Understanding the NDIS: what are formal, informal and mainstream supports

Your National Disability Insurance Scheme plan will be made up of different types of supports.

Did you know there are different types of supports that make up a person’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan, not just supports which are funded by NDIS (known as formal supports)?

The two types of non-NDIS funded supports in an NDIS plan:

  • Informal supports - these include the family, carer and community support that is available to a person (unpaid).
  • Mainstream supports - such as education, health, medications or other community services.

When determining what funded support a person needs in their NDIS plan, a person’s NDIS planner will take into account what supports the person currently receives (or should reasonably be provided) from informal and mainstream supports.

A person’s NDIS plan is a full view of any support the person needs in their life because of their disability, whether the support is funded by NDIS, other government agencies such as Department of Education and Training, or informal supports that are not funded at all (i.e. provided by a parent).

The NDIS only funds supports that are disability specific – known as formal supports. For example, if a person has a disability such as quadriplegia and needs a wheelchair to get around, this will be funded by the NDIS. However, if they also have diabetes and use insulin, this will be paid for by health services.

Need more advice or help?

Download our free NDIS guides: To make the most of the NDIS, you can download Yooralla’s free NDIS guides for adults or carers with disability or for parents of children with disability to help prepare for the NDIS.  

Book a free one-on-one NDIS discussion: To discuss your individual circumstances and better understand the NDIS, book in for a free one-on-one NDIS discussion with Yooralla Connect.

Contact us: For more information or support email yoorallaconnect@yooralla.com.au or contact us today.

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