goal(s).
The funds allocated to one budget cannot be swapped to any other budget in your plan.
You cannot spend over the total amount allocated to each budget and the amount allocated will not change during your current plan.
There are 4 options for how a budget is managed and support providers paid:
- Self-managed budgets - For budget(s) that are self-managed, the NDIS will pay you directly for the supports in those budget(s). If you are self-managing all or some of the budgets in your plan, please read: Self-managing budgets my NDIS plan.
- Agency managed budgets - For budget(s) that are agency managed, the NDIS will pay your support provider directly.
- Plan Management Provider managed budgets - For budget(s) that are managed by a Plan Management Provider, the NDIS will pay your Plan Manager directly for these supports.
- Automated transport payments - For a transport budget that is set up as an automated payment, the NDIS will pay you directly into your nominated bank account. You will be paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on what you have agreed during your planning conversation.
Not all plans will have a transport budget. The NDIS is only responsible for the 'reasonable and necessary' contribution toward the costs of taxis or other private transport options for those not able to travel independently or use public transport because of their disability.
Family and carers in the NDIS
Each NDIS participant will have their own plan reflecting their goals, personal circumstances and support needs. While the focus of the plan is the person enrolled in the scheme, the types of supports in the participant’s plan may also have direct or indirect benefits for families and carers.
Families and carers are recognised for the love, care and support they give to their family member. What the NDIS aims to do is support family and carers in that role – as a mum or dad, partner or spouse, brother or sister, grandparent, extended family member or friend.
The NDIS will provide information, referral and links to relevant services to ensure families and carers can get help in the community to support them in their role.
Find out more about families and carers in the NDIS.
Peer advice on applying for the NDIS
In 2018, Mind funded Deakin University’s research project Understanding people with psychosocial disability as choice-makers in the NDIS (PDF 469 KB). A.K.A. Choices, an outcome of this research project was a wealth of information from consumers about how they navigated the Scheme and got the best packages, including how to deal with planning and review meetings.
Mind summarised the advice from the consumer participants and commissioned Walkley Award-nominated comics journalist, political cartoonist and editor Sam Wallman to illustrate a booklet Peer advice for people with psychosocial disability applying for the NDIS (PDF 1.6 MB).
We recommend this booklet (available in digital format only) to anyone needing psychosocial support looking to access the NDIS for the first time, but also those who may be coming up for a review.
This section includes useful links related to NDIS pathways, support, preparing for the NDIS and more.
- NDIS and other supports available
- My NDIS pathway – your guide to being an NDIS participant
- Completing the access process – tips for communicating about psychosocial disability (PDF 314 KB)
- Factsheets - Starting your plan
- Fact sheet – Supports the NDIS will fund in relation to mental health services (PDF 234 KB)
- Support for family and carers
Have a look at the reimagine today website - produced by the Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) with funding from the NDIA, and co-designed by people living with mental health conditions. The site:
- outlines the steps and processes required to access the Scheme
- explains the language of the NDIS including psychosocial disability with the use of a glossary
- helps potential participants and their support people prepare their access request through interactive activities
- helps potential participants and their support people identify goals and aspirations to support them in the planning process
- provides hints and tips from people who have been through the process, and
- links people who may not meet the eligibility criteria to other services available.
Mental health sector organisations
Do you use mental health services or look after someone who does? The following mental health sector organisations provide information, training, support and advice to people who use mental health services.