NDIS update March 2021

Independent Assessments the focus

In mid-December, the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) opened an inquiry https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/National_Disability_Insurance_Scheme/IndependentAssessments into the proposed shift away from the current system for determining eligibility and funding for people with disability to a system of Independent Assessments. The inquiry into Independent Assessments by the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS was established in response to widespread and significant concern expressed by groups and organisations that provide support and advocacy for people with disability.

Earlier in December, Federal Liberal MP Russell Broadbent spoke out against the introduction of compulsory assessments to the NDIS.

Mr Broadbent said: “This should not be a tick and flick exercise, so why would you hand over the final say to an unelected, unaccountable, for-profit organisation, whose sole purpose is to return a profit to shareholders and please the masters they serve – the government?

“Have we not learned from the aged care debacle?” He went on to say: “People with disabilities and their families deserve special care and consideration. They need all the support that is promised by the NDIS – I know, I’ve worked with them.

The sentiments of many with disability on the issue may well be represented by this comment from the mother of a participant in the NDIS, who is also an allied health provider to the scheme. She said “It is a retrograde step to require participants to yet again prove their disability and right to access this scheme”.

The HSP Research Foundation has made a submission via a consortium of genetics support and advocacy groups called the GUARD Collaborative https://guard.org.au/. The Foundation submission expressed serious concern, not only about the apparent fundamental shortcomings of the proposal, but also about the reasons offered by the NDIS for the change and the almost complete lack of personnel with the expertise required to make informed judgements about HSP, which is also the case for the majority if not all rare diseases.

Individuals are invited to make submissions directly to the Committee if they wish, with a closing date of 31 March 2021.

Every Australian Counts (EAC), a peak body for NDIS service providers, has expressed grave concern of the proposed change to Independent Assessments since it was announced. They are claiming that the government is looking to have a hand in determining what is “reasonable and necessary” rather than the NDIS. Here is an article from their website of 5 February

Here are the NDIS Newsletters published over the quarter:

NDIS newsletter, Saturday, 30 January 2021


All about how the NDIS says Independent Assessments will work

NDIS newsletter, Thursday, 4 February 2021


In this edition:

  • Western Australia: COVID-19 update
  • Victoria: COVID-19 update
  • Have your say on changes to the NDIS – submissions close this month
  • Free online training for disability support workers
  • Carer Gateway
  • Scam awareness
  • NDIS Quality and Safeguards newsletter – SAFEGuard
  • Participant spotlight

NDIS newsletter, Thursday, 11 February 2021


In this edition:

  • Have your say on changes to the NDIS – submissions close this month
  • Second independent assessment pilot: participant invitation
  • Disability Gateway
  • Scam awareness
  • Request for tender: Participant Engagement Panel – closing soon
  • Participant Spotlight

NDIS newsletter, Thursday, 25 February 2021


In this edition:

  • Quarterly Report
  • Stay Informed: Update from our CEO Martin – GPs and Independent Assessments
  • Thank you for your feedback
  • Access Request Forms
  • Automatic plan extensions
  • Orientation for External Support Workers in Tertiary Settings
  • Participant Spotlight

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