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Feeling confused by all the NDIS jargon?

NDIS Glossary

The NDIS has its own language. This glossary and explanation of terms and acronyms might help you to understand some of the things that NDIS staff and service providers say! As always, if you’re not sure, why not give us a call?

The NDIS Glossary is also available for you to download in a handy PDF format.

NDIS terms and acronyms


Stands for Administrative Appeals Tribunal. AAT provides a one-stop shop for the independent review of a wide range of decisions made by the Australian Government, including decisions by the NDIA.

Access request

A formal request by an individual for a determination of eligibility to access the scheme. This includes all requests and is not unique to single participants.

Access Request Form (ARF)

To access and apply for the NDIS, the NDIA need to know some information about the applicant. The access request form provides the NDIA with the information they need to find out if a person can become an NDIS participant.

Active participant

Active participants are those who are currently eligible, are not deceased and have a client status of “Active”.


Allied Health Professionals Australia, the peak body for therapists.


Australian Human Rights Commission


Australian Injury and Disability Insurance Network


Australian National Audit Office


Australian Network on Disability

Annualised Package Cost

Approved Package Cost, calculated over a 12 month period to allow like-for-like comparisons.


Australian Public Service


Australian Public Service Commission


stands for Assistive Technology. Assistive technology may be classified as a device or system that provides people with practical solutions to everyday life activities. They promote greater independence and safety by enabling people to perform tasks that they had difficulty with or were unable to accomplish on their own.


culturally and linguistically diverse

Capacity building

improving someone’s or something’s ability to carry out an activity or function.


A carer can be family members or friends who provide support to a person with a 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.


community inclusion and capacity development


the categories that individual supports are placed under by the NDIA for easy identification.


Council of Australian Governments.

Committed support

The cost of products that are contained within a participant’s plan, approved to be provided to support a participant’s needs.

Community linking

This phrase is used to describe how people with a disability are connected to different people and services in their local neighbourhood.

Continuity of Support (CoS) Programme

Is funded by the Commonwealth Government. Funding under the Programme will be available to people aged above 65 years with disability who received specialist disability supports, but who are not eligible for the NDIS.

Correspondence Nominee

A correspondence nominee is able to undertake all activities that a participant would undertake, except for: The preparation, review or replacement of the participant’s plan; and/or Management of the funding for supports in the participant’s plan.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)

Country of birth is not Australia, UK, USA, Canada or South Africa, or primary language spoken at home is not English.


stands for Disability Discrimination Act 1992


A NDIA officer who determines what the NDIS package will be. Usually the LAC will undertake the planning meeting, and then recommend to the delegate a potential plan, however it is the Delegate who makes the final decision on what funded supports and the quantum that will be included.


Department of Human Services

Disability Care Australia

the old name for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).


COAG Disability Reform Council.


Department of Social Services

Early Childhood Coordinators

Contracted Providers who support children aged less than 7 years of age and their families with assessment (therapeutic support, strategies) and referral (to services and systems, and support to access the NDIS).

Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI)

An approach within the NDIS that provides supports to children with a disability aged less than 7 years of age.

Early Childhood Partner

The NDIA partner contracted to implement the Early Childhood Early Intervention Approach. The Early Childhood Partner will work with the families of children aged less than 7 years old who may have developmental delays or disability to identify the child’s needs and potential short-term interventions. Along with the Local Area Coordinator, the Early Childhood Partner will work with participants and their families in the planning process, refer the family to mainstream services and provide information about the NDIS.

Early intervention

Early intervention support can be for both children and adults (following onset of a disability). It is about reducing the impact of a person’s disability by providing support at the earliest possible stage.


Stands for Early Childhood Early Intervention. The ECEI approach is aimed at ensuring parents or primary care givers are able to support young children who have developmental delays or disabilities. The NDIA has partnered with Early Childhood Providers in each NDIS rollout region to deliver elements of this support.


Stands for Early Childhood Intervention Services.


Early Interventions.


being able to become an NDIS participant, not all people with disability will be eligible.


Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs


foetal alcohol spectrum disorders

First plan

Once a person has access to the NDIS, they will work with a Local Area Coordinator or NDIA Planner to develop their first plan. The first plan will focus on current supports and will be in place for 12 months from when the person becomes a NDIS participant.

Formal supports

These are the same as funded supports, also known as reasonable and necessary supports – those supports which are funded by the NDIS Act.

Full rollout (full scheme)

the time when the NDIS will be available across all regions in Australia. The initial plan was that it would take 6 years to fully roll out the NDIS.

Functional impact

Describes a person’s disability and how it affects the things they need to do and the way they do them.

Funded Supports

Are known also as formal supports and reasonable and necessary supports. Funded supports are different types of support that cost money and that the NDIS pays for.


A guardian is a person who is in a formal caring role and acts on behalf of a person with a disability. Should the participant be unable to make contact with the NDIA, their guardian can make contact on their behalf. The guardian can be 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.


Information and communications technology


Intellectual Disability Reference Group


Individual Flexibility Arrangements


Stands for Information, Linkages & Capacity Building. The ILC framework aims to increase the capacity for Australian communities’ to become more inclusive. ILC funding will be  available to organisations through grants. The ILC framework’s key areas are: 1. Information, linkages and referral. 2. Capacity building of mainstream services. 3. Community awareness and capacity building. 4. Individual capacity building. 5. Local Area Coordination (this is implemented separately by the NDIA).

Inclusion / participation

These terms refer to how people take part in, or feel a part of, their local neighbourhood and community.

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.

Individualised funding

The funding provided through the NDIS or state governments to a person with a disability.

Informal supports

Supports that are provided or available in the community, not funded by the NDIS and which can include family, friends and social networks. They are usually 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 (ILC) building

Part of the NDIS which includes activities to promote the inclusion of people with disability. This can include information, referral, building skills, building community capacity, and local area coordination.


“In-kind” supports are existing Commonwealth or State/Territory government programs delivered under existing block grant funding arrangements.

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, investing early to help address future costs.


Information Publication Scheme


Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS

Local Area Coordinator or LAC

LAC stands for Local Area Coordinator. The LAC is a partner of the NDIA and has three key functions: 1. Planning, including conducting plan reviews. 2. Plan implementation. 3. Community linkages. Local Area Coordinators are located within the community and help people with a disability source and access mainstream services. LACs help link people with a disability to the NDIS, provide information about the NDIS and supports, and work with communities to make them more inclusive. In places where the NDIS has been fully rolled out, LACs are involved in the planning process. This includes creating the first plan with NDIS participants (through a phone interview or face to face meeting), helping them put the plan into action, and the plan review. LACs may be employed by organisations which have partnered with the NDIA.


lifetime cost estimator


Refers to non-disability specific services  and organisations, for example: health, education, justice, housing, child protection, mental health and employment services. CareAbout has also produced an information kit about these other mainstream services and how they interact with the NDIS.

Mainstream services

Services that provide support to a range of people and not just people with disability, such as education, income support, public housing, community services, employment, public transport, or health services.


To be in charge of, for example finding service providers, keeping records and receipts or paying support workers.


Is the name of the online portal for providers and participants of the NDIS. The portal allows participants to see their plan, manage their services, and request payments. To access the portal, participants need to set up a myGov account. Providers also use the portal to make claims for support provided.


National Access Team

National Disability Insurance Agency or NDIA

NDIA stands for National Disability Insurance Agency. The NDIA has been set up and funded by the Australian Government to run the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

NDIA Planner

The representative from the NDIA who is responsible for assisting participants to prepare and or review their plan. If you are eligible the NDIA will assign you a Planner. You have a right to have someone you choose to accompany you to support you at all planning meetings. The NDIA Planner may nominate a Local Area Coordinator conduct the planning meeting (See LAC or Local Area Coordinator).

National Disability Insurance Scheme or NDIS

NDIS stands for National Disability Insurance Scheme. The NDIS was established by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013. NDIS is a national scheme designed to help improve disability services and provide greater control and decision making to people with disabilities in Australia. The NDIS supports people with a permanent and significant disability that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities.

NDIS Access Checklist

A checklist to help people find out whether they can join the NDIS.


The plan each participant has which includes information about the person’s support needs, goals, and informal and formal supports. It also includes details of the person’s funding for supports. It is developed by the person with a disability together with a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or an NDIA Planner.

NDIS Planner

A person who works for the NDIA and whose job it is to help participants put together their individual support plans. Can include NDIA Planner or LAC.

NDIS price guide

Prices for reasonable and necessary supports are listed in the NDIS price guide. The price guide is developed, published, and updated by the NDIA at least once per year. There are different price guides depending on the State and Territory. Registered Providers cannot charge more than the Price Guide. Your NDIS plan is funded total is calculated using the Price Guide.


National Disability Strategy


NDS also stands for National Disability Services which is the Australian peak body for non-government disability services.




Non-government organisation


NDIA Mental Health Sector Reference Group


A Nominee Is an individual appointed by the NDIA to be the point of contact and/or sign Service Agreements and make decisions regarding supports on behalf of the participant. A nominee is appointed either at the request of the participant or directly by  the NDIA in specific circumstances.

Operational Guidelines

Guidelines that are designed to assist the NDIA in making decisions and performing functions. There are lots of guidelines that provide extra guidance on how NDIA staff operate.

Outcomes Framework

This is the Agency’s mechanism for measuring success for people with disability in areas like choice and control, social inclusion, education, employment, health and housing.


A participant is a person with a disability who successfully qualifies for the NDIS (a person with a permanent and significant disability who has been assessed as meeting the NDIS participation criteria under the NDIS Act) and has a Support Plan.

Participant Plans

A person with a disability will work with a Planner (or LAC) to design a customised plan to suit their specific needs.

Payment request

Refers to how providers will receive payment for supports provided. Providers will either create an individual payment request or submit a bulk upload on myplace or invoice the appropriate party directly (the participant or plan manager). How providers make payment requests is determined by how the participant’s funding is managed.


Payments made to providers, participants or their nominees for supports received as part of the participant’s plan.

Peer Support

Where a person with a lived experience helps a person new to that experience through sharing information about their journey.

Permanent and significant disability

To receive funding from the NDIS, a person’s disability must be both permanent and significant. This means that their disability is one that they will have for all of their life, and one that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities. It is 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.

Plan Manager

May also be known as a Financial Intermediary. This funded support assists a participant to manage their funding. If funding is managed by a plan manager, providers will need to invoice the plan manager directly to receive payment for supports delivered. If a participants’ funding is managed by a Plan Manager, the provider will not be able to make a service booking.

Plan Review

An NDIS participant’s plan will generally be reviewed after 12 months. At this time the NDIA will contact the participant to check if their supports are working well and how the progress they are making towards achieving their goals. Participants can also request a plan review at any time if their situation has changed or if they are not happy with the budgets for supports which have been included in their plan.

Planning Meeting

A conversation where a planner, a participant and any people supporting the participant work on putting together an individual support plan for the participant.

Planning process

This is the process where an NDIS participant will work with a Local Area Coordinator or an NDIA planner to plan what assistance they will need from the NDIS so that they can achieve their goals.

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.


A provider is a person or an organisation that delivers supports to participants of the NDIS.

Reasonable and necessary

Section 34 of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, used by the NDIA to determine; whether or not a support is most appropriately funded by the NDIS, what kind of support is required and how much support is appropriate. During the planning process, the Local Area Coordinator or NDIA planners will work out what supports each eligible person will need from the NDIS. The NDIS provides funding for supports that are seen as “reasonable and necessary”. Reasonable and necessary 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. Anything which is related to a participant’s disability and helps them to reach their goals and undertake activities is a reasonable and necessary support under the NDIS. It cannot include day-to-day living costs that are not related to a participant’s disability support needs.

Regional Support Officers

NDIA staff who help participants access local supports after they have received an individual support plan through the NDIS.

Registered provider

Is an organisation registered with the NDIA to provide NDIS supports. Registered providers are bound by NDIA Terms of Business and other key policy frameworks such as NDIS Price Guide.  These requirements include experience, qualifications, approvals, capacity to provide the approved supports, and quality standards of the state or territory in which they are in.


A break from the caring role that can include in-home respite, day care and residential respite.


Risk Management Rules.


Specialist Disability Accommodation refers to specialist disability housing under the NDIS.


Sector Development Fund.

Self management

When a participant and their family manage the funding and supports in their NDIS plan. This option provides greater choicie and control, and flexibility to choose a range of providers (eg can get services from providers who are not registered with the NDIS, but they must have an ABN).

Service Agreement

Is a written agreement between a provider and a participant. It is a written agreement created with a service provider that sets out what supports the participant wants from the provider, how and when supports will be provided, the cost of these supports, and how long the agreement will last. All providers delivering NDIS supports should have a written agreement in place for GST and payment assurance purposes and must have an agreement in place for SDA supports.

Service Booking

A service booking can be made through the myplace portal by either the provider or the participant (or by a Plan Manager where a participant’s funding is managed by the Plan Manager). A service booking quarantines allocated funds from a participant’s plan to a specific provider. Providers delivering supports for which the funding is managed by NDIA, need to ensure that a service booking is in place in order to receive payment for supports provided. created in the online myplace portal. The service booking links the participant’s funded supports with their chosen provider. It shows the type of support to be provided, the length of time the support is needed for, and relevant details about the provider.


Supported Independent Living refers to funded services provided to participants to support them to live independently. This support is usually provided in a residence shared with other NDIS participants and in conjunction with SDA (see definition above). Please note, SIL can be provided in non-SDA residences.


Refers to School Leaver Employment Supports – a support package funded to assist Year 12 school leavers to transition from school into employment. SLES is funded over two years for supports for achieving employment outcomes.


single point of contact


Short-term Accommodation refers to supports previously known as ‘respite’. It describes supports provided for a limited period of time, typically delivered in a group-based facility.


Based on the jurisdiction administering the participant.

Support Coordinator

Is a funded support which assists participants to implement their plan, manage their supports and build participant capacity to manage their own supports. There are 3 different levels of Support Coordination (Support Connection, Coordination of Supports and Specialist Support Coordination).

Support Package

Is the term used by the Agency to describe the funding available for the supports available to an individual participant.

Support Worker

A person who is paid to provide care and support to a person with a disability.


Assistance provided which help an NDIS participant to reach their goals and be involved in activities which help them to be more independent and be an active part of the community.


Technical and further education.

Trial sites

an area in Australia where the NDIS is currently available for people with disability.


United Nations.


World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule.


Work Health and Safety.


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