Sample NDIS plans
This guide includes five sample plans for people in differing circumstances with examples of how the NDIS can support participants to exercise choice and control to lead an ordinary life.
These sample plans are to give you a place to start. We have also included a pre-planning tool to help you to develop your own plan so you can keep a record of your planning meeting.
First published: March 2018
Last updated: July 2023
SDA eligibility criteria
Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is a costly support that will be provided to only a small number of NDIS participants, so the rules the NDIS uses to determine a participant’s eligibility are rigorously applied. To be considered for SDA, a participant must provide evidence to support EVERY criteria along one of the pathways in this flowchart.
For the exact wording of each rule, refer to the Summer Foundation’s How to write a housing plan resource.
Reasonable and Necessary podcast series
Reasonably and Necessary: Making Sense of the NDIS is a podcast series by the Summer Foundation, hosted by our very own Dr George Taleporos.
Each podcast episode aims to simplify the NDIS for participants, their families and anyone supporting NDIS participants to work their way through the system.
SDA payments guide
This guide explains what Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) payments are, who they are paid to and how they are accessed. For people who have SDA payments included in their NDIS Plan, it explains how to make the most of this funding.
First published: September 2018
Last updated: June 2023
Allied health housing assessments guide
The aim of this guide is to assist support coordinators and allied health professionals collaborate on Housing Plans for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants. Housing Plans rely on appropriately framed allied health assessments and reports to support the participant pursue their goals and aspirations.
First published: April 2018
Last updated: June 2023
NDIS housing pathway
On this resource we detail one pathway to mainstream housing. If you have searched for mainstream housing and discovered you can’t access it because of your disability, you can test your eligibility for SDA on the second page.
First published: August 2019
Last updated: June 2023
Looking for somewhere to live
This guide explains how you can access and make the most of NDIS funding to look for housing. It explains the capacity building funding available to NDIS participants who need support to search for suitable housing. It also includes information on choosing your support coordinator and how to make the most of the funding.
Note that this guide replaces ‘Exploring Your Housing Options’.
First published: December 2017
Last updated: June 2023
Accessing the NDIS – Providing supporting evidence
When making an access request to the NDIS, the NDIA requires supporting evidence about the person’s disability and how it impacts their everyday life. Supporting evidence can be in the form of an Access Request Form (ARF), or a supporting evidence report. This resource provides an example of a supporting evidence report template that reflects the NDIS legislative requirements.
First published: March 2020
Last updated: June 2023
If circumstances change
No-one’s plans stay relevant forever. It’s worth taking time to think about and write down what changes you anticipate in your health or your circumstances. This guide is designed to:
– Guide your thinking
– Enable you to record any concerns you have about change
– Assist you to identify what you’d like to discuss
– Encourage you to build anticipated changes and support needs into your NDIS planning
First published: June 2018
Last updated: June 2023
Building a strong and effective NDIS for participants with complex housing and support needs – Summer Foundation submission to the NDIS Review
The NDIS assists participants to live independently by funding home and living supports that provide choice and control over where, how and with whom to live. However, many participants experience difficulties in accessing suitable housing and supports and have lost trust in the delivery of these services. The NDIA, state and territory governments and the disability sector need to work together to streamline processes and ensure good outcomes for people with disability. Shorter wait times and increased access to appropriate housing and supports will enable a greater quality of life, independence and connection to community.
Improving the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework – Summer Foundation submission to the NDIS Review
The NDIS Review opened a public inquiry into improving the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework. The Summer Foundation’s submission focuses on the quality of support provided within shared models of SDA. An improved Framework facilitates genuine choice for participants and the ability to exercise their rights in a shared living environment.
Collaborative discharge approach – An overview
A Collaborative Discharge Approach (CDA) is a process to ensure that people under 65 with disability or complex support needs in hospital can achieve an effective and timely discharge back into the community with National Disability Insurance System (NDIS) supports.
This overview provides a snapshot of how health can work with support coordinators to achieve this and includes links to resources that align with specific actions.
First published: December 2019
Last updated: May 2023
Getting the NDIS back on track – A survey of people with disability
The Summer Foundation, with the support of People with Disabilities Australia, conducted research into people with disability’s experience of the NDIS. The research was seeking to understand what works well in the NDIS, how it has made a difference to people’s lives and what they would change about the NDIS.
The research amplifies the voice of NDIS participants (and close others) and provides invaluable insight into the lived experience of dealing with the NDIS.
Key findings include:
- The NDIS has transformed lives for the better and helped people achieve important life goals
- There is a deep distrust and lack of confidence in the administration of the scheme
- Many participants live in fear of their funding being cut due to policy change, miscommunication, or errors
- Dealing with the NDIS is stressful and time consuming, and difficult to access
Winkler, D., Brown, M., D’Cruz, K., Oliver, S., Mulherin, P. (2022). Getting the NDIS back on track: A survey of people with disability. Summer Foundation.
Culture and Capability of the National Disability Insurance Agency – Summer Foundation submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Summer Foundation developed a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS on the capability and culture of the NDIA and the impacts on the experiences of NDIS participants.
The current culture and capability of the NDIA does not meet the needs of participants, but it can be improved. Through the Summer Foundation’s NDIS survey, participants reported that they live in fear of funding being cut, experience a lack of communication, collaboration and relationship building with the NDIA, as well as poor timeliness and efficiency.
Trust and confidence in the NDIS and the NDIA can only be restored if participants are seen as experts in their own lives. People with disability should be at the centre of all policies and solutions and included in any reform process through meaningful co-design. It is crucial that the NDIA works to strengthen choice and control for participants and builds their capacity to live well in the community.
Home and Living decision-making – Policy Position Statement by the Summer Foundation
Improving the experience and outcomes of NDIS participants, particularly around Home and Living supports, is a key focus of the NDIS. There have been a number of improvements and positive changes in the Home and Living space, including improved application processes and reports by the NDIA. While there is still more to do to ensure straightforward and transparent processes to enable NDIS participants to access appropriate housing and supports, it is great to see the focus and positive traction from the NDIA. This position statement identifies a number of wins for the NDIA and participants.
Value for money – Policy Position Statement by the Summer Foundation
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) can point to value for money as a reason for not approving funding for any National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports, however it appears to be more frequently used in housing and support decisions. Participants, their supporters and the sector report that value for money is not clearly understood, applied inconsistently and lacks transparency on how it is applied to individual plans. In line with NDIS legislation, the NDIA must consider long-term costs and benefits of supports as well as invest in capacity building measures that will reduce support costs over time.
Summer Foundation – La Trobe University Research Program 2021/2022
The Summer Foundation – La Trobe University Research Program is designed to understand the issue of young people in aged care. By researching the issues at each stage of the critical pathways that lead young people to aged care we can provide the evidence needed to create systems change that will solve this problem.
Housing Delayed and Denied: NDIA Decision-Making on specialist disability accommodation funding
In the past year, an increasing number of people have received SDA funding decisions that were not aligned with their needs and preferences.
In order to understand and engage with the SDA decision-making and appeals process, the Housing Hub and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) commenced a collaborative project in mid-2021, providing legal help to NDIS participants who are seeking reviews of SDA funding decisions at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). This new report presents our early findings.
Skipsey, M., Winkler, D., Cohen, M., Mulherin, P., Rathbone, A., & Efstathiou, M. (2022). Housing delayed and denied: NDIA decision-making on Specialist Disability Accommodation. Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Housing Hub.
Pre Budget Submission (2022)
More than 50 young people continue to enter aged care each month. Most young people enter aged care via hospital -they fall through the gap between the hospital and the disability sectors.
Additionally over 1,100 long stay NDIS participants are stuck in Australian hospitals at a cost of $860m per annum. People with disability remain in hospital for months after they are clinically ready for discharge because it takes the NDIA an average of 60 days to determine eligibility and allocate funding for supports in an NDIS plan. Funding for SDA can take much longer.
Many NDIS participants have to go to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to get the right SDA determination. This can take up to another year, costing the Federal Government $17 million per annum (reported by the NDIA) and causing undue stress to NDIS participants and their families.
Lack of disability housing is not the main barrier to hospital discharge. According to the NDIA, there are 3,000 vacancies in disability housing across Australia, 800 of which are new build SDA.
In 2016, the NDIS committed to providing $700 million per year to housing payments called SDA. Last year the NDIA only allocated 31% of the committed $700 million for SDA (the partial allocation of committed funding also occurred in prior years).
The Federal Government will not achieve its 2022 or 2025 YPIRAC Targets unless:
- The NDIA steps up and matches the efficiency of the aged care system in the timely allocation of funding for housing and support, post receipt of all required evidence to make an SDA determination.
- There is investment in better hospital discharge for people with severe disability
Separation of Housing and Support – Policy Position Statement by the Summer Foundation
The provision of housing and supports must be separated to avoid conflicts of interest. Many participants receive a mixture of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), Supported Independent Living (SIL), support coordination and other supports from the same provider. This presents an inherent conflict of interest that brings risk to participant safety, compromises housing security and limits or removes a participant’s right to exercise genuine choice and control.
This can result in limitations of a participant’s rights to exercise choice and control, including the inability to raise concerns or change support providers without putting at risk other services and supports they receive.
UpSkill Fundamentals resources
The UpSkill team have produced the following videos to capture the fundamentals of what you need to know when you are a support coordinator or private allied health professional. If you are attending any online or face-to-face UpSkill training, you should watch the UpSkill Fundamentals videos beforehand.
NDIS foundations training videos
These videos for health services are part of the NDIS Capacity building framework training manual.
- Embedding Practice Change: Health Services and the NDIS
- Introduction to the NDIS (Webinars 1–4)
- NDIS Foundations (Modules 1–3)
- Streamlining Health & NDIS for Better Discharge Outcomes
Lisa is moving out of aged care
Lisa has lived in a nursing home for about 6 years. Her main goal was to get of the nursing home. Lisa shares how it feels to be preparing to move into an SDA apartment.