NDIS Terminology Explained

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIS) can be difficult to fully understand for many.  To help you make sense of the NDIS, we have put together some of the terminology you may come across while talking to the NDIS or a Local Area Coordinator (LAC).


National Disability Insurance Agency; Agency. The NDIA is the statutory authority responsible for delivering the NDIS.



National Disability Insurance Scheme.



Local Area Coordinator.  You may meet with a LAC after you have been deemed eligible by the NDIA to receive a package.






A person eligible to receive support from the NDIS.



Someone who provides personal care, support and assistance to a person with a disability, and is not contracted as a paid or voluntary worker.


Psychosocial Disability

The term used to describe the disability experience of people with impairments and participation restrictions related to mental health conditions. These impairments and participation restrictions include loss of or reduced ability to function, think clearly, experience full physical health and manage social and emotional aspects of their lives.


People with disability

A person who experiences any or all of the following: impairments (abnormalities or changes in body function or structure); activity limitations (difficulties in carrying out usual age-appropriate activities); participation restrictions (problems an individual may experience engaging in community, social and family life).


Significant Experience of Disability

People who have had or currently have a family member with a disability, have cared for or currently care for a person with disability or have three years’ experience or more working with or for people with disability.


Lived Experience of Disability

Either personally living with disability or having a close relationship with a person with disability (for example, a family member or partner).


Person-centred Approach

Places the person with disability at the centre of decision making around their own care needs.


Functional Impact

A description of the nature and extent of a person's disability and how it affects the things they need to do and the way they do them.


Ordinary Lives

Lives that include positive relationships, a sense of belonging, autonomy, active involvement in decision-making, and opportunities for challenge and contribution.






The aspirational outcome that a participant has set for themselves.


Plan Goal

The measurable outcome that a participant aims to achieve throughout the duration of their plan/s.


Participant Plan

An approved document that outlines a participant’s context, goals and reasonable and necessary supports.


Planning Process

The process by which the Agency helps a participant to plan for the assistance they need from the NDIS to attain their goals.


Planning Workbooks

Workbooks provided to participants to help them identify and record their needs, goals and current supports during the planning process.


Approved Plan

A participant's plan, which includes the participant's statement of goals and aspirations and the supports they require to attain their goals.


Plan Nominee

A family member, carer, friend or other person. If the NDIA gives approval, this person can manage the participant’s NDIS funding and support them to make other decisions.


Participant Portal

The online system whereby participants in trial could view relevant information, the status of their supports and lodge claims for reimbursement if they are self-managing their plan. Like the Provider Portal, it is now replaced by myplace.


Choice and Control

The NDIA principle which outlines a participant’s right to determine who, how and when their supports are delivered.




Assistance that helps a participant to reach their goals, objectives and aspirations, and to undertake activities to enable their social and economic participation.


Reasonable and Necessary Supports

The supports that are funded under the NDIS Act. The NDIA publishes operational guidelines to assist decisions on what is to be funded as a reasonable and necessary support.


Core Supports

Support that enables you to complete daily living activities and working towards your goals


Capacity Building Supports

Supports to assist you to build independence and life skills.


Capital Support

Investment such as assistive technologies, equipment, aids, home and vehicle modifications; including Specialised Disability Accommodation


Support Package

The term used by the Agency to describe the funding available for the supports available to an individual participant.


Committed Supports

Funds included for reasonable and necessary supports for participants in approved plans.


Funded Supports

These are monetary supports that assist the participant to meet the goals in their plan that have been deemed to meet Reasonable and Necessary criteria. These are just a component of a participant’s overall plan.


Informal Supports

Supports delivered by a participant’s networks such as their friends and/or family.


Mainstream/ Community Supports

Existing government supports which are typically available to every person in Australia (e.g. Health, Education, Justice, Housing).


Community Services

Activities and services such as social, study, sporting or other interests, available from local non-government groups and government entities.




Registered Provider

Organisations or individuals that have been approved (under section 70 of the NDIS Act) to be a Registered Provider with the NDIA. Registered Providers of supports have met requirements regarding qualifications, approvals, experience and capacity for the approved supports.


Service Agreement

The documented agreement between a participant and provider highlighting the nature, quality and expected outcomes of a support.



The Agency provides guidance on the price to be paid for each support item. For some items, such as personal care and community access, the amount indicates the maximum price that the Agency will pay for that support.


Price Guide

The document which outlines the support items for which price controls currently apply, and their price, which are funded by the NDIS. It is not a definitive list and providers should use a principle

of best fit. A list of support items can be found in the Price Guide(s).



A method of management whereby an intermediary assists with some aspects (often financial) of management of the supports, but the participant and their family make all the decisions about the what, when, where and who delivers the supports.



A method of managing a plan whereby the participant is responsible for managing, negotiating with, and paying a provider directly.



Assistive Technology (AT)

The full range of technological solutions that allow people with disability to be more independent, more connected, and provide opportunities for them to realise their potential as active members of their families, schools, workplaces and communities. Beyond the traditional aids and equipment used by people with disability, including home and vehicle modifications, prosthetics and hearing aids, AT includes devices used by people without disabilities (for example, smartphones, tablets and apps) that are offering new ways to form connections and increase participation.


Diversity Groups

Sociological categories in a demographic. Those of particular relevance to the NDIS in the Australian community include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, women, and people from non-English speaking backgrounds.


Early Intervention

Providing support early in a child's life or early post-onset of disability to reduce the effects of disability and to improve functional capacity.


Evidence Base

The evidentiary base for decision making by NDIA personnel, including whether a person meets the access criteria for funding for reasonable and necessary supports.


Information, Linkages and Capacity Building

The term used by governments to describe the activities that will be supported by the NDIS to promote the social and economic inclusion of people with disability including people not receiving individualised funded support from the NDIS. The activities include providing information and making linkages and referral to community or mainstream services, building the capacity of people with a disability, families, and carers, building community capacity, building mainstream service provider capacity, and local area coordination.