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The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides support to people with disability, their families and carers. It is jointly governed and funded by the Australian, and state and territory governments. The NDIS commenced on 1 July 2013, beginning with a trial phase known as the NDIS Launch. Transition to the full scheme began in July 2016 as the NDIS started being progressively introduced across Australia. The NDIS is now available in all states and territories, with the remaining areas of Western Australia progressively expected to join by July 2020.

The NDIS is a new model of funding and delivering supports for people with disability. It takes an insurancebased approach and moves from the previous system of block funding to a fee-for-service, market-based approach (discussed further below). It is based on the premise that people with disability each have different support needs and should be able to exercise choice about the supports they need.

The main component of the NDIS is individualised packages of support to eligible people with disability. When the NDIS is fully implemented, it is expected that around 475,000 Australians will receive individualised supports.

The NDIS also has a broader role in helping all people with disability—approximately 4.3 million Australians—to:

  • access mainstream services, such as health, housing and education
  • access community services, such as sports clubs and libraries and
  • maintain informal supports, such as family and friends.
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