Select Language
Select Language

Understanding Complex Care Needs in the NDIS

Let’s talk about something super important within the NDIS: complex care needs. They’re a big deal and can really impact individuals in significant ways. So, in this blog post, we’re going to dive deep into what complex care needs are, how they affect people, and the specialised support you can get through the NDIS. Get ready for some valuable info!

What Are Complex Care Needs?

Complex care needs refer to situations where an individual faces multiple interconnected challenges that significantly affect their overall well-being and daily functioning. These challenges may arise from various factors, including:

  • Primary Disabilities: Individuals living with intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injuries, or physical disabilities form the core group with complex care needs.
  • Additional Health Concerns: These primary conditions can be compounded by other health issues such as diabetes, dementia, or chronic illnesses.
  • Psychosocial Disabilities: Mental health concerns, addiction, homelessness, or involvement with the judicial system also contribute to complex care needs.

The NDIS Approach to Complex Care

1. Complex Support Needs Pathway

In 2018, the NDIS introduced the Complex Support Needs Pathway to address the unique requirements of participants with complex care needs. Here’s how it works:

  • Identification: Participants are identified for this pathway based on the complexity of their situation. Factors like homelessness, returning from residential aged care, or involvement with government systems (e.g., mental health or justice) necessitate entry into this pathway.
  • Specialist Support Coordinators: The pathway involves dedicated support coordinators with expertise in high-level coordination and allied health. These coordinators advocate for participants, ensuring they receive multi-dimensional support.
  • Tailored Planning: The NDIS develops personalised plans that address the multifaceted needs of participants. These plans encompass medical, social, and daily living aspects.

2. Examples of Complex Needs

Let’s explore scenarios where complex care needs arise:

  1. Children with Disabilities: Children living with disabilities often experience complex care needs, especially if they have intellectual disabilities or additional health conditions.
  2. Acquired Brain Injury (ABI): Individuals with ABI require specialised support due to the intricate challenges associated with brain function and rehabilitation.
  3. Spinal Cord Injury: Managing daily activities, mobility, and health becomes complex for those with spinal cord injuries.
  4. Cerebral Palsy: This condition demands tailored assistance to enhance independence and well-being.
  5. Chronic Conditions: Diabetes, epilepsy, and other chronic ailments may necessitate intricate care planning.

Real-Life Impact

Consider Alex, a young adult with an intellectual disability and mental health concerns. Through the Complex Support Needs Pathway:

  • Alex receives personalised support for daily living, mental health management, and community engagement.
  • Coordinated efforts ensure Alex’s well-being, independence, and fulfilment.


Complex care needs require a holistic approach. The NDIS’s commitment to specialised support empowers participants to overcome challenges, achieve their goals, and lead fulfilling lives. If you or someone you know faces complex care needs, explore the NDIS options available and embrace the positive impact they can bring.

Remember, every individual’s journey is unique, and the NDIS makes that journey smoother and more meaningful. If you are looking for an NDIS provider in Sydney, reach out to the team at OSAN Ability, we provide a wide range of NDIS services and can help you on your journey

Send us a message. We will get back to you ASAP!

For all urgent enquiries call

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.