The National Disability Insurance Scheme – A guide to the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a proposed federal government initiative designed to help those people in the community who suffer from a permanent disability.

With an average of one Australian being diagnosed with a permanent disability every 30 minutes, there was an urgent need to improve the health care system to assist people with a disability.

How will the proposed NDIS work?

It is proposed that the NDIS will be run by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Launch Agency, an independent agency who will report directly to the government.


It is important to note that you should not make any decisions regarding your own cover until such time as more details on the scheme are available, including:

  • What exactly is available to you
  • What it will cover you for
  • Where it is available
  • When it is available

Until these details are known, it is still important to make sure you are covered by a Total & Permanent Disablement insurance  (TPD) policy.

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NDIS vs Total and Permanent Disablement Insurance

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a nationally federally funded scheme, designed to improve the lives of those with a disability. Exact details on how the scheme will work will evolve over time, as will the amount of money government are prepared to commit to the scheme.

In time, we may find that the NDIS becomes an ingrained part of our health care system, however this may not be known for a number of years.

Even though the introduction of the NDIS will help thousands of Australians who have a permanent disability, the value of your own TPD policy should not be understated.

A total and permanent disablement policy gives you control over your insurance needs by giving you a choice of:

  • Sums Insured
  • TPD Definitions
  • Life companies
  • Payment options
  • Additional policy options
  • Policy structuring options 

The Proposed NDIS:

It is proposed that the NDIS will launch in July 2013 at several launch sites:

  • The Hunter Region of NSW
  • Barwon area of Victoria
  • The Australian Capital Territory
  • South Australia for children aged up to 14 years
  • Tasmania for people aged 15 – 24

The plan is to fully roll out the scheme by July 2018.

The NDIS will provide:

  • Care and support to people with a disability
  • Information and advice
  • Referral to disability services
  • Referrals to health, aged care, education and housing service 

Who will be eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme?

It is estimated that by 2018-2019, around 411,000 people will be using the scheme, comprising of:

  • 329,000 who have significantly reduced functioning in self care, mobility, communication and/or self management.
  • 82,000 people supported by early intervention

In order to be eligible, you will need to be:

  • An Australian Residents
  • Born with a permanent disability; or
  • Become disabled in later life; and
  • Have a permanent disability that affects their daily life; and
  • Have a permanent disability that affects their participation in the community 

What is the proposed age criteria?

There is no specific age criterion however it is envisioned that the majority of those participating in the NDIS will be aged under 65. However, you may be able to choose to keep using NDIS if you are older than 65 if it suits you.


Each person who participates in the NDIS will have their own individual plan. This plan will help with:

  • Explaining the things that people want to do with lives
  • What support they need to help achieve their goals.

The aim of the plan will be to give people in the NDIS more empowerment, choice and control over their plans including if they want to be in charge of managing their own plan or if they want help to manager their plans.

How much will the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme cost?

The Federal Government has earmarked $1 billion over four years to go towards the first stage of the NDIS. However the Productivity Commission has forecast the gross cost of the scheme to be $13.6 billion by 2018-19, with an offset of $7.1 billion due to the spending level of those with a disability on care services, residential services, aids and transport.

If you would like more information on TPD Cover and the NDIS, please contact us on 1300 135 205.

Source: National Disability Insurance Scheme Rules, NDIS Website, 7May 2013

Author: Russell Cain
Published: May 13, 2013
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