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What are NDIS Independent Assessments?

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Door opening to the NDIS has label independent assessments

What is an NDIS Independent Assessment?

Independent Assessments were one of the key reforms proposed by the Tune Review (a review of the NDIS by David Tune) in Dec 2019. 

Mr Tune made 29 recommendations to improve the participant experience and support the delivery of the Participant Service Guarantee. 

Starting in mid 2021, the NDIA will engage independent assessors to undertake functional capacity assessments to support NDIS access, planning and review.

These assessments replace those that would usually be done by the allied health (or other) professionals of the participant’s choice.

Who will perform the NIDS Independent Assessments?

NIDS Independent Assessments can only be done by an allied health professional on the independent assessor panel.

Your doctor or allied health professional will still be involved in your access request for the NDIS, as they will continue to be responsible for providing important information relating to your disability as part of access requirements.

Who will need an Independent Assessment?

All NDIS participants over the age of 7 will require an independent assessment as part of the planning process for NDIS access and also for NDIS plan reviews.

When will Independent Assessments be implemented?

New applications: Starting in mid-late 2021, all new NDIS participants will require an independent assessment as part of their planning process, before your planning meeting.

For existing participants: Starting in late 2021, as you approach your plan review, the NDIS will work with you to schedule an independent assessment as part of the review process, before your plan review meeting.

How will NDIS independent assessments be used?

An independent assessment will be an important part of a participant's NDIS plan, and will be used to determine the amount of funding you receive in your NDIS plan.

It will create a complete picture of how you manage tasks and activities in your everyday life. How you do things like school or work, or take part in your community.

It looks at your functional capacity, rather than your disability (find out more about functional capacity here)  

Based on the information in your independent assessment, your funding will be closely matched to your functional capacity and the impact of your environment.

Using your independent assessment, the NDIA will create a draft budget and share it with you before your planning meeting.

At your planning meeting, your planner will discuss the draft budget and check whether you need any additional assessments or information to finalise your plan. For example: for quotes for high cost assistive technology or home modifications.

How often will I need an NDIS Independent Assessment?

Following an independent assessment, you’ll be able to set your NDIS plan for longer periods of time – up to 5 years or your next life stage.  

You will need a new independent assessment when you:

  • are preparing to enter the workforce
  • are changing where you live
  • are entering a new life stage 
  • have a change of circumstances
  • need a significant change in your supports

What evidence will I need for an NDIS application?

With the introduction of NDIS independent assessments, participants will no longer need to organise an assessment or collect evidence to show the impact of their disability.

Independent assessments will give applicants access to health professionals no matter where they live, or what your circumstances. Independent assessments are free.

BUT most people will still need to get an official diagnosis, usually from a medical specialist. Moreover, some applicants will still need to provide medical evidence that their condition is likely to be permanent (as functional assessments usually can’t determine permanency). 

Have Your Say

The NDIS wants to hear from you!

They want to know how they can make these changes in the most straightforward way, that is easiest for you, your family and carers.

They want your feedback on:

  • how independent assessments will be used to help determine your NDIS budget
  • how you will have more flexibility in your NDIS plan
  • where your funding will be ‘fixed’ (not flexible)
  • how we can better help you to implement your plan
  • how we can best manage the process of making small changes to NDIS plans and checking-in with you on your plan
  • anything else you want to say.



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