Victorian NDIS Plan Utilisation

What is this research about?
This mixed-methods project aimed to better understand how and why NDIS plan utilisation rates may vary amongst Victorian NDIS participants. what helps, and, what makes it hard for Victorian NDIS participants to use their NDIS funds to meet their needs and aspirations.

What we did 

The quantitative part of this project looked at how and why utilisation rates varied amongst Victorian NDIS participants by examining:

  • Inequities in plan size and spending amongst groups of participants already identified as experiencing disadvantage in the scheme. These groups included First Nations participants, participants from a Culturally or Linguistically Diverse background and participants with a psychosocial disability
  • The impact of remoteness on plan size and spending
  • The impact of prior experience of disability services on plan size and spending

The qualitative part of this project interviewed more than 100 NDIS participants and plan nominees between April and December 2020, to understand their perspectives on what helps, and what makes it hard to use NDIS plans in a way that meets needs and aspirations. We focused on groups of participants that were reported to experience more difficulties navigating the complexity of the NDIS. This included participants with psychosocial disability, participants who identify as Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, and participants who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Nations).


NDIS Utilisation Project - Victoria - Qualitative ReportThe NDIS in Victoria - Quantitative FindingsNDIS Utilisation - Quantitative Summary Report
NDIS Utilisation Project -  Victoria
NDIS Utilisation Report - Victoria
NDIS Utilisation Report - Victoria
Summary of Quantitative Findings

We acknowledge artist Graham Laming for use of his artwork on our cover page and fact sheets.

Qualitative Findings

Suggested citation:
Devine A., Rangi M., Huska M., Barney J., Dickinson H., McAllister A., Bonyhady B., Kavanagh A. (2021). NDIS Utilisation Project – Victoria, Qualitative findings report. Melbourne Disability Institute, University of Melbourne.

Fact sheets – summaries of key qualitative findings

Auslan Videos

Easy Read Documents

Quantitative Findings

Suggested citations: 
Summary Report 
Disney G.*, Devine A.*, Rangi M., Yang Y., Summers P., Huska M., Barney J., Dickinson H., McAllister A., Deane K, Bonyhady B., Kavanagh A (2021). NDIS Utilisation Project – Victoria, Summary report. Melbourne Disability Institute, University of Melbourne.

*co-lead authors 

Full Report
Disney G., Yang Y., Summers P., Kavanagh A., Bonyhady B., Deane K. (2021) The NDIS in Victoria: are there inequities in participants' plan size and spending? Melbourne Disability Institute, University of Melbourne.

Research Team

Research Team - Qualitative

  • Dr Alexandra Devine
  • Dr Mediya Rangi
  • Ms Marie Huska
  • Ms Jody Barney, Indigenous Research Consultant
  • Professor Anne Kavanagh
  • Professor Bruce Bonyhady
  • Professor Helen Dickinson, UNSW
  • Dr Ashley McAllister

Additional research team
Ms Pan Karanikolas, Dr George Disney, Dr Adyya Gupta, Dr Sean Byars, Dr Peter Summers, Ms Yi Yang, Ms Tessa De Vries, Ms Lishia Singh

Advisory committee members
James MacIsaac (DHHS), Phillip Lay (Department of Social Services), Kevin Stone (Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability – VALID), Jen Hargrave (Women with Disabilities Victoria), Patrick McGee (Australian Federation of Disability Organisations – AFDO), Sarah Fordyce (National Disability Services - NDS), Karen Dimmock (Association of Children with Disability), Kirsten Deane (Every Australian Counts), Damian Griffis (First Peoples Disability Network - FPDN), Angus Clelland (Mental Health Victoria), Margaret Boulos (Carers Victoria), Chris Christoforou (Ethnic Communities’ - Council of Victoria (ECCV)), Eva Sifis (Independent Advocate)

Research Team – Quantitative

  • Dr George Disney
  • Ms Yi Yang
  • Mr Peter Summers
  • Professor Anne Kavanagh
  • Professor Bruce Bonyhady

This study was funded by the Victorian Government, Department of Health and Human Services (now Department of Families, Fairness and Housing)