Thanks for joining us in our Embark blogpost series, where we address some of our tips for supporting people with accessing the NDIS. Embark provides support to people in the Sydney Metropolitan area that are living with a mental health condition and experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness, to access the NDIS. [You can make a referral to our free service via:]

You can also get in touch for support – via Embark Upskill, we facilitate free workshops across NSW, open to anyone who wants to improve their confidence and understanding of the NDIS in order to support people with a mental illness to access the NDIS and obtain the supports they need. [Make an enquiry via:] 


Applying for the NDIS? Applications 101

The NDIS application process can seem complex and confusing, even for professionals working in this space! So, to start, in today’s post we’ve briefly outlined some of the basics you need to include in an application, particularly for someone living with a mental health condition.

Before you begin, check NDIS eligibility, including:

Age and residency:

  • Under 65
  • Australian Citizen, permanent resident, or holder of a protected special category visa

Having a disability or impairment that:

  • Is likely to be lifelong… with no other treatments that are known, available and accessible that are likely to remedy the impairment. (If you or the person you are supporting is receiving treatment to improve their capacity you should make it clear to the NDIS that this treatment may improve their condition but will not remedy it.)
  • Causes substantially reduced functional capacity across 6 domains: social interaction, mobility, communication, learning, self-care and self-management; preventing the person from social and economic participation in the community.

Now, if you think that you, or the person you support, meets these criteria – what’s next? You need to gather together the application documents and supporting evidence.


Getting together the NDIS application:

You will need to gather information from the person applying, as well as their support network, to complete the application documents, as well as provide the necessary supporting evidence, to help ensure the success of their application.


The main items we at Embark submit as part of an application:

    1. An NDIS Access Request Form
      • Complete pages 1-12 (if including Evidence of Psychosocial Disability Form, below)
      • This covers the applicant’s personal details and disability/ies.
    2. An Evidence of Psychosocial Disability Form
      • This covers diagnoses, history of hospitalisations and treatments trialed
      • Includes assessment using the LSP-16
      • And, requires details of the functional impact of the person’s disability on their: social interaction, mobility, communication, learning, self-care and self-management.
    3. Supporting letters – from Professionals or Carers (here is a sample letter) –
    4. Recent discharge summaries, as relevant
    5. Our own cover letter, detailing things like:
      • Psychosocial history (diagnoses, symptoms, functional impairment)
      • Treatment history and permanence
      • NDIS supports required.

There you have it – the basic inclusions of an NDIS application!

When filling out these documents, it is important to understand that the NDIS needs to know what a person ‘cannot do’ or has difficulty with, due to their experience of psychosocial disability. For this, you may need to think about their ‘worst days’. This can be a big change in focus and language for many professionals. But remember, this will ultimately aid the people we support in getting an NDIS plan and getting much needed supports in place.

We’ll be talking in more detail about our experience of this process in future posts. For now, there are a lot of useful resources out there to support you with navigating the NDIS and providing support to people with their applications. We’ve linked some of these below.

More resources:

Thanks again for joining us. Please be in touch with any questions or suggested topics for future content via

ICLA’s Embark program is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health to support people with a mental health condition who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness to access the NDIS.