A man and woman sitting in chairs talking to each other.

NDIS psychology funding explained

NDIS psychology funding does exist, but there’s a lot of confusing and conflicting information floating around about the topic. With the help of our expert Support Coordinators and Psychosocial Recovery Coaches, we decided to tackle the complexities of psychology supports under the NDIS in an easy-to-understand format and answer a lot of commonly asked questions.

First, what does psychology support look like?

Psychology supports refer to services provided by a psychologist. Practicing psychologists have extensive training and specialise in helping people learn practical ways to cope with mental health conditions, the mental impacts of physical conditions, and other kinds of life challenges.

Under the NDIS, psychologists provide two kinds of supports: the first is therapy, and the second is psychological assessment.

First, therapy is where you talk about a challenge you are facing. Once the psychologist has had some time to get to know you and your goals, they’ll share their clinical knowledge of your problem (psychoeducation) and help you formulate strategies to better cope with or overcome it. Frequency of sessions will depend not only on the problem, but also on your funding and plan length.

Second, a psychological assessment is used to measure your functioning, be it cognitive or psychological. To complete an assessment, a psychologist may conduct observations, tests, surveys, or interviews with you. They may also need records and data from other allied health professionals. Assessments are also used to identify areas where the psychologist or other allied health professionals can help.

What sort of NDIS goals can psychology help you achieve?

Psychology funding can support your functional capacity. Here are some examples of goals that are directly related to psychology under the NDIS:

  • Increase your overall independence.
  • Learn skills to better understand and regulate your emotions.
  • Learn skills to help you make decisions.
  • Learn, understand, and remember information.
  • Learn ways to maintain close personal relationships.
  • Learn ways to better manage everyday tasks.
  • Improve your ability to participate in your community.

Barriers to accessing psychology funding

Many NDIS participants won’t have psychological support funded in the first place. There are a couple of reasons for this, which we’ll discuss now…

1. Mental Health Treatment Plans

The NDIS view psychology as a mainstream service that should be funded elsewhere, so it follows that they want participants to utilise a Mental Health Treatment Plan before they’ll consider funding it.

Some people find the support provided by the Mental Health Treatment Plan to be sufficient. However, others don’t. If you exhaust your plan and more psychological support is required, you can ask the NDIS to fund it. To do this, you need to submit a change in situation form to the NDIS. This can be a lot of work, so ask your Support Coordinator/Psychosocial Recovery Coach to help you. If you don’t have either of these, you can ask your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) for support.

2. Diagnosis

The NDIS is unlikely to fund psychology for you without evidence of a psychological condition. It’s worth noting that not all conditions are eligible for funding – check out a previous article we wrote about this very topic. As you’ll see, it’s all about the impact of the condition, not so much the diagnosis itself – though having one in the first place will make it easier for you to secure psychology funding.

If you already have NDIS funding and receive a new psychological diagnosis, then you may be able to request a plan review by lodging a change in situation form. From here, your circumstances will be assessed and your request for funding will either be granted or declined – but you can appeal these decisions if you don’t agree with the outcome.

Pro tip from our Support Coordinators and Psychosocial Recovery Coaches: remember to submit as much evidence as possible from Allied Health professionals and other members of your support network. This will help you demonstrate the impact your diagnosis has on your life.

Do you have a psychosocial disability?

One of the most common forms of support for a person living with psychosocial disability is psychology. If you suspect you may be living with a psychosocial disability, you need to obtain a formal diagnosis before you can access support through the NDIS. The first step to getting diagnosed is visiting your GP. They can refer you to an Allied Health professional who specialises in the suspected diagnosis.

As mentioned, if you already access the NDIS for other reasons and later develop a psychosocial diagnosis, you can ask the NDIS to formally recognise this via a change in situation form.

A stethoscope with a model brain on it.

What if, after all this, you can’t access psychological services?

While psychology services can be very helpful, they can be difficult to access in the short-term due to long waiting lists. Fortunately, if you need help, here are some free resources that you can access right now.


If you or someone you know is struggling or experiencing a mental health crisis, please make use of one of the hotlines below. If your or someone else’s safety is at risk, you should call 000 straight away.

  • Mental Health Triage – 13 14 65
  • Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
  • Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
  • Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14
  • Mensline – 1300 78 99 78
  • Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
  • Lived Experience Telephone Support Service – 1800 013 755
Online resources

On a side note, if you are not experiencing a mental health crisis and you have not already made use of a Mental Health Treatment Plan, we recommend making an appointment with your GP to discuss your options. This will give you access to a certain number of fully subsidised sessions with a psychologist per year.

Ask us about maximising your NDIS supports

Our Psychosocial Recovery Coaches and Support Coordinators are the experts in maximising your NDIS plan and helping you access the right supports for your needs. The best part? We have capacity! Contact us to find out how we can fit into your support network and help you achieve your goals.

If you don’t have Support Coordination or Psychosocial Recovery Coaching in your NDIS plan, you can speak with your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) about supports available to you. Your LAC can also support you to ask the NDIS for Support Coordination funding.

Get in touch

Click the button and complete the form to find out if we can support you.
You can also call us on 8340 2000 to speak to one of our friendly team members or email us at hello@el.org.au.