Formerly House with No Steps and The Tipping Foundation

NDIS terms and definitions

Find a list of common NDIS words and phrases you might hear and what they actually mean.

Common NDIS words and phrases

Access Request Form (ARF)

To apply for the NDIS, the NDIA needs to know some information about you.

The Access Request Form provides the NDIA with the information they need to work out if you are eligible.


A carer is someone who provides care or support to a person with a disability, but they are unpaid.

Carers are often family members or guardians.

Choice and control

Choice and control is a term used a lot with the NDIS.

It means participants are able to make their own decisions. They will get to choose when and where they receive these supports and which disability service providers they work with.

Early intervention

Early intervention support can be for both children and adults.

It is about providing support at the earliest possible stage to reduce the impacts of disability or developmental delay.

Full rollout (full scheme)

This is when the NDIS will be available across Australia which is expected to be by 2020.

Functional impact

Describes a person’s disability and how it has an affects their day-to-day life.


Things a participant wishes they could do or achieve in the future, with the help of the NDIS.

This might be finding a job, moving out of home, or becoming more independent.


This is about how a person takes part in their local neighbourhood and community.

You can do this in many ways such as joining a club, volunteering, having a job, doing a course, and much more.

Informal supports

Families, friends, and the community can play an important part in the lives of people with a disability.

Support provided by these groups of people can be referred to as informal supports.

Local Area Coordinator (LAC)

LACs are local organisations working in partnership with the NDIA.

They help participants write and manage their plans and also connect participants to mainstream services and supports.

In NSW these partner organisations include St Vincent de Paul, Uniting, and Social Futures.

Mainstream services

Mainstream services are for all people with or without a disability.

They include health, mental health, education, housing, child protection, employment services, and others.


Is the name of the online portal for the NDIS. The portal allows participants to see their plan, manage their services, and request payments.

To access the portal, participants need to set up a myGov account. Providers also use the portal to make claims for support provided.

NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency)

This is the name of the organisation that the government has set up to run the NDIS across Australia.

NDIA Planner

This is the name given to the NDIA staff who work with people with a disability to develop a plan. They also undertake reviews of plans.

NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme)

This is the new national scheme for supporting people with permanent and significant disability which impacts on their ability to take part in everyday activities. Find out more about what the NDIS is.


Every NDIS participant has an NDIS plan. You will receive this after you have your planning meeting.

Your plan will include information about:

  • Your disability
  • Your day-to-day activities
  • Where you live and who you live with
  • Supports you get from family and friends
  • Disability supports and services
  • How much funding the NDIS will give you to pay for supports
  • Your goals

NDIS price guide

Prices for reasonable and necessary supports are listed in the NDIS price guide.

The price guide is developed, published, and updated by the NDIA. There are different price guides depending on the State and Territory.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

This Commission is a new independent Commonwealth agency.

It was set up to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services.


If a person doesn’t have a parent or guardian they might appoint a Nominee to act and make decisions for them.


Often people who have an NDIS plan are referred to as an NDIS participant.

Permanent and significant disability

To receive funding from the NDIS, a person’s disability must be both permanent and significant.

This means that their disability is one that they will have for all of their life, and one that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities.

Planning process

This is the process where an NDIS participant will work with a Local Area Coordinator or an NDIA planner to plan what supports they need from the NDIS so that they can achieve their goals.

Plan review

An NDIS participant’s plan will generally be reviewed after 12 months.

At this time the NDIA will contact the participant to check if their supports are working well and if they are making progress towards their goals.

A person can also request a review of their plan at any time if their situation has changed or if they are not happy with what is in their plan.


A provider is a person or an organisation that delivers services and supports to participants of the NDIS.

Aruma (formerly House with No Steps and The Tipping Foundation) is an NDIS provider.

Reasonable and necessary supports

The NDIS provides funding for supports that are ‘reasonable and necessary’.

Reasonable means something fair and necessary means something you must have.

Registered provider

Is a person or organisation that delivers supports to NDIS participants who has met certain requirements set by the NDIA.

These requirements include experience, qualifications, approvals, capacity to provide the approved supports, and quality standards of the state or territory in which they are in.

Aruma is a registered NDIS provider.

Self management

This is when a participant and their family manage the funding and supports in their NDIS plan.

Service Agreement

This is a written agreement created with a service provider that sets out:

  • What supports the participant will receive from the provider
  • How and when supports will be provided
  • The cost of these supports
  • How long the agreement will last

Support package

The word used by the NDIA to describe the funding an person receives for their supports.

Support Coordinator

When you have an NDIS plan, you can decide which service providers you work with.

Some people find and coordinate their services themselves, but it can be quite difficult. That’s when Support Coordination might be included in your NDIS plan.

Support Coordinators can help find mainstream and other disability services.

Aruma offers Support Coordination services.