IS ADHD covered by the NDIS?

Is ADHD covered by the NDIS?

Is ADHD covered by the NDIS? It’s a commonly asked question, and for good reason.  

Approximately 5% of Australians display symptoms of ADHD and it can be a costly condition to treat.

In fact, the 2020 ADHD National Survey revealed that some parents of young people with ADHD believe they’re spending an average of $6, 000 per year.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not considered a primary condition and participants may find it difficult to meet the NDIS eligibility criteria as a severe and permanent disability. Generally speaking, ADHD is not covered by the NDIS.

In some cases, ADHD can be effectively treated with medication and is therefore seen to be ineligible for further NDIS-funded supports. 

However, there are exceptions to the rule as ADHD is often present with other diagnoses. ADHD could therefore be considered a secondary condition.

What is ADHD?

The DSM-5 has a long list of criteria for ADHD relating to inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following; People with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity–impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

ADHD most commonly presents in children from around 7 years of age.

ADHD and diagnosis

Diagnosis of ADHD can be time consuming and costly as there is no single test. Diagnsosis involves a variety of assessments and observations with parties collaborating together such as parents, teachers, psychologists, specialists and the child themselves.

As there is no ‘cure’ for ADHD, symptoms can persist in adulthood. It is becoming increasingly common for people to receive an initial diagnosis of ADHD well into their adulthood.

ADHD and the NDIS

ADHD itself is not covered by the NDIS as it can be difficult to meet the eligibility criteria for severe and permanent disability. It is not considered a primary condition.

If ADHD occurs with another condition such as intellectual disability or autism, it is more like the participant may be able to obtain NDIS funding.

Participants must be able to prove that they have a disability causing an impairment that:

  • Is permanent or likely to be permanent
  • Results in substantially reduced capacity to undertake day-to-day activities
  • Affects their capacity for social or economic participation
  • Means they are likely to require support throughout their lifetime.

Finding the right support

With increasing awareness of ADHD, there are many support networks available.

ADHD Foundation and ADHD Support Australia are two of many groups providing resources and guidance on managing ADHD,

If you or someone you know has any questions about ADHD or any of our services, contact us.