NDIS terms and definitions

We have put together some common NDIS words and phrases you might hear, and what they actually mean.

Common NDIS words and phrases

Access Request Form (ARF)

To apply for the NDIS, the NDIA needs to know some information about you. The access request form provides the NDIA with the information they need to find out if a person can receive NDIS funding.

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.

Full rollout (full scheme)

This is when the NDIS will be available across Australia which is expected to be by 2020.

Functional impact

Describes a person’s disability and how it has an affect on the things they need to do (such as day-to-day activities) and the way they do them.

Inclusion / participation

These terms refer to how people take part in, or feel a part of, their local neighbourhood and community.

Informal supports

Families, friends, and the community can play an important part in the lives of people with a disability. Support provided by these groups of people can be referred to as informal supports.

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.

Local Area Coordinator (LAC)

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 St Vincent de Paul, Uniting, and Social Futures.

Mainstream services

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


Is the name of the online portal for 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 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.


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. 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 measures success for people with a disability. It includes areas such as choice and control, social inclusion, health and housing, employment, and education.


Often people who have an NDIS plan are referred to as an NDIS participant.

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 supports they 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 if they are making progress towards achieving their goals.

A person can also request a review of their plan at any time if their situation has changed or if they are not happy with what has been included in their plan.


A provider is a person or an organisation that delivers services and supports to participants of the NDIS. For example, House with No Steps is an NDIS provider.

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.

House with No Steps is a registered NDIS provider.

Registered providers can provide support to all NDIS participants. To locate registered providers participants can go through the myplace portal 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 will receive from the provider
  • How and when supports will be provided
  • The cost of these supports
  • 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 an individual receives for their supports.

Support Coordinator

A Support Coordinator helps an NDIS participant put their plan into action. They can help you connect with other disability and NDIS service providers, and work out how your funds will be spent.

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.

House with No Steps offers Support Coordination services.