What Is The Eligibility Criteria For NDIS Funded Support?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is funding provided by the Australian Government that supports individuals with disabilities by providing them with the necessary care. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), which manages and operates NDIS, determines eligibility criteria to access the NDIS funding. If you apply for NDIS funding, there are some eligibility criteria that you must fulfil. These NDIS eligibility criteria primarily depend on age, residency status, and the nature of disability that affects your ability to perform your daily activities. Let’s have a detailed look at them.

1. Age Should Be Between 7 And 65 Years Old

To be eligible for the NDIS funded support, your age must be between 7 and 65 years. Individuals below the age of 7 and above 65 are not eligible for NDIS support as there are other schemes to support such individuals. Disabled children younger than 7 years of age may get help through the early childhood approach. However, individuals over 65 can seek help through the Australian Government-funded aged care schemes and services.

2. Should Live In Australia And Have An Australian Residency

The NDIS funding is only for Australian residents, and thus, the person applying for NDIS support must be living in Australia having an Australian residency. To fulfil the residential requirements, you must either be an Australian citizen, have a permanent visa, or have a protected special category visa (SCV). The Protected Special Category Visa (SCV) allows disabled New Zealand citizens (living in Australia) to avail NDIS funded support. As mentioned, the SVC must be classified as protected to access the NDIS funding. The Protected Special Category Visa applies to those who meet the following criteria:
  1. The person had SCV on February 26, 2001, and was in Australia on that date. 
  2. The tenure of residency in Australia was for at least 12 months in the 2 years immediately before February 26, 2001.
  3. The person was a protected SCV Holder before February 26, 2004.
If you meet these above mentioned residential criteria, you are eligible to apply for NDIS funding.

3. Permanent Or Significant Disability Requirements

The NDIS scheme aims to promote people with disabilities, help them set goals and provide them with the necessary support to fulfil those goals. The NDIA aims to provide essential services to people with disabilities and help them live a full and independent life. This reflects in the NDIS access requirements, which include a broad range of disabilities. If you are applying for NDIS support, you can access NDIS funding if your disability meets the following criteria:
  1. The disability or psychiatric condition affects you physically, cognitively, neurologically, sensorily, or intellectually.
  2. The disability is permanent or likely to be permanent.
  3. The disability affects your ability to move, socially interact, communicate, learn, or your ability to self-care.
  4. The disability affects your ability to work or engage in other social activities.
  5. You are likely to need lifetime support from the NDIS due to your disability.

4. Need Early Intervention

The NDIS early intervention requirements enable people to get the support and care they need as early as possible. People who do not meet the criteria for disability can get NDIS funded support through the early intervention requirements.  To be eligible for early intervention, your impairments must be currently permanent or likely to be in the future. The impairment requirements for early intervention include cognitive, intellectual, neurological, physical, sensory impairments and certain degenerative conditions. In addition, children with developmental delays can also access NDIS funded support through early intervention requirements. Taking an early intervention for a child help them with:
  • Reducing their need for disability support in the future
  • Preventing deterioration, improving their functionality, or helping them sustain their informal support system
Early intervention can also be accessed when the best support and care can only be provided with the NDIS scheme and not by an alternate healthcare program.


The NDIS eligibility criteria are broad, and hence, they ensure that everyone who needs support gets support. The NDIA’s Operational Guidelines provide detailed information about the eligibility criteria that must be met to determine if an individual is eligible to access NDIS support.  In addition, there are many NDIS service providers, such as EDP, who provide expert guidance in filling NDIS applications and planning. You can apply for an NDIS provider to determine your eligibility and get assistance with NDIS budgets and planning.
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