People who want to join the NDIS can apply by:
- making a Verbal Access Request by calling the NDIS team on 1800 800 110 or
- filling out an Access Request Form and sending it to the NDIS team.
An Access Request Form is a form that people who want to apply to join the NDIS complete. The information provided in the Access Request Form is used by the NDIS to decide whether the person applying is eligible to join the scheme.
If the person has made a Verbal Access Request over the phone, they may be sent a Supporting Evidence Form to complete instead. It is similar to an Access Request Form, but has fewer questions, as some information has already been recorded during the initial phone call.
Download an Access Request Form
The Access Request Form asks for basic information like name, age and whether the person applying is an Australian citizen or resident. It also asks for information about the person's disability, how it impacts their daily life, and what supports they need.
If you have not seen an Access Request Form before it is a good idea to look over the form before you meet with the young person you are supporting to join the NDIS. You can download the form on the NDIS website.
Section 2 of the Access Request Form
Section 1 of the Access Request Form can be completed by the young person or their parent or guardian (if they are under 18 years old).
Section 2 of the Access Request Form must be completed by a health or education professional.
Section 2 has six parts: Part A to Part F.
Part A: Treating Professional’s Information
You will need to provide your personal information, such as your name, contact details, and qualifications to fill out the applicant’s Access Request Form.
The NDIS team may contact you about the young person's application so that they can determine their eligibility for the NDIS.
Part B: Evidence of Disability
You will need to provide information about the young person’s disability.
This information should include evidence of:
- their primary disability and any other disabilities they may have
- if their disability is permanent.
Part C: Early Intervention
You only need to complete Part C if you are working with a child under 7 years old. They may be eligible to get support through NDIS support for children under 7 years old who have a disability or developmental delay.Early Childhood Early Intervention or ECEI.
Part D: Existing Assessments
Part D includes a list of assessments and asks if the applicant has had any of these assessments done. If so, providing copies of these assessments can help the young person get a quick and accurate eligibility decision.
Part E: Evidence of functional capacity
You need to provide detailed information about how the young person’s disability impacts their functional capacity and daily life by:
- sending copies of existing assessments or
- completing Part E.
Part E asks you to describe the ways an applicant’s disability impacts their:
- Self care
To be eligible to join the NDIS, the young person only needs to have reduced functional capacity in one of these areas. They do not need to have difficulties in all six areas to be eligible for the NDIS.
According to the NDIS, the information in Part E "is required to demonstrate whether the applicant experiences substantially reduced functional capacity in one or more life activities."
You need to describe what the young person can and cannot do. This also includes what they can and cannot do independently, compared to other people their age.
You also need to describe how the young person's disability impacts their day-to-day life in relation to each of the six areas listed above and what supports they need.
The Access Request Form gives some good examples of what you should demonstrate in each area.
For example, for 'Socialising' the NDIS wants you to comment on how the young person "makes and keeps friends, interacts with the community, and behaves within reasonable limits."
It's important to remember the age of the young person you're working with and what other people their age are doing. For example, if you're working with a teenager, you could talk about how their disability impacts their ability to:
- Go to school
- Make friends and spend time with people their own age
- Play team sports
- Join clubs
It is important to give as much detail as possible about the young person's disability and the supports they need.
For example, when discussing a young person’s ability to walk, instead of simply saying that they use a wheelchair when they go out, you could write: “John relies on his power wheelchair to travel distances more than 3 metres. For distances less than 3 metres, he uses a walking stick and is supported by his parents."
Some disabled people experience good days and bad days. It is important that you ask the young person what their disability is like on a bad day.
If you only discuss the impact of their disability on a good day, then they may not get the support that they actually need.
Part F: Additional Notes
Here you can provide any additional information, including a letter of support.
What happens next?
After applying to join the NDIS, it may take some time to hear back from the NDIS team. They may approve or reject the application, or ask for more information to be provided before they can make a decision.
The NDIS team may contact you for more information about the applicant, their disability, and the supports they need.
If the young person's application is rejected and they believe that the NDIA's decision is wrong, they can apply for an internal review of the decision.
The NDIS website has some great resources to help GPs and health professionals understand the NDIS and support patients to join the NDIS.
Conclusion of Part 1
You have now reached the end of Part 1: Supporting young people to access the NDIS of this guide.
In Part 1, we covered:
- What is the NDIS?
- NDIS eligibility
- Psychosocial disability and mental illness
- NDIS and young people
- Supporting young people to access the NDIS
- What is in an Access Request Form?
In Part 2, we’ll focus on how to support existing NDIS participants.
Click Next: NDIS planning meetings to go to Part 2: Supporting NDIS participants.