Skip to Content
A woman with down syndrome in a red shirt talking to a man with down syndrome in a blue shirt, with a kitchen in the background.

What is the difference between block and NDIS funding?

In the realm of disability support services, two prominent funding models have been instrumental in shaping the landscape – the State based Block Funding model and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Date posted: Author: Christine Hawkett, Plan Manager

 While both aim to enhance the quality of life for individuals with disability, they differ significantly in their approaches, administration, and impact.

What is Block Funding?

The traditional State Block Funding model, utilised by many Australian states and territories, involved the allocation of a fixed budget to service providers. 

This predetermined sum is distributed based on historical spending patterns and general population statistics. Despite its stability, this model was often criticized for its inflexibility. 

As demand for services evolved or individual needs changed, the predetermined funding lead to gaps in support and often hindered the capacity of service providers to adapt dynamically.

What is the NDIS?

In stark contrast, the NDIS heralds a paradigm shift by adopting a person-centric approach. Launched in 2013, the NDIS tailors funding to the specific needs and goals of each participant. 

Instead of a one-size-fits-all budget, individuals work with NDIS planners to devise their own personalised support plan. This dynamic model allows for flexibility, empowering participants to choose services that align with their needs.

The NDIS also fosters a competitive market among service providers, encouraging innovation and improved service delivery. Participants gain greater control over their support choices, promoting choice and control.

We're plan managers you can count on Looking for help with your NDIS plan?

Take away the burden of managing your NDIS funding and budget with our team of plan management experts.

Find out more


What is the difference?

Ultimately, the key distinction between State Block Funding and the NDIS lies in their adaptability and responsiveness to individual needs. 

While State Block Funding may offer stability, the NDIS champions inclusivity, choice, and a person-driven approach. Balancing stability with adaptability is an ongoing challenge as we seek to create a support system that is not only sustainable but responsive to the diverse needs of people with disability.

Over our 35 years we have seen both funding models and seen the differences. If you have any questions about the NDIS or how it works, you can call us on 8256 9835, email live@ld.org.au or learn more in our NDIS FAQs guide.


— Gill, Parent of a Client

“Lighthouse Disability is a great place to work. It’s been clear since day one that the focus is always on the person that we are supporting.”

Nick, Staff Member

“Lighthouse Disability is a positive organisation to be part of. They make my life easier.”

Gerry, Client

“Let me commend the Lighthouse Disability staff for the exemplary work that they do and for how well they interact with the clients.”

Angela, External Provider