Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

Latest updates

People with disability


About the NDIS

The NDIS is a generational reform that will deliver a national system of disability support focused on the individual needs and choices of people with disability. The NDIS will provide people with disability reasonable and necessary supports to live life their way, achieve their goals and participate in social and economic life.

The NSW Government was the first to enter an historic agreement with the Commonwealth Government for the full implementation of the NDIS across the whole of NSW by 2018.

Transition to the NDIS in NSW builds on the disability reforms already underway. Ready Together continues the NSW Government’s commitment to deliver over $2 billion in growth to the NSW disability system. NSW will continue to transform the current system to be NDIS-ready, providing person-centred disability supports and expanding individual funding arrangements to give people with disability more choice and control.

NSW’s input into the NDIS nationally has been informed by extensive consultations through Living Life My Way. About 4,000 people told us their aspirations for how disability supports could be delivered in the future. NSW has directly influenced the national NDIS design based on this feedback. Read more about Living Life My Way.

The Path to the NDIS

On 6 December 2012, the Commonwealth and NSW signed a Heads of Agreement which formalised commitment to transition to a full scheme rollout of the NDIS by July 2018.

NDIS legislation was passed through Federal Parliament in March 2013. This established the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to deliver the scheme. 

The Bilateral Agreement between the Commonwealth and NSW Government was signed in May 2013. The agreement outlines how the NDIS is expected to operate in the Hunter launch site, including roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth and NSW Governments. The Bilateral Agreement provides details on the planned intake of participants and the balance of cash and in-kind contributions to the scheme during launch. 

  • Intergovernmental Agreement - For the NDIS launch  
  • Schedule A - Bilateral Agreement for NDIS Launch between the Commonwealth and New South Wales  
  • Appendix C - New South Wales Planned Intake of Participants  
  • Appendix D - Balance of Cash and In-Kind Contributions in New South Wales

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NSW) Enabling legislation 2013 was passed by the NSW Parliament in November 2013.

The legislation is an important part of the move to the NDIS. It enables the Government to consider a full range of options for moving services to the non-government sector. Its purpose is to give people with disability continuity of support as they make decisions about their future; to encourage skilled people to stay working in disability services; and to help build the disability sector by making it possible to transfer Government assets to the sector.

Read more about the legislation.

Hunter area launch

The NDIS commenced in the Hunter area on 1 July 2013. People with disability living in the three local government areas (LGAs) of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland will access the scheme gradually to enable a smooth transition from existing arrangements. People in the Hunter launch will transition between 2013 and 2016. The full scheme will rollout across NSW between 2016 and 2018.

People with disability will establish a support plan with the NDIA and, once their plan is approved, will be able to make choices to support their needs. Change is not always necessary, and some people may be happy to keep their current arrangements or add to them.

The NSW Government is working with the NDIA to allow for the best possible transition of people into the scheme. The three LGAs will see around 10,000 people with disability being eligible for the NDIS over the launch period. Careful planning is needed so that people with disability have time to get ready for the planning process, and to consider their needs and goals before they engage with the NDIS.

What the NDIS means for people with disability

Under the NDIS, people with disability will make the decisions about their supports, including who will provide them. Funding for disability supports is allocated to each eligible individual, not to a service provider. For most people, the timeframe for moving to the NDIS is a number of years away. The NDIA, together with Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC), will work with people with disability and their providers to ensure they continue to get their current supports during the transition.

For information about how the NDIA works, including Frequently Asked Questions, go to the NDIA website: NDIS FAQs.

Ready Together

Ready Together was launched in December 2013. The NSW Government will continue to implement its disability reforms under Ready Together, including the commitments that were made under Stronger Together 2, to expand individualised support and funding arrangements for people with disability in NSW, and moving to more person-centred supports across NSW. Ready Together implements the Living Life My Way framework to expand support and provide people with more flexibility and control.

For more information about how Ready Together works, read the fact sheet or go to the Ready Together page.

Ability Links NSW

Ability Links NSW (ALNSW) is a new way to support people with disability, their families and carers as part of the ongoing reforms of the disability service system in NSW. When fully established, a total of 248 Ability Links NSW Coordinators, called Linkers, will be in place across the State.

ALNSW is the NSW approach to local area coordination and is an important part of reshaping and improving the way people with disability, their families and carers in NSW are supported, placing them at the centre of decision-making.

Linkers provide a first point of contact and information for many people with disability and they will be able to provide information about the NDIS as well as assisting people transitioning to the new scheme.

Linkers will also assist people with disability to build social, recreational and other connections in their local communities while working with the wider community to promote a range of opportunities for people with disability to participate in everyday community life. Linkers will help people access formal and informal supports as well as other services, such as health and education.

Ability Links began in the Hunter region at the same time as the NDIS launch, and by 1 July 2014 will commence in the remainder of NSW.

Read more here about Ability Links NSW.

Disability Inclusion Bill

The NSW Government is committed to a rights-based disability system. An exposure draft of the Disability Inclusion Bill was released for further consultation in December 2013. The legislation will protect the rights of people with disability and promote community inclusion now and into the future. It also outlines the NSW Government’s responsibilities during transition to the NDIS and beyond - focusing on the person-centred approach, individualised funding, safeguards and quality control.

Public consultation on the NSW Disability Inclusion Bill ends on 14 February 2014.

More information

For more NDIS information, visit You can sign up for regular updates or for enquiries, call the NDIS Hotline on 1800 800 110.

How to show your support

Every Australian Counts logo - National Disability Insurance SchemeShow your support for a National Disability Insurance Scheme via the national Every Australian Counts campaign. The campaign is being led by the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council and National Disability Services .


Data Exchange between NSW and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)

The Department of Family and Community Services, Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC), has a data exchange mechanism in place with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). This data exchange enables sharing of information essential to ensure a smooth transition for people with disability and service providers to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Exchanges of data approved by the NDIS are authorised under the National Disability Insurance Act 2013 (Commonwealth).

The data exchange:

  • ensures all ADHC-funded and ADHC-direct clients can transition to the NDIS in accordance with the schedule under the Bilateral Agreement for NDIS Launch
  • provides key information necessary for the NDIA to complete individual support plans and enable participants to commence purchase of services from providers
  • facilitates funding transition for service providers
  • enables ADHC to respond appropriately to individuals in the NDIS launch site
  • ensures  NSW and the Commonwealth are able to fulfil their obligations under the Bilateral Agreement

ADHC, as a service provider, receives identifiable data from the NDIA about individuals who are already known to ADHC. This data will be made available in ADHC's system and can be used for data exchange where appropriate.

For example, ADHC must be able to confirm where an individual receiving services directly from ADHC has transitioned to the NDIS and has started purchasing supports.  Other data, once received by the persons designated by NDIA and ADHC to receive the information, will be de-identified to protect the privacy of individuals.

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