NDIS Glossary

What does that mean? OR - NDIS language made simple.

As all of us have discovered, the NDIS has come with its own new language. It is often not clear what the word, phrase or the letters stand for and we find ourselves scratching our heads wondering: "what does that mean?”.

This document lists commonly used words, phrases and abbreviations used in the NDIS and the disability sector. 

We hope it helps.

What is the difference between NDIS and NDIA?

NDIS: National Disability Insurance Scheme is the new national system of providing support to people with disability.

NDIA: National Disability Insurance Agency is the government agency whose role is to implement and manage the NDIS.

A       B        C       D       E        F        G        I        ​​​​K       ​ L        M     N     O     P      Q       R        S        T        W       
​​

A

Administrative Appeals Tribunal - also called AAT for short

The AAT is an independent body that can review decisions made by government departments including the NDIA.  

If you are unhappy with a decision the NDIA has made, ask for it to be reviewed by the AAT.  To find out more about AAT click HERE.  Or watch this video.

Access Request Form

The Access Request Form is the form you fill out that helps the NDIA decide if you can be a participant in the NDIS. You can call 1800 800 110 to make an Access Request, or you can ask for a form to be sent to you in the mail.  You can go to the NDIS website and download an access request form.

Access Requirements 

There are certain requirements you must meet to become a participant in the NDIS.

These are:

  • You are under 65 years old
  • You live in Australia or have paperwork letting you live here
  • Your disability is permanent  
  • Your disability has a significant  impact in your ability to do things for yourself

Click HERE for more information on accessing the NDIS.

Agency Managed

Your NDIS plan and support budget is managed by the NDIA. The NDIA pays the service providers who support you. The NDIA can only pay service providers who are registered with the NDIA.  They cannot pay the service providers who support you more than what the price guide says.

See also Managed/ Management

Approved plan

Your NDIS plan that includes a list of your goals and money the NDIA has given you to work on them.

Aspirations

What you would like to achieve. Your hopes and dreams for the future.

Assistance with Daily Life

Help with things you need to do every day like personal care, cooking, shopping, cleaning and looking after your yard.

Assistance with Social and Community Participation. Also called Social, community and civic participation

Help to take part in social events, spend time with family and friends and do the things you have to do in the community. You can use money from your NDIS plan to pay a support worker to help you with these things.

Assistive Technology – also called AT for short.

Equipment, items and things that can help you be more independent and involved in your home and community. For more NDIS  information on Assistive Technology click here 

B

Blue Sky Dreaming

Imagining, creating a vision and planning for a brighter future.

Budget  

Money (also called funding) in your NDIS plan to pay for the support you need to work on your goals.

C

Capacity Building also called CB

Money to support you to learn new things and build your skills  to help you reach your goals.

Capital Supports

Money in your plan for Assistive technology, changes in your home that you need because of your disability, changes to your car that you need because of your disability and money so that your home can be set up the way you need it.

These are usually higher-cost pieces of assistive technology, equipment or modifications, or one-off purchases.

Carers

Family members or friends who support you, usually without being paid.

Carer Statement

Carers can tell your planner about how they support you at the moment, and ask for other things that will help them to keep supporting you.

CB Choice and Control. Also called Improved Life Choices

A funding  category used to pay a Plan Manager  to support you to manage your plan and budget.

CB Daily Activities. Also called Improved Daily Living

A capacity building support category for assessment, training or therapy to help increase your skills, independence and community participation. You can have this therapy and other supports with other people or by yourself.

CB Employment. Also called Finding & Keeping a Job

A capacity building support category for assistance, training and assessments that help you find and keep a job.  The School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) is included in this category.

CB Home and Living. Also called Improved Living Arrangements

A capacity building support category to help you find and keep a place to live.

CB Health and Wellbeing Also called Improved Health & Wellbeing  

A capacity building support category to help you learn about and get support with your diet and exercise, which you might find hard because of your disability.  

CB Lifelong Learning. Also called Improved Learning

A capacity building support category for training and advice to help you move from school to further education, like university or TAFE.         

CB Relationships. Also called Improved Relationships

A capacity building support category to help you learn to get on well with other people.  This is often support for specialist behaviour support services that provide behaviour support assessment or develop a behaviour support plan.

CB Social Community and Civic Participation. Also called Increased Social & Community Participation

A capacity building support category to help you learn new ways to be part of your community and do the things that you like doing with other people. 

Change of circumstance

When something important happens in your life and you need to have different support, you need to tell the NDIA when this happens.  You can call the NDIA on 1800 800 110  to tell them about your change of circumstance  or go to the NDIS website page on change of circumstance.

Choice and control

The right to make your own decisions about what is important to you, what supports you need and want and who will give you those supports.

Circle of Support

A group of people who care about you and meet with you to help you to be included in the community and live a good life. 

For more info on Circles of Support

Code of conduct 

Rules that your services and support workers have to follow when they are working with you. These rules mean providers and workers must respect you and uphold your right to safe and  provide quality supports and services. You can find out more about the code of conduct by clicking HERE. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’s role is to make sure that all people working with you follow these rules.

Community engagement

The things you do in your local community and with other people who like the same things as you.   

Community services

Groups in the community that everyone can be part of.  It doesn’t matter whether you have a disability or not.

Complaint

When you tell someone you are unhappy with something in your life.  This could be a service you are getting, or something you have bought or being given like a wheelchair, a microwave or other things.  You can make a formal complaint by writing it down or talking to someone.  You can also ask someone from a service you use or a family member to help you make your complaint.  

Complex support needs pathway

A new way for the NDIS to help you if you find it hard to meet with your planner and understand your plan and the supports you can have.  The NDIA says it will find people to work with you who have the right skills and information to help you. Click here for more information about the complex needs pathway  on the NDIS website.

Consumables

Things you need to buy all the time because of your disability, like continence products and gloves. You can buy some technology and other things you need because of your disability if they don’t cost very much.

Coordination of Supports, sometimes called Support coordination

A person who helps you work out what supports you need and helps you link to the community. Coordination of supports is part of capacity building. 

Correspondence nominee

A person that you choose, or that the NDIA finds for you, to receive your information like mail or emails from the NDIS.  This person can ask the NDIA things for you but cannot make decisions about you or manage your plan.

See plan nominee for more information. 

D

Disability

Total or partial loss of a person’s bodily or mental functions (The Disability Act 1992). Describes a person’s impairment of body or function, a limitation in activities or a restriction in participation when interacting with the environment.

Disability Persons and Family Organisations (DPFO)

Organisations  run by and for people with disability and/or their families.

  • Led and controlled by people with disability and/or their families with at least 50% of people with disability in all parts of the organisation: the board, the staff, volunteers and members.
  • They seek to remove barriers for people with disability to access mainstream services and live an ordinary life.

E

Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI)

Capacity building supports to assist young children, aged 0-6 who may have developmental delays or disability, and their families. Assistance is provided by Early Childhood Partners.

Early Childhood Partner

Organisations that have partnered with the NDIA to support children  0-6 and their families.

Early Intervention

Support, at the earliest possible stage, to lessen the impact of a person's impairment upon their functional capacity. Early Intervention support is also intended to benefit the person by reducing their future needs for supports.  Participants receiving Early Intervention support may not necessarily be able to have ongoing support through the NDIS.

Eligible

Being able to become an NDIS participant.  Not all people with disability will be able to join the scheme. The NDIA tells you if you can join the scheme from the information you give them on the Access Request Form.

F

Finding & Keeping a Job Also called CB employment.

A capacity building support category for assistance, training and assessments that help you find and keep a job.  The School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) is included in this category.

First plan.

The start of your journey with the NDIS. An NDIS plan includes your goals and the supports you need to work towards them. Your plan is reviewed yearly or sometimes every two years.

Formal supports

Supports you have to book and pay for.  Also called ‘Support’.

Full scheme

The dates when the NDIS will be available to all eligible residents across Australia.

Funded support package

The funding available to you from the NDIS. There are 3 separate budgets in a support package: Core, Capacity Building and Capital.

Funding

The money the NDIA allocate to you in your NDIS plan Also called Budget.

G

Goals

Things you want to achieve in the future.

Guardian

A person in a formal caring role, acting for you if you have a disability. Parents or children are usually guardians.

A legal guardian is a person who the court decides will care for another person, and make decisions for them.

I

Improved Daily Living. Also called CB Daily Activities

A capacity building support category for assessment, training or therapy to help increase your skills, independence and community participation. You can have this therapy and other supports with other people or by yourself.

Improved Health & Wellbeing. Also called CB Health and Wellbeing

A capacity building support category to help you learn about and get support with your diet and exercise, which you might find hard because of your disability.  

Improved learningAlso called CB Lifelong Learning

A capacity building support category for training and advice to help you move from school to further education, like university or TAFE. 

Improved Life choices. Also called CB Choice and Control

A funding  category used to pay a Plan Manager  to support you to manage your plan and budget.

Improved Living Arrangements. Also called CB Home and Living

A capacity building  support category to help you find and keep a place to live.

Improved Relationships. Also called CB Relationships

A capacity building support category to help you learn to get on well with other people.  This is often support for specialist behaviour support services that provide behaviour support assessment or develop a behaviour support plan.

In-kind supports

This support has already been paid for by the government, so you do not have to use your NDIS funds.  If in-kind support is written in your plan, you have to use it rather than choosing your own services and supports. 

Increased Social & Community Participation.  Also called CB Social Community and Civic Participation

A capacity building support category to help you learn new ways to be part of your community and do the things that you like doing with other people. 

Individual support plan

A document that has your goals, information about your daily life and supports you already receive. It also has the funded supports you can receive through the NDIS.

Informal supports

Support you get from someone in your family or a friend who is not being paid.

For more info on Informal Support.

Insurance model

The NDIS spreads the current and future cost of support for people with disability across the broader community.  It is available to every Australian who meets the Access Requirements.  It places emphasis on up-front investments to reduce a participant’s future NDIS needs.

Information, Linkages and Capacity Building – also called ILC

Unlike the rest of the NDIS, ILC doesn’t provide funding to individuals. It grants money to organisations to run projects in the community that are great for all Australians with disability, their carers and families.

K

Keys to citizenship

There are seven things, called keys, that people with disability need to gain true citizenship. 

Purpose – having goals, hopes and dreams and a structure for life and a plan to achieve them. Having our own direction.

Freedom – control and the ability to speak up and be heard and to be legally visible in society. Taking charge of your own life.

Money – to have money for what you need and control over how that money is spent, especially if it is money to help you live the life you choose.

Home – a place that belongs to you, where you have control over everything that happens there. A place that can be a base for your life.

Help – good quality help that enhances your gifts, talents and skills and ensures your social standing, freedoms, rights and responsibilities in society.

Life – that you play an active part in your community, that you contribute through your love, gifts and talents. Getting 'stuck in' and making a difference. Learning from each other.

Love – you have the right to lots of different relationships with other people - friendships, love and family.  In your relationships you have to look out for the other person too.

For more information on Keys to Citizenship 

L

Lived experience of disability

Your own experience as a person living with disability.  Some people say that they have a lived experience of disability if they are a family member or partner of a person with disability.   


Local Area Coordinators – Also called LAC

Local organisations working in partnership with the NDIA to help you, your family and carers to participate in the NDIS. LAC's do three main things:

  • Planning, including your plan review. But an LAC cannot make decisions about funding and will send the Plan to a planner for approval.
  • Putting your plan into action and helping you to understand your plan, how to use the portal and find the supports you need.
  • Helping you to be find services and groups in your local community.

For more information on LACs 

M

Mainstream services

Services that provide support to lots of people - not just people with disability. These can be things like education, public housing, employment, public transport, and health services.

For more information on mainstream services.

Manage/ Management

To be in charge of something.  The NDIA uses the word 'manage' and 'management' to describe how the money in your plan is looked after. Essentially 'management' refers to who moves the money in your plan. There are three ways this can happen:

- Agency managed - The NDIS moves the money in your plan
- Plan managed - Your Plan Manager moves the money in your plan 
-  Self-managed - You (yourself)  move the money in your plan

Market

All the organisations and people in businesses to provide products and services to NDIS participants.

Microboard

A small group of people, often family and friends of a person with a disability who form an incorporated association.

The Microboard works with the person to help them plan and achieve their goals for a good life. They put the persons goals, dreams, needs and desires at the centre of their decisions and actions (i.e. a person-centred approach). It also helps the wider community to have a relationship with the person and to benefit from their contribution.

Depending on a person’s particular needs, a Microboard’s role can include assisting with coordinating support services, finding and keeping a job, facilitating friendships & being part of the community.

For more information on Microboards, visit Microboard Australia.

Microenterprise also called Microbusiness

A small business that only employs a few people.  Microenterprise's are new ways for people with disability to find work in their own business.  It is flexible, and can be designed around a person’s abilities, timeframes and passions.

Multidisciplinary

A team of professionals who work with one another and share the jobs of evaluating, planning and providing services to a participant.

MyPlace

The online NDIS portal used by providers and participants to perform administrative functions including creating service bookings, reviewing available funds in a participant plan and finding registered providers.

N

National Access Team also called NAT for short

NDIA staff members who work in locations around Australia to review NDIS access applications and decisions relating to a participant’s eligibility for the NDIS.

National Disability Insurance Agency also called NDIA

The agency which oversees and implements the National Disability Insurance Scheme

National Disability Insurance Scheme also called NDIS

  • National: The NDIS will soon be rolled out across all states and territories.
  • Disability: The NDIS provides support to eligible people with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychosocial disability. Early intervention supports can also be provided for eligible people with disability or children with developmental delay.
  • Insurance: The NDIS gives all Australians peace of mind that if they, their child or loved one is born with or acquires a permanent and significant disability, they will get the support they need.
  • Scheme: The NDIS is not a welfare system. It is designed to help people with disability get the support they need so their skills and independence improve over time.

NDIS Plan

This is a written document you work out with your planner.  It is about your goals and needs and the reasonable and necessary supports the NDIS will fund for you. Each participant has their own plan.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. Also called NDIS Commission

The NDIS Commission is a new independent Commonwealth agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. For information about the NDIS Commission and what they do, please visit the NDIS Commission website.

Nominee 

Someone you choose or who is appointed by NDIA to can act on your behalf with the NDIS. They might be a correspondence nominee or a plan nominee or both.

O

Operational Guidelines

 The guidelines to assist the NDIA in making decisions about supports.

For more information on operational guidelines.

P

Participant

(NDIS specific term) A person who is allowed to join the NDIS  and who receives an NDIS plan.  

Participant Statement 

Information about your living arrangements, relationships, supports, your life and your goals and aspirations. The participant statement is part of your NDIS plan.

Participant Transport  

When a support worker or service provider uses their car or minibus to drive you places.  They might ask you to give them some money to cover some of the costs. This is usually a per kilometre rate.

Peer Support

A person with a lived experience of disability who helps another person through sharing information and experience.

For more information on Peer Support

Plan management 

An NDIS plan or support budget that is managed by a Plan Manager who must be registered with the NDIA.

The Plan manager pays your providers for you and claims the money from your plan.

The NDIA will give you funding to pay for the Plan Manager’s services.

With a Plan Managed budget you can use support providers even if they are not registered with the NDIS. Your plan manager cannot pay more than the amounts in the price guide for specific supports.

Plan review 

A meeting with an NDIS Planner or Local Area Coordinator where you discuss your daily life, supports you needs and your goals for the future. The Planner or LAC uses this information to build your NDIS plan. The NDIA planner will decide what support funding will be allocated in the plan.

For more info on plan reviews.

Person Centred Planning 

Individual planning with a person with a disability as a way of discovering:

  • How a person wants to live their life
  • What is required to make that possible

The overall aim of person-centred planning is to create positive change in the life of a person.

For more info on Person Centered Planning.

Person with disability

A person who has any or all of the following: impairments, activity limitations (difficulties in carrying out usual age-appropriate activities), and participation restrictions (problems a person may have taking part in community, social and family life).

Plan nominee

Someone you choose or who is appointed by NDIA who can act on your behalf. The plan nominee can make decisions on your  behalf in the development, preparation, review of your NDIS plan and the management of the funding for supports.

Positive Behaviours Support Plan (PBSP)

Support funding you might have in your plan to help you manage your behaviour and improve your relationships. A Positive Behaviour Support Plan should have:

  • strategies that respond to your needs and the causes of the challenging behaviour
  • information on how the use of restrictive practices may be reduced or eliminated
  • information on how your quality of life may be improved

Privacy

Your right to control who can see or use personal information about you.
The Privacy Act provides protection through regulating the handling of personal information.

Provider  sometimes called a service provider

An organisation or someone who has products or services to help you achieve the goals in your plan. You can choose and change your providers any time.

Provider travel

The time a provider spends travelling to you to provide you with support. Providers may be able to claim funding from your plan based on the time they take to travel to meet with you.

Q

Quality and Safeguard Commission  Also called NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. 

The NDIS Commission is a new independent Commonwealth agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. For information about the NDIS Commission and what they do, please visit the NDIS Commission website.

R

Reasonable and necessary supports

Supports that are related to your disability. ‘Reasonable’ means something that is fair, and ‘necessary’ means something you must have in order to go about your daily life.

The NDIS funds a range of supports and services which may include assistance with daily tasks, employment, social participation, independence, living arrangements and health and well-being.

In order to be considered reasonable and necessary, a support or service:

  • must be related to a participant’s disability
  • must not include day-to-day living costs not related to your disability support needs, such as groceries
  • should represent value for money
  • must be likely to be effective and work for the participant, and
  • should take into account support given to you by other government services, your family, carers, networks and the community.

For more info on reasonable and necessary 

Registered provider sometimes called a registered service provider

An organisation registered with the NDIA to provide NDIS supports. Registered providers are bound by NDIA Terms of Business and other key policy frameworks such as the NDIS Price Guide and the NDIS Quality Safeguards Commissions registration requirements.

Restrictive Practice 

Any practice or intervention that has the effect of restricting the rights or freedom of movement of a person with disability.
The NDIS (Quality and Safeguards) Commission oversees the use of authorised restrictive practice. Any un-authorised use of restrictive practice must be reported to the NDIS Commission.

Review of reviewable decision (RoRD) also called internal review

You are asking the National Disability Insurance Agency to reconsider and review a decision they have made, like reviewing the funded supports in your NDIS plan. Decisions that can be reviewed are called 'reviewable decisions'.

S

School Leaver Employment Supports. Also called SLES

A support package funded to assist Year 12 and other school leavers to transition from school into employment. SLES is funded over two years for supports for achieving employment outcomes.

For more info on SLES.

Self-management 

An NDIS plan or support budget that is managed by the participant, their parent or plan nominee.  

The NDIA provides you with funding so you can buy supports that will best help you meet your plan goals. Your support provider does not have to be registered with the NDIA. You can negotiate the price you pay for a support, provided the cost can be met within your plan funding for the duration of your plan. You do not need a service booking for your self-managed supports as you pay your providers directly. Self managers must use the MyPlace  portal to claim the money from  your plan to pay your providers.

For more information about Self Management, click HERE.

Service Agreement

A written agreement between you and your service provider that details the supports being provided, how much supports cost and what you can expect from your provider.
Participants can write your own service agreement or ask your provide to include things that are important to you.

For more info on creating service agreements.

Service Booking

Self managed budgets do not have service bookings. Plan managed budgets have a service booking with the plan manager. All agency managed funds must have a service booking.

A service booking reserves funds in your plan for a particular provider.  The service provider claims the money after they have given you support or products.
You or your service provider can make a service booking through the myplace portal.  

For more info on service bookings.

 Short Term accommodation sometimes called Respite

Support that can assist you if you are away from your usual home form 24 hours up to 14 day as a time. Short tern accommodation can include assistance with self care or community access activities, accommodation, food and negotiated activities. You can also use short term accommodation to support you at home if you family or carers are away for a period of time.

Significant or permanent disability

A disability that a person will have for the rest of their lives and that makes it difficult for the person to do everyday things without assistance.

Specialist Disability Accommodation. Also called SDA

Is accommodation for people who require specialist housing solutions, including to assist with the delivery of supports that cater for their extreme functional impairment or very high support needs.

Funding is only provided to a small proportion of NDIS participants with extreme functional impairment or very high support needs who meet specific eligibility criteria. You can find more information on SDA HERE.

Stated supports  

If you have supports in your plan listed as ‘stated supports’ this means that this funding has been allocated for a specific support, and cannot be used for anything else. You cannot swap stated supports for any other supports.

Support coordination sometimes called  Coordination of Supports

A person who helps you work out what supports you need and helps you link to the community. Coordination of supports is part of capacity building.

Supported Independent Living Also called SIL

Support you might use to live independently. This support is often provided in a residence shared with other NDIS participants eg group home. For more info on SIL.

Supplier  

Someone who provides you with equipment or products to support you e.g. wheelchair, continence aids, etc.

Supports

Assistance to help you undertake daily life activities and enable you to participate in the community and reach your goals.

T

Temporary Transformation Payment. Also called TTP

A higher price that registered providers of personal care and community participation supports can charge you for their services. The provider must meet certain NDIA criteria and you must agree to the higher price. For more info on TTP.

Transdisciplinary

Similar to multidisciplinary.  A full team of professionals  are involved in working with you, however, the lead provider is responsible for coordination and progress reporting.

Transport

Funding that assists you to travel to work or other places that will help you achieve the goals in your plan. Transport may be funded in your plan or paid to you as a fortnightly payment or it might be in your core budget. Also see provider travel and participant transport.

W

Workforce 

People working in the disability support sector.

Worker Screening

Worker screening is a  strategy minimise risk of harm to people with disability. Worker screening involves police check; working with children check and or working with vulnerable people check; and reference checks. For more information go to NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission information worker screening.


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