WA to join federal National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

On 12th December 2017 Premier Mark McGowan announced that WA will transition to the federal National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS is managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

Existing WA NDIS (formally called MyWay) sites will transition to the national scheme from 1st April 2018 to 31st December 2018.

Roll-out of NDIS to the Upper South West region has been delayed, commencing 1st October 2018. View the schedule for transition to the federal NDIS on the Dept. of Communities - Disability Services website here. View the rollout schedule for federal NDIS in WA on the NDIS website here. You can also watch a video about the transition to national scheme here.

WA Minister for Disability Stephen Dawson announced on ABC radio on 13th December 2017, that 200 Department of Communities - Disability Services staff will be offered positions with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) with a further 100 staff engaged to support the transition to the federal scheme.

Department of Communities - Disability Services (formerly called Disability Services Commission) have released a fact sheet addressing frequently asked questions about the transition from state run WA NDIS, to the national scheme. View the FAQ here.

The bilateral agreement between the state and federal governments can be viewed here. This contract sets out the responsibilities and arrangements for delivery of NDIS in WA (who is responsible for what), between the State government and the Commonwealth government.

The federal NDIS website also features information about the transition which can be viewed here.

Map of Australia highlighting WA

What does this mean for me?

If you live in Lower South West region (Augusta-Margaret River, Boyup Brook, Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Busselton, Donnybrook-Balingup, Manjimup or Nannup):

  • Between 1st September and 31st December 2018, your WA NDIS Plan will be transferred to the federal NDIS.
  • Existing WA NDIS Plans will be transferred (like for like - as much as possible) direct to NDIS without review. Full Plan reviews will occur as previously scheduled (ie: if your 12mth WA NDIS plan is due for review in March 2019, your plan will transfer to federal NDIS in Sept to Dec 2018, then you will have an NDIS Plan review in March 2019).
  • NB: If you receive Mobility Allowance from Centrelink, you will need to request transport funding in your NDIS Plan. Once transferred to NDIS, your Mobility Allowance will be cancelled.
  • NEW participants can still start WA NDIS Plans until the end of August 2018, or choose to wait until NDIS commences.
  • Participants who feel their needs are not being met should follow existing review process for WA NDIS.
  • Local Coordinators (LCs) will work with the NDIA to transfer plans for people they have been supporting in WA NDIS. Your LC will work with the NDIA to transfer plans for people they have been supporting in the WA NDIS. They will explain the transfer process to participants, and how the NDIA plan reflects the same or similar supports to their WA NDIS Plan.
  • For people who have their plan directly transferred to the NDIA, the same type of support and same hours of support will be maintained, even though the funding for each support may look a little different on the plan.
  • You will have the opportunity to renegotiate the goals and supports in your current Plan when you have your first federal NDIS Plan review.
  • People self-managing their funding will be able to access the myplace Participant Portal to view and manage their NDIS plan funding on an ongoing basis.
  • Service Providers will need to register as federal NDIS Providers. If any of your current service providers do not register as a provider for the federal NDIS, you may need to choose a new service provider who is registered for the federal scheme.

If you live in Upper South West region (Bunbury, Capel, Collie, Dardanup, Harvey or Waroona):

  • Your current state-based supports will remain in place until you transition to the federal NDIS scheme from 1st October 2018.
  • Current services and supports remain in place until federal NDIS rollout starts.
  • If you are already receiving disability supports from the WA government (Dept of Communities - Disability Services, formerly called Disability Services Commission) or from a Commonwealth program, you will automatically be contacted by the NDIA once your area starts to roll into the national scheme.
  • If you are not currently receiving disability supports from the WA government or from a Commonwealth program (or you are unsure), then you need to make a request to access the national scheme. Information about accessing the NDIS is found here, or you can view the factsheet on accessing the NDIS here.
  • If you are not currently registered with Dept of Communities - Disability Services (formerly called Disability Services Commission), we recommend doing so prior to 1st October 2018 for a smoother transition to the federal NDIS. Contact details for Upper South West Dept of Communities - Disability Services offices can be found here.
  • Once your access request has been considered, you will receive a letter confirming if you have met the disability requirements to enter the federal NDIS. If you are eligible,
    - You will be offered an appointment to attend your planning meeting.
    - You will be invited to attend a small group discussion to get information about the planning process, and to get ready to consider the goals and supports you need in your NDIS Plan.
  • NDIS have produced a video about developing your first NDIS Plan. You can view it on Youtube here.

How is the federal NDIS different to the state-based WA NDIS?

Eligibility is the same in both the state-based and the national schemes. Both schemes focus on setting goals, planning, and developing informal, mainstream and NDIS funded strategies to achieve goals. The NDIS provides choice and control for people with disability, their families and carers. A sustainable national scheme will provide greater assurance to Western Australians. A state-delivered scheme would not have been able to match the resourcing of the nation-wide approach. Additionally, people in WA can add their voices to ensuring the federal NDIS best meets the needs of all Australians with disabilities.

Strategies funded in the federal NDIS will look different to how they are categorised in WA NDIS. You can compare the differences by looking at the federal NDIS Price Guide and the WA NDIS (state-based) Framework.

Importantly, in the federal NDIS, you will have access to the myplace Participant Portal (linked to your myGov account), which will allow you to track how your NDIS Plan is being spent throughout the year. This will make self-managing your funding much easier than in the state-based scheme, or you can choose to have the NDIA manage your funding, rather than a service provider. Access to the Portal also means that you will be able to check that service providers are not charging for more hours of support than have been provided. You will be able to have more choice and control over your supports, and change service provider more quickly and easily (if needed). Through the Portal you will be able to:

  • Create and view Payment Requests (previously known as claims)
  • Create and manage Service Bookings (a new way of linking to a provider)
  • View your contact details
  • View messages from NDIS
  • View referrals made for you
  • Instant message with your linked providers
  • Upload required documents
  • Locate Service Providers
  • View upcoming events

How does the federal NDIS system work?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (also called the NDIS) is the new way of providing disability support. The NDIS will provide all Australians under the age of 65 who have a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to enjoy an ordinary life. The NDIS will help people with disability achieve their goals. This may include greater independence, community involvement, employment and improved wellbeing. As an insurance scheme, the NDIS takes a lifetime approach, investing in people with disability early to improve their outcomes later in life. The NDIS also provides people with disability, their family and carers with information and referrals to existing support services in the community. By 2019, the NDIS will support about 460,000 Australians with disability.

To become an NDIS participant a person must:

  • Have a permanent disability that significantly affects their ability to take part in everyday activities;
  • Be aged less than 65 when they first enter the NDIS;
  • Be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent visa or a Protected Special Category visa; and
  • Live in Australia where the NDIS is available.

View the full factsheet 'About the NDIS' here. Watch the Youtube video 'My NDIS Pathway' here.

A great place to start looking for information on the federal NDIS is the webpage for people with disability.

NDIS Resources to help you prepare for developing your NDIS Plan:

What is the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)?

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the independent Commonwealth government agency responsible for implementing the NDIS. The NDIA:

  • Helps empower and inform people with disability to be confident consumers.
  • Provides information and referrals, links to services and activities, individualised plans and where necessary, funded supports to people over a lifetime.
  • Provides service providers with clarity and transparency so they can grow their business and respond to need.
  • Raises community awareness and encourages greater inclusion and access for people with disability to mainstream services, community activities and other government initiatives.

The NDIA is partnering with the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments and well known community organisations to deliver the NDIS in your local area.

Need support?

If you would like information or support regarding WA NDIS or NDIS, please contact SWAN on 0499 819 038 or email

cartoon image of people with and without disabilities holding hands