The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a scheme of the Australian Government that funds costs associated with disability. The scheme was legislated in 2013 and went into full operation in 2020.
The scheme entitles people with a "permanent and significant" disability (under the age of 65), to full funding for any "reasonable and necessary" support needs related to their disability (subject to certain restrictions). Funding is allocated to the individual, and the individual or their guardian chooses which providers supply the funded goods and services (subject to certain restrictions).
The scheme is entirely publicly funded: recipients do not purchase or contribute to an insurance policy. The scheme is not means-tested. The word 'insurance' refers to the scheme's use of proactive insurance principles to manage long-term financial sustainability, and that it aims to 'insure' any citizen will have costs covered in the event they are born with or acquire a disability.
Individual NDIS funding is independent of the Disability Support Pension and universal health care. NDIS legislation draws a distinction between health care and disability supports, only the latter being within the remit of the NDIS. In addition to funding for individuals, the scheme funds some general 'information, linkages, and capacity building' (ILC) programs.