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NDIS and employment

 Quick Summary

If you are a National Disability Insurance Scheme participant, you could get funding to find a job and keep it. You may need assessments, advice, help from professionals, and other supports. You may also be eligible to use a Disability Employment Service provider. The NDIS will fund things that the Disability Employment Service Provider does not fund. Your NDIS plan will have categories of funding. You can use these in different ways to help you to reach your employment goals.

You can choose to:


Finding a job can be hard, but there is help available. A good place to start is Centrelink, as they can help you with information about payments while you are looking for work. They can also provide information about employment service providers, and other services you may be eligible for.

If you have a disability, you may be eligible for help from Disability Employment Service providers (DES), and also for funding from the NDIS. You will need to have a job capacity assessment with Centrelink to see if you qualify.

If you are due to leave school and you want to work, your school will help you with getting ready to work. You can also look at career websites such as My Future for ideas and useful information. See Get Started for the link to the My Future website.

There are three ways to find employment:

  1. through the open job market, or if eligible,
  2. through a Disability Employment Service (DES) provider or
  3. through supported employment with an Australian Disability Enterprise. (ADE)

Open market jobs are available for anyone to apply for and do. You will be successful if you can meet the selection criteria and are the best person for the job in the employer’s view. If you have additional needs or a disability, you have the right to ask for reasonable adjustments and accommodations to be made to enable you to do the job if it is offered to you.

Disability Employment Services are free to people with disability. The service will help you to find a job and to keep the job. They also provide a worker to support you as you learn to do the job, and assist you with your personal care needs at work. They can also help your employer to make reasonable adjustments for you if needed.

Australian Disability Enterprises are businesses that provide employment specifically for people with disability. Support is provided to you for personal care and/or to do the work.

You NDIS plan can be useful whether you find employment on the open job market, use a Disability Employment Service provider (DES) or find a job with an Australian Disability Enterprise. (ADE).

Your school may connect you with The National Disability Coordination Officer Program (NDCO). This is a program to assist school leavers with disability to transition to work from school. They will also help you with ways to use your NDIS funding to help you with transitioning out of school and into work, work experience or training. See Get Started for more information about the NDCO Program.

Your NDIS funding plan will have the following types of funding in it that can be used in different ways to help you reach your goal of being employed:

Capacity Building Supports

These are supports such as assessment and training to help you find the right work for you. An occupational therapist is a professional who can help you in this way.

The assessment may show that you need to learn new skills to be able to get a job. This can be things like learning to get along with others, following instructions, concentrating on one job for a longer time, or improving your reading and writing.  A speech pathologist or a developmental educator are professionals who can help you with learning new skills.

If you need help with communicating, following instructions and getting along with others, a speech pathologist or psychologist may help you. If you need counselling related to finding work, the NDIS can assist you with funding to get counselling.

The funds for capacity building will show in your NDIS plan as Improved Daily Living or Improved Relationships, and as Finding and Keeping a Job.

Core Supports

The NDIS will also fund your personal care support while you are at work.  In your Plan, this sort of support is called ‘Increased Social and Community Participation’ and is included in your Core Supports.

Assistive Technology

Do you need equipment to help you do your job? The NDIS can help with equipment that you need because of your disability to be able to do your job.   The NDIS calls this ‘Assistive Technology’. The NDIS has 4 different categories for Assistive Technology.  Level 1 and Level 2 equipment will be in your Core Supports.  Level 3 and Level 4 equipment will be in its own category of ‘Assistive Technology’ in your plan.

School Leaver Employment Supports

Are you leaving school?  The NDIS has a program called ‘School Leaver Employment Supports,’ also known as SLES.  This is extra help for the first two years after you leave school to get ready for work and transition to work. It can be for work experience or learning new skills that will help you get a job. If you have SLES in your plan it will be called ‘Finding and Keeping a Job.’


If you use public transport to and from work or need specialist transport, the NDIS will fund this. It will be shown on your plan as Transport level 1, 2, or 3. The money will be paid into your bank account fortnightly.

If you need to learn how to use public transport to get to work, this can also be funded by the NDIS as Transport Training in Capacity Building supports.

Transition to Work

You may not be a school leaver, but if you haven’t worked before or you are changing the type of work you do, the NDIS will fund supports to help you transition to new work.



Think about your interests, abilities and strengths, and the sort of job that might suit you. Talk to your school, family or other professionals.

Look at the My Future website.

If you are a school leaver, check out the NDCO program which helps school leavers with disability to transition to work.

Check if you are eligible for Disability Employment Services and/or the NDIS. You can do this through your local Centrelink office, where you can ask for a social worker to help you. You may be asked to do a Job Capacity Assessment.

Check out these helpful links for more information about getting and keeping a job:


Here you can find a simple list of the best actions to take if you are interested in this topic:

1 .

Find out from other people you know how they got their first job. What did they do?

2 .

Talk to counsellors at your school or college and write a plan for getting a job.

3 .

Go to Centrelink and ask about a job capacity assessment and about whether you are eligible for Disability Employment Services or Australian Disability Enterprises.

4 .

There are lots of different pathways to getting a job. Think about other ways you can learn about jobs, like work experience or volunteering.

5 .

If you are an NDIS participant, talk to your coordinator of supports of your Local Area Coordinator or NDIS planner about how the NDIS can help you with finding and keeping a job.

6 .

If you are eligible for Disability Employment Services or Australian Disability Enterprises, talk to your provider about how your NDIS plan can improve your ability to work and your employment situation.