DisabilityCare Australia

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will be rolled out as DisabilityCare Australia at a cost of $19.3 billion over seven years, of which the Government will invest $14.3 billion.

The fully-funded initiative has been introduced to ensure those with a severe and permanent disability will receive continued, appropriate care throughout their lives. The structure of the program will also give the recipient of the care a say in the services they receive.

The scheme will be launched from July 2013 in the Hunter Valley, NSW, Barwon, Victoria and in South Australia and Tasmania for young adults. Barkley in Northern Territory and ACT will see operations from July 2014. The full roll-out of the scheme will be complete by 2019/20 and will provide support for 460,000 Australians. In the first year of full operation, the Government will fund $11.7 billion of the cost, with states and territories picking up the bill for the remainder.

An increase in the Medicare Levy by half a percentage point from 1 July 2014 will fund the scheme. States and territories will be granted $9.7 billion over 10 years from this increase to help fund their share of the cost.

Currently, the Western Australian Government has not committed to the scheme.

Key points of DisabilityCare Australia:

  • individualised support will change as care requirements shift over the course of a lifetime
  • those participating can choose how, when and where they get care and support
  • on reaching 65 (50 if Indigenous Australians) individuals can choose to remain in the scheme and the costs will be covered by the Commonwealth.

How the scheme will change care for the disabled


Current system

DisabilityCare Australia


Varies from state to state

Consistent nationally, set out in legislation

Choice and control

Varies state by state and most people have little say over the supports they receive

Individual has control over the type and mix of supports, delivery and how funding is managed


Capped – people may be eligible but can spend years on waiting lists

Demand driven – people with disability get the support they need, when they need it


Multiple programs within and across Australia

Single funding pool (poling contributions from Commonwealth and states and territories) to be administered by DisabilityCare Australia

Examples of support available:

  • support to live and work independently in the community
  • early intervention therapies
  • home modifications
  • vehicle modifications
  • aids and equipment
  • assistance with household tasks
  • support for personal care
  • assistance with transport
  • assistance for family and carers

The funding received for services by an individual will not be means tested for income support payments.

Written by Debbie McTaggart