Specialist disability support services

People with disability who need support can use specialist disability services, mainstream services, and/or be supported by informal carers. They may also receive financial assistance to help with daily activities (see Income support for more information on financial assistance).

This section focuses on one part of this broader, and interacting, system of supports—specialist disability support services funded or provided by government.

At present, specialist disability support services are largely provided through the NDIS or under the NDA. This is changing. Most, but not all, NDA services, and the people using them, are expected to progressively transition to the NDIS as it rolls out.

Where can I find out more?

Detailed data tables are available at Data.


Information on the use of specialist services under the NDA is collected and reported by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in the Disability Services National Minimum Data Set (DS NMDS). For more information, see AIHW Disability services and AIHW Disability Services National Minimum Data Set.


Data on the NDIS is collected and reported by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)—an independent statutory agency whose role is to implement the NDIS. The NDIS website provides information about the scheme for people with disability, families and carers, services providers and the wider community. The latest data on participants is in their quarterly reports.


Information on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) is available at ABS SDAC.

Use of disability services

Data on the use of disability services, including on met and unmet need for services, are available in the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services.