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Frequently asked questions

What is a Local Coordinator?

Being part of WA NDIS means people will have access to a Local Coordinator to help guide them on their journey.

Local Coordinators provide ongoing support to individuals, their families and carers to assist them in areas such as accessing information, planning for the future, participation in their community and identifying local supports and services.

What is WA NDIS planning?

One of the key features of WA NDIS is the focus on early engagement in individualised planning.

People with disability are supported in this process by their Local Coordinator, who can help in areas such as accessing information, exploring opportunities in the local community, identifying goals and linking in with local supports and services.

The resulting plan incorporates strategies tailored to the individual’s skills, strengths and need for support. Planning is flexible and responsive to challenges and changes in each person’s life.

Can I change my plan?

Of course. It’s your plan. If you have particular issues around the progress of your current plan, you’ve had changes in your life or you just want to adjust your goals, then you can review your plan with your Local Coordinator. The Commission recognises that people’s lives aren’t static and WA NDIS planning supports that.

I have been asked to contact a Local Coordinator. Why?

To determine if you are eligible for WA NDIS, you will be asked to contact a Local Coordinator in your area for further assessment.

Local Coordinators may need to do the following to help determine your eligibility:

  • meet you and talk about your needs
  • talk to family members, informal carers and other people important to you (where appropriate)
  • ask for reports from health and/or educational professionals
  • ask for relevant medical records.

Additional supporting information may be requested in order to make an eligibility decision. The information requested should be the minimum required for the decision to be made.

I have been asked to contact the Central Eligibility Team. Why?

Because of the medical complexities and variations in intellectual disability and autism, Local Coordinators do not carry out eligibility assessments in these two areas.

The eligibility determination process for intellectual disability and autism is undertaken by the Commission’s Central Eligibility Team. Autism is determined by a multidisciplinary team specialised in the assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

All other eligibility determinations will be made by the WA NDIS team.

I live in the Perth Hills area. Am I eligible for the NDIA NDIS trial?

To find out about eligibility for the NDIA NDIS trial, please visit the NDIS website and use the NDIS Access checklist.

I don’t live in a NDIS trial site. What supports and services can I access?

If you are already receiving supports and services from the Disability Services Commission these will continue.

If you are not already connected to the Commission and would like to discuss your possible eligibility to access Commission-provided and funded supports and services, you can contact the Local Area Coordination office in your area by using the 'Your local support' search function.

I have a psychosocial disability. Am I eligible for NDIS supports and services? 

Yes, you may be eligible. To be eligible for support from the NDIS, your impairments must substantially reduce your ability to undertake routine daily activities.

The broadened eligibility criteria for the NDIS means that increased numbers of people will be eligible to access supports and services, including those with a psychosocial disability. A person with psychosocial disability has impairments that can be attributed to an enduring psychiatric condition which has proven to be unresponsive to treatment and likely to be permanent.

WA NDIS provides non-clinical supports and services that focus on supporting people with psychosocial disability to undertake daily living and participating in the community – both socially and economically. For more information, read the WA NDIS Fact Sheet: People with psychosocial disability.

There are some supports and services that will continue to be provided by the WA health and mental health system, such as diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric conditions and mental illness. This includes medical and clinical services; care while admitted in hospital, in-patient and out-patient services, residential care; and medications and pharmaceuticals.

What does ‘reasonable and necessary’ support mean?

When a Local Coordinator develops a plan with a person with disability and their families and carers, they will take into account the ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports needed for that person to achieve the goals outlined in their WA NDIS plan.

For example, ‘reasonable and necessary’ may include:

  • assisting the individual to pursue goals and undertake activities which facilitate independence, social and economic participation
  • supports which develop an individual’s capacity to actively take part in the local community
  • supports which represent value for money and are likely to be effective and beneficial for the individual
  • supports which are most appropriately funded through WA NDIS (rather than through other service systems)
  • supports which are directly related to an individual’s disability needs and are beyond what is reasonable to expect families, carers, informal networks and the community to provide.

Local Coordinators will assist people with disability, their families and carers to determine what is considered ‘reasonable and necessary’ throughout the planning process.

For more information, please refer to the WA NDIS operational policy titled Funded supports in the plan – Reasonable and necessary.

What does self-management of my plan involve?

Self-managing your plan means you will be responsible for things like receiving and managing any funding provided, organising and purchasing supports (including payment of indirect costs such as taxes), implementing safeguards, reporting on and acquitting funds and meeting other accountability requirements.

It’s a big responsibility and your Local Coordinator can help you decide whether this is the best option for you. There is also the option to have your plan managed by your preferred disability service provider or to share the management of the responsibilities with them. You will need to discuss shared management with your chosen service provider.

For more information, please refer to the WA NDIS operational policy titled Plan management decisions and the Self-management Guide for WA NDIS .

What happens to people once they turn 65 years of age in WA NDIS?

The age criterion for the WA NDIS trial relates to initial eligibility. People who turn 65 after entering the trial at a younger age continue to participate.

If a person who turns 65 years after entering the WA NDIS trial at a younger age

has increased support needs, Local Coordinators will consider whether the increased support is related to the person’s disability or could be better met by another system such as aged care. For further information, you can read the WA NDIS Fact Sheet: Eligibility for people aged 65 years or older.

I am not happy with my services. How do I lodge a complaint?

People with disability, their families and carers have the right to make a complaint about the supports and services they access through WA NDIS. Complaints can be lodged by the individual or a nominated representative.

If you have a concern or complaint about the service provided by your Local Coordinator, or about another service provided by the Disability Services Commission, you can raise this with your Local Coordinator directly. If you do not feel able to raise it with them yourself, you can lodge a complaint with the Disability Services Commission through the Commission's Consumer Liaison Service on:
Phone: 9426 9244

Complaints about services provided by other organisations should be raised with the provider of the specific support or service. This offers the organisation the opportunity to address the issue and usually results in a speedier resolution. Please contact the relevant organisation’s complaint office in order to lodge a complaint in this way.

If you are not satisfied with how either the Disability Services Commission or another service provider deals with your complaint, you can lodge a complaint with the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office (HaDSCO). HaDSCO is an independent body that can investigate complaints about any disability service. You can contact the office on:
Phone: 6551 7600 

How do I provide feedback?

Your feedback will help us to ensure WA NDIS is working in the best way possible for people with disability, their families and carers, service providers, community-based organisations, mainstream organisations and other key stakeholders.

Please let us know what is working well (so we can keep these things going into the future) and what can be improved (so we can problem-solve and make changes). You can provide feedback by emailing or free call: 1800 996 214, TTY: 9426 9315.

How does my organisation become a WA NDIS service provider?  

To provide services in a WA NDIS area (Lower South West and Cockburn-Kwinana), organisations need to be on the Disability Services Commission’s Panel Contract for Individually Funded Services and/or Panel Contract for Individually Funded Therapy Services. The type of services offered by a service provider will determine the type of contract required.

Existing service providers not currently contracted to provide services for the WA NDIS may be able to negotiate a contract variation with the Commission to enable them to operate in a trial site. If not, they will need to apply through a registration process that will be open on the Tenders WA website.

New service providers (who do not already have a contractual arrangement with the Commission) will need to apply through a registration process that will be open on the Tenders WA website. 


Providing services in the NDIA NDIS Perth Hills trial site
Organisations wanting to provide services in the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) NDIS trial site in the Perth Hills must comply with the WA quality assurance system. In order to do that, organisations need to be on the Disability Services Commission’s Panel Contract for Individually Funded Services.

Organisations must also register with the National Disability Insurance Agency

Is the NDIS being delayed in Western Australia? Are West Australians being disadvantaged? 

The WA Government is committed to ensuring West Australians with disability receive the best support possible through a NDIS, both during the trials and under a state-wide NDIS.

Extending and expanding the comparative trial means that the final decision on the implementation of the NDIS in WA will be fully informed through the experiences of people and providers in the trial, the findings of the independent evaluation and the collection of comparable data.

The decision to expand the trial to nine new local government areas reinforces the WA Government’s commitment to a phased roll out of NDIS supports to people with disability across the State.

By July 2017, a quarter of NDIS eligible West Australians will be covered by the NDIS.  


Why is WA NDIS My Way now being referred to as WA NDIS?

The ‘My Way’ tag was a useful differentiator for the State Government’s NDIS model during the early phases of the trial.  We have now reached a stage where the different model WA uses is much better known and understood, and our focus is shifting to consistency within a national scheme. For this reason, we will now be referring to the State Government-run trials simply as ‘WA NDIS’.

What has been agreed between the State and Commonwealth Governments?

  • That a phased state-wide NDIS roll out will begin 1 July 2017. It is hoped the terms of this agreement will be known by October 2016.
  • The existing NDIS trials in WA will be extended by a further 12 months to 30 June 2017.
  • The trials of the NDIS in WA will expand to include around 2,700 more people.
  • The performance of the comparative trials will continue to be monitored and assessed.

What new areas will the expansion cover?

Nine new local government areas will be covered by the NDIS.

The State Government’s WA NDIS model will extend into the City of Armadale, the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale and the Shire of Murray.

The Commonwealth Government’s National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) model will extend into the Shires of Chittering, Northam, Toodyay and York, the Town of Bassendean and the City of Bayswater.

When does the NDIS begin in the new areas?

From 1 October 2016 the City of Armadale, the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale and the Shire of Murray will join the WA NDIS.

From 1 January 2017 the Shires of Chittering, Northam, Toodyay and York, the Town of Bassendean and the City of Bayswater will join the NDIA NDIS.

WA will commence a phased state-wide roll out of the NDIS from 1 July 2017, with the existing trial sites becoming WA’s first full-scheme NDIS areas.

What happens in the existing trial sites now?

The existing trials in the Lower South West, Cockburn-Kwinana and Perth Hills will continue to operate as they currently are.

How many people will benefit from the extension and expansion of the NDIS trial in WA?

Across the state, approximately 11,000 people with disability will be eligible to take part in the NDIS trial in WA by 30 June 2017. 

Of these 11,000 people, just over 5,600 will participate through the State Government’s WA NDIS trial: almost 4,200 in the existing trial sites and close to 1,500 in the new areas.

More than 5,300 people will participate in the Commonwealth Government’s NDIA NDIS trial: more than 4,000 in the Perth Hills and over 1,200 more in the expanded trial areas.

Why has the State Government decided to extend and expand the trials, and why have these areas been chosen?

The decision to extend and expand the trials has been made jointly between the State and Commonwealth Governments.

Before starting a state-wide roll out, both Governments will work with people with disability, their families, carers and the disability and mental health sectors to design the best possible approach to implementation of the NDIS for people with disability in WA. The extension and expansion provides time to do this properly, allowing us to draw on additional experiences and information.

The decision on the trial expansion areas was based on their proximity to the existing trial sites and the need to represent both metropolitan and regional service areas, along with the need to maintain similar numbers of people in the trials so they stay comparable.

Why is the WA NDIS trial expansion starting three months earlier than the NDIA NDIS trial expansion?

The WA Government will be ready to commence its expansion on 1 October 2016 because of its long history of service provision across the state, and due to existing networks and arrangements. 

The Commonwealth has chosen to commence the expansion of the NDIA NDIS on 1 January 2017.   

Who will be eligible in the new trial areas?

To be eligible to participate in the NDIS trial, people must have a disability that is permanent, or likely to be permanent, and be under 65 years of age on 1 October 2016. They also need to be an Australian citizen (or permanent visa holder) who lives in a trial area at the trial’s start date.

In WA NDIS trial sites people can test their potential eligibility by using the ‘Am I Eligible’ tool on the Disability Services Commission’s website.