Australia’s National Disability
Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Act

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The National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 is a piece of legislation that provides for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Act aims to give effect to Australia’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and to improve the lives of people with disability in Australia.

The NDIS is a government-funded scheme to support Australians with disability to live ‘ordinary lives’. The Disability Support Payment already exists to provide an income (through Centrelink) to Australians who cannot work due to disability, and the NDIS is intended to help disabled Australians afford disability-related expenses they may have on top of that.

The NDIS’s website describes the Scheme as ‘social insurance, not welfare. As an insurance scheme, the NDIS takes a lifetime approach to support, investing in people with disability early to improve their outcomes later in life.’

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the independent agency that implements the NDIS. It also has more general functions, such as enhancing the disability sector in Australia, and building community awareness of the social contributors to disability.

A bill to establish the NDIS was introduced into Federal Parliament in November 2012 by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and the Act was then passed in March 2013. The NDIS began in a number of trial sites around Australia from July 2013, and has been rolled out nationally in stages since July 2016.

Find out more about our policy work on the NDIS here.

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