A variety of government and non-government services are available to people with disability in Australia. Government-funded services have commonly been provided under National Disability Agreement (NDA), but many of these will progressively transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) over time.

Data on the services provided under the NDA are collected in the Disability Services National Minimum Data Set (DS NMDS) held by the AIHW, and released annually on the AIHW website. Eligibility requirements for NDA services vary between jurisdictions, and the actual service a person can receive is largely subject to the availability of services (for example, based on the number of available places in particular programs). Funding is generally allocated directly to service providers to deliver services.

Data on the NDIS are collected by the National Disability Insurance Agency and are available on the NDIS website. The NDIS aims to help people who have a significant and permanent disability and who need assistance with everyday activities. The scheme is based on an insurance model, and each person seeking access is assessed according to a common set of criteria. People who are deemed eligible receive a package of funding to buy the services identified in their individualised plan.

Many existing NDA service users are expected to move to the NDIS as the scheme is progressively rolled out across Australia. Governments have put in place ‘continuity of support’ arrangements to ensure people are not disadvantaged in the transition. More information can be found in the bilateral agreements between the Australian Government and the individual state and territory governments.

The AIHW continues to work towards improving the quality and availability of national data on disability services, including the development of a standardised disability flag. The flag will enable nationally consistent collection of information about the disability status of people encountering mainstream services (that is, services that are not disability specific).