NDIS terms and definitions - House with No Steps

NDIS terms and definitions

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Some common NDIS words and phrases and what they mean

NDIS terminology

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.


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

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. 


Formal / funded supports: These are the same as reasonable and necessary supports (see below) – those supports which are funded by the NDIS Act.
Full rollout (full scheme): This is when the NDIS will be available across Australia. Find out more about the NDIS rollout.
Functional impact: Describes an person's disability and how it affects the things they need to do and the way they do them.
Inclusion / participation: These terms refer to how people take part in, or feel a part of, their local neighborhood and community.

Informal supports: Families, friends, and the community can play an important part in the lives of participants and can be called natural connections. Informal supports refer to support being provided by these groups to the person with a disability.


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. 


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 becames an NDIS participant.


Local Area Coordinator (LAC): 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. In NSW these partner organisations include Vinnies, Uniting, and Social Futures.


Mainstream services: This refer to services in our community that anyone can usually access such as community services, housing, health, transport, or education etc. These services are for all people with or without a disability.

Myplace: Is the name of the new 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.


NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency): This is the name of the organisation that the government has set up to run the new disability insurance scheme (NDIS) across Australia.
NDIA Planner: This is the name given to the NDIA staff who work with people with a disability to develop a plan. They also undertake reviews of plans.
NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme): This is the new national scheme for supporting people with permanent and significant disability which impacts on their ability to take part in everyday activities. Find out more about what the NDIS is.
NDIS Access Checklist: Tool available on the NDIS website to help people to work out if they are eligible for the NDIS.
NDIS Plan: This is 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 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. There are different price guides depending on the State and Territory.
Outcomes framework: Is a framework developed by the NDIA which measure success for people with a disability. It includes areas such as choice and control, social inclusion, health and housing, employment, and education.

Participant: A person with a permanent and significant disability who has been assessed as meeting the NDIS participation criteria under the Act. 


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. 

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.


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.


Provider: A provider is a person or an organisation that delivers supports to participants of the NDIS. 
Reasonable and necessary supports: 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”.

These supports will help a person with disability to:

  • Increase their independence
  • Increase their social and economic participation; and
  • Develop a capacity to actively take part in the community.

Reasonable and necessary supports must:

  • Be related to the persons’ disability
  • Provide value for money
  • Be effective and helpful to the person, and
  • Take into account supports provided by families, carers, friends and the community.

Registered provider: Is a person or organisation that delivers supports to NDIS participants who has met certain requirements set by the NDIA. 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.

Registered providers can provide support to all NDIS participants. To locate registered providers participants can go through the myplace portal or use the search function on the NDIS website.


Self management: This is when a participant and their family manage the funding and supports in their NDIS plan.


Service Agreement: This 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.

Service booking: Is the request for a product or service which is 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 the funding in the participant’s NDIS Plan which will pay for this support. Payments cannot be made to providers or participants unless a service booking is in place. Service bookings can be created by the participant, plan nominee, plan management provider, or the participant can ask their service provider to create the service booking on their behalf.


Support package: The word used by the NDIA to describe the funding for supports which is available for an individual participant.


Supports: 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.


Support Coordinator: The Support Coordinator helps an NDIS participant put their plan into action. They can help a participant to organise supports, choose providers, and link into mainstream and community services. Through the planning meeting the NDIS planner or Local Area Coordinator, will work with the participant to decide if support coordination will be in their plan. 
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