The three tiers of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

Posted on 11 February 2016 by Yooralla

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) works on three tiers, which consider all the supports a person may need.

Tier three – funded support packages

Tier three provides individual funding packages to people with disability for the supports they require to address the functional impairment resulting from disability.

The current trials in seven sites across Australia are focused on the delivery of tier three support. Under tier three, eligible participants develop a plan with the National Disability Insurance Agency based on their individual needs and goals.

Based on their plan, participants are funded for reasonable and necessary supports to assist with daily living and improve their independence. This can include things such as equipment, transport to access the community, home modifications and personal care to get ready in the mornings and at night – every person’s support needs are different.

Tier two – information linkages and capacity building (ILC)

Information linkages and capacity building (ILC), known as tier 2, is designed to provide broader support to people with disability and the sector. This includes things such as:

  • information, linkages and referrals, to connect people to the right support
  • building the capacity of mainstream services to engage with people with disability
  • improving community awareness, inclusion and accessibility
  • building individual capacity, and
  • local area coordination.

ILC is designed to support a social model of disability support and reduce reliance on disability funded support in the future.

While the ILC tier is yet to be implemented and tested in NDIS trial sites, it is important to gain an understanding of how this tier will support people with disability who are not eligible for funded support packages, or those who are better suited to services and support provided by mainstream services in their local community. 

While tier three could be considered as the core of the NDIS, including traditional intensive services such as personal care or accommodation, tier two is about the other resources that surround and support people with disability.

Tier one – the insurance safety net

Tier one focuses on social participation, creating general community awareness about the issues faced by people with disability and promotes inclusion and opportunities.
It is also described as the ‘safety net’ for all Australians who may acquire a disability in the future.


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