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How the NDIS Can Help Support your Employment Goals

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

For many NDIS Participants, finding and maintaining a job is one of their registered goals. For others, it might simply be an area of interest or a path they're considering for the future. But when it comes to employment supports, there is still some confusion experienced by NDIS Participants, their families and providers as to the role the NDIS plays in employment outcomes for people with a disability.


What are the different employment supports available?

There are two main systems of providing employment support to people with a disability - the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Disability Employment Services (DES).

Disability Employment Services (DES) is an Australian Government initiative to provide eligible people with a disability, injury or health condition, access to individually tailored employment services. The more help you need, the more help you have the potential to access. Whether you want to supplement your part time job, return to the workforce after an injury or health condition, or overcome a barrier to employment. First2Care has partnerships with Australia’s leading Disability Employment Providers to help you connect to the support you require.

The NDIS provides support to Australians with a permanent and significant disability to help them achieve their goals, engage within their community and live as independently as possible. Unlike the NDIS who provide multiple types of support, including finding and keeping a job, the DES offers a specific service in helping Australians with a disability find work.

To determine whether the NDIS or DES is a better fit for your employment goals and needs, you can take a Job Capacity Assessment (JCA) or an Employment Services Assessment. This assessment will look at your health, capacity to work solo or assisted, hours you can work, and any other factors that could come into play regarding your ability to carry out your work.

Depending on the outcome of your assessment, those with the capacity to work more than 8 hours per week will have access to the DES and one of the following services:

  • Disability Management Services (DMS) is for people with a disability, injury or health condition who might occasionally need ongoing support to retain a job

  • Employment Support Service (ESS) is for people with a permanent disability who will need regular ongoing support to retain a job

If you don’t currently have the capacity to work more than 8 hours per week or are working towards that goal, the NDIS can offer employment supports if they are considered to be ‘reasonable and necessary’. Your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIS planner will be able to advise you on your eligibility and record this in your plan at your next planning meeting.

How the NDIS can help you find a job

Having a job can be a great tool to grow your social network, increase financial independence and feel confident within yourself. With the NDIS, you can access funding to help you achieve your employment goals. This funding is usually considered under the Capacity Building Support, ‘Finding and Keeping a Job’. However, the support category ‘Increased Social and Community Participation’, which targets social skills and independence, is another category that can provide funding towards finding employment.

What can the NDIS fund?

  • Assistance in overcoming employment barriers;

  • counselling to successfully engage in employment;

  • workplace assessments;

  • resume writing assistance; and

  • support before and during a job interview.

To successfully receive this funding support, you’ll need to discuss your employment goals during your planning meeting with your LAC or NDIA planner.

Do you want to work but are unsure what type of job is right for you?

If you’re ready to take steps towards seeking employment but you’re unsure where to start, here are three questions to think about and document your thoughts and ideas on for your next planning meeting:

  1. Do you already have skills, qualifications or work experience in a specific field?

  2. Are you looking to develop a new skill? And what areas are of interest to you?

  3. Do you have any hobbies, and are there any job opportunities that could come from them?

It’s important to remember that finding the right job for you can take time, especially if you’re not entirely certain on the field you would like to explore. A great opportunity to gain more insight into finding the right job for you or to develop a new skill while you search for work, is participating in volunteer work. If this is an area you are interested in, let your LAC or NDIA planner know during your next meeting.

Will the NDIS continue funding support during employment?

Yes, the NDIS can also provide funding and support once you’ve found work if they consider it to be ‘reasonable and necessary’.

Some workplace supports the NDIS can cover:

  • Personal supports while at work, such as a support worker;

  • transport to and from work;

  • on the job training to assist you manage the demands of the job;

  • workplace-specific supports, such as building modifications, and employment-specific aids or equipment, such as computers and modified desks; and

  • employment related assessments and counselling.

How a Plan Manager can help

Unlike being NDIA Managed, having a Plan Manager allows you to access both registered and unregistered support providers. This flexibility can be useful when looking for work. You’ll have more access to more support options, including: private recruitment specialists, career councillors, employment mentors, and life and work coaches.

Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or


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