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The disability support system in NSW is currently undergoing change. Despite there being new policy reforms aimed at giving people with disability more flexibility and control, advocacy is just as important as ever.  This is because power still resides largely with those groups implementing change – the government, the bureaucracy, and non-government service providers. Vigorous advocacy is needed so that the views and aspirations of those upon whom these changes will have the most effect, your family members with disability, are heard and taken action on. Otherwise, decisions will continue to be made on their behalf.

There has been a gradual transition of current systems of support in NSW to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Read Opportunities and Challenges arising from the National Reforms  or view a presentation by Belinda Epstein-Frisch at our recent Harness the Possibilities Conference. 

Explore more about how to direct supports on the Resourcing Inclusive Communities website.

Human services aim to assist people in different aspects of their life.  These human services will continue to exist under an NDIS, and despite a changing policy environment to one that is more supportive of individual choice and control over how and where funding is utilised, vigilance is still required to ensure that this translates into the reality of people's everyday lives. 

There is an assumption that once people with disability have access to services and supports there will be no need for advocacy. 

Regardless of what happens with funding and supports we believe advocacy will always be needed and will be lifelong, because of the following reasons:

  • The impact of disability 
  • Values of society
  • Social impact of disability 
  • Impact of the human service system

As an advocacy organisation we are interested to hear about your experiences around the NDIS please contact us, you can also find out more by reading The NDIS and your family member: we need to hear your voice

Our staff can provide phone advice on:
• how to advocate for your family member if you are not happy and wish to review their NDIS Plan 
• how to understand the documentation that has been received from the NDIA
• whether proceeding to Appeal is the right option.


NDIS Pre-Planning Tips


NDIS Troubleshooting 

NDIS Review Guide

NDIS Service Agreement


Keeping families informed with updates

View  NDIS Information Updates for families



Have an NDIS issue?


Where to go?

Contact details

Any NDIS problem

Family Advocacy

Call 9869 or 1800 620 588


Not happy with NDIS plan / review NDIS plan

Family Advocacy


National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)

Call 9869 or 1800 620 588



Call 1800 800 110 or see


Not happy with NDIA decision of an internal review/appeal

Family Advocacy


Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Call 9869 or 1800 620 588


Call 1800 228 333 or see

Not happy with NDIA service/process


Call 1800 800 110 or see


Not happy with products/services bought using NDIS plan

NSW Department of Fair Trading

Call 13 32 20 or see


 Not happy with the provider of disability supports

 NSW Ombudsman

 Call 92861000or1800451524 or email  nswombo@ombo.nsw.gov.au

 Not happy with the NDIA's actions

 Commonwealth Ombudsman

Call 1300 362 072 or see


What are the roles of these organisations?

Family Advocacy – we are now providing a free and confidential service to support people with developmental disability and their families who have concerns about their access to the NDIS or the types of supports in their NDIS plan. Our staff can provide phone advice on:

  • pre-planning advice.
  • if you are not happy with your family member’s NDIS plan and wish to review.
  • how to understand the documentation that has been received from the NDIA
  • whether to proceed to appeal is the right option.
  • NDIA: Review – perform an internal review of any decision made by the NDIA.

NDIA: Review – perform an internal review of any decision made by the NDIA. 

NDIA: Complaints line – the NDIS Complaints Procedure requires that they: act immediately where there appears to be a high risk of harm, neglect or abuse; aim to acknowledge complaints within the next business day from receipt; call you within two business days of acknowledgement; aim to resolve complaints within 21 business days of receipt.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal – an independent body, can review a range of the decisions made by the NDIA. You cannot ask the AAT to review a decision by the NDIA until the decision has been internally reviewed by the NDIA. Click here to see our AAT Guide.

NSW Department of Fair Trading – safeguards the rights of all consumers and advises business and traders on fair and ethical practice. They provide services directly to individuals and businesses to create a fair, safe and equitable marketplace.

NSW Ombudsman – the independent and impartial watchdog for community and disability services in NSW. They promote and protect the rights and best interests of people using disability and community services in NSW by handling and resolving complaints about these services, and by monitoring and reviewing how these services are delivered. As the NDIA is a Commonwealth Agency, you cannot complain to the NSW Ombudsman about the NDIA – those complaints go to the Commonwealth Ombudsman (see below).

Commonwealth Ombudsman – can consider complaints about Australian Government agencies, including the NDIA. They also use information from complaints to help agencies improve their services.


How to make a complaint and provide feedback under the NDIS

Feedback and complaints
Decision Review
NDIS Quality and Standards Commission - the Commission was established in NSW in July 2018 and is an independent agency set up to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services.


How to make a complaint through the NSW and Commonwealth Ombudsman

ombudsman complaint chart2

The Ombudsman is the independent and impartial watchdog for community and disability services in NSW. Read this fact sheet on the Ombudsman and the NDIS. 

Click here if you want to complain to the Ombudsman about the NDIA.

Other useful links:

Rights under Australian Consumer Law: www.accc.gov.au 

NDIS Practice Standards - The NDIS practice Standards set out the rights of participants and the responsibilities of providers that deliver supports and services to them. Together with the NDIS code of conduct, the NDIS practice standards will assist NDIS participants to be aware of what quality service provision they should expect from NDIS providers.

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