Applying for the NDIS is not the easiest process, but persevering is worth it! If you have a permanent disability, the NDIS can offer very generous support enabling you to improve your daily independence and achieve your life goals!

1. Be in the right frame of mind

During the NDIS application process, you will need to describe in detail all of the impact your disability has on your life. This can be really daunting and confronting, so you need to make sure that you are in the right frame of mind to start thinking about and describing all of the ways in which your disability limits you, or has a negative impact on your ability to do certain things.

You’ve probably spent a lot of your life thinking positively about all of the things that you can do despite your disability and it can be quite a shock to switch that around and confront all of the things that your disability does not allow you to do.

Our featured guest, Todd Winther, spoke with us about the importance of being in the right frame of mind.

2. Learn the process & do some research

Before you begin, learn about all of the steps you’ll need to take, from eligibility requirements, through to providing supporting evidence for your disability. The NDIS has lists of disability types that are very likely to be approved for funding as well as those that may be approved for funding, but will require a functional capacity assessment and some more supporting evidence to demonstrate the permanence or the impact of disability on daily living. Understanding which of these lists your disability falls within will help you to prepare well and gather the right information and evidence.

List A – Conditions which are likely to meet the disability requirements

List B – Permanent conditions for which functional capacity are variable and further assessment of functional capacity is generally required

It’s also a good idea to learn about how to reapply or to appeal a decision.

3. Gather your team

Because the NDIS application process can be confronting and overwhelming for many people, it helps to have a number of people involved who can help you. This might be friends or family members to provide emotional support, or various medical professionals who can provide reports, results and written statements. 

If you know of somebody else who has already applied for the NDIS, they could be a good resource for tips and advice on what you can expect throughout the process.

Once you’ve completed your application, having someone to look over it and offer constructive feedback is a great idea! Try and find someone in your network who is a good writer or editor, or who has experience in applying for the NDIS or a similar process. Their feedback could really help you to polish your application and set you up for success. 

4. Find your Local Area Coordinator

A Local Area Coordinator (LAC) is someone whose role is to help people access, navigate and understand the NDIS. Many people will only seek out a Local Area Coordinator once they’ve already applied and been approved for the NDIS, but one of their focuses is actually to help people access it in the first place.

This means that your Local Area Coordinator can help you to apply for the NDIS! They are a great starting point and can ensure that you know exactly what you’ll need in order to complete your Access Request (application). 

Find your nearest LAC.

5. If you don’t succeed, try again

Once you’ve submitted your Access Request, you’ll need to wait for the NDIA to make a decision about whether you are eligible and qualify for NDIS funding or not.

It is not uncommon for your first application to be unsuccessful. Don’t give up! Often, it just means that you’ll need to gather further evidence of your disability to support your application. 

If you didn’t seek out a Local Area Coordinator during your first application, it’s a good idea to do so if your NDIS Access Request has been denied. A LAC will be able to give you more information on why you weren’t successful and advice on how you can improve your application if they think that you are eligible.