the term that the NDIS uses for severe mental illness that impacts an individual’s ability to attend work or school, or to be part of their community.Psychosocial disabilityis the term the NDIS uses to describe mental illness.

People who receive support through the NDIS do not necessarily need to be diagnosed with a specific mental illness. That is because the NDIS focuses on how a person’s disability impacts their day-to-day life. 

Having a formal diagnosis can make it easier for a person to access the NDIS though.

Who can get NDIS support?

According to Accessing the NDIS: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals young people with mental health conditions may be less likely than older people to be eligible for the NDIS. This is because there are many clinical interventions available for young people facing mental health challenges.

Not everyone who has a mental illness will also have a psychosocial disability. A mental illness will only be considered a psychosocial disability if there is clear evidence that the mental illness severely impacts an individual’s ability to work, attend school or engage with their community.  

Two people could have the same mental illness, and one may be eligible to join the NDIS while the other may not be eligible.

This is because eligibility is not assessed on the specific condition. Eligibility is assessed based on how the condition impacts the person's daily life.

left: person in pink shirt sitting in chair. Young boy opposite, his head bowed

What mental health support is available through the NDIS?

The NDIS will fund disability supports that are not clinical in nature and that focus on a person’s functional ability. This includes support that enable a person with mental illness to undertake daily activities and participate in their community.

What information should I include in a report to the NDIS?

You may be asked to help the young person you are working with to fill out an A form that someone who wants to join the NDIS must fill out. There is a section that must be filled out by a professional as well.Access Request Form. This is a form that everyone who wants to apply to join the NDIS must fill out. Section 2 of this form must be completed by the applicant's treating professional.

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.

We cover more information about Access Request Forms later in this guide.

The NDIA will look for information about the young person's day-to-day functioning between A period of time when the symptoms of a mental illness (psychosocial disability) are most intense.acute episodes. 

You will also need to include information about any treatments that they have received.  This includes information about previous treatment, current treatment, and treatment options in the future.

There are a variety of psychological assessments that can be used as part of the young person's Access Request Form.

A doctor, psychiatrist or other mental health professional must also fill out an Evidence of Psychosocial Disability form for the young person.

Resources about psychosocial disability and the NDIS

 The NDIS has a helpful FAQ sheet about psychosocial disability and accessing the NDIS on their website.

Click here to download a NDIS tips sheet about communicating about psychosocial disability when supporting someone to join the NDIS.

There is a useful table in the document that lists:

  • possible symptoms
  • which area of need they would fall under
  • possible functional impacts of the symptoms
  • supports that may be considered.

For example, having severe anxiety may mean that someone has difficulty leaving their house or using public transport, which falls under mobility. A support worker to accompany the person on public transport could potentially be funded through the NDIS.

Young people with psychosocial disability may be able to access a Someone who is employed to support NDIS participants to take more control of their lives and to better manage the challenges of daily living.recovery coach. 

Click here to download a PDF document with more information about recovery coaches.