NDIS Update September 2016

Australia-wide implementation commenced 1 July


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25,000 people now using the NDIS


Close to 25,000 Australians with disability are now receiving the supports they need to live more independent lives, according to the latest quarterly report from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).


Of the $1.96 billion invested in the 24,866 people with approved NDIS plans:

* $819.9 million has been committed to 7593 participants in New South Wales

* $496.7 million has been committed to 4867 participants in Victoria

* $208.5 million has been committed to 3429 participants in the ACT

* $185.1 million has been committed to 5825 participants in South Australia

* $146.3 million has been committed to 1135 participants in Tasmania

* $96.8 million has been committed to 1882 participants in Western Australia

* $7.6 million has been committed to 135 participants in the Northern Territory.

Are you already participating in the scheme? If so we would love to hear from you and other HSPers about how you are finding it. E-mail us to tell us your experience.



NDIS is a game changer full of opportunities


Graeme Innes
Graeme Innes

Highly respected former Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, comments on the NDIS

On July 1, the day before the recent election, things changed in the NDIS. It began to move from small launch sites in most states and territories – supporting about 30,000 people – to full roll-out across the country. In the next three years it will scale up to support about 460,000 Australians with disabilities. For us, our families and communities, that will mean major life change.


All Australians will feel that change. Hundreds of thousands more jobs will be created across the country in support roles for the scheme. Many people with disabilities will move off welfare and into work. At present there is a 30 percentage point gap between the overall population who participate in the workforce at about 83 per cent and the 53 per cent of people with disabilities in the work force. If just a third of that gap move off welfare and into work, the economy will benefit to the tune of $25 billion.


Of course there will be bumps in the road. Read the full article…



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Are you NDIS ready?


The roll out of the NDIS began on 1 July 2016 and is being introduced in stages around the country over the next three years.


All States and Territories are now signed up to the scheme with plans and implementation schedules now published.


Find out when it is available in your area and everything you need to know to participate at this page of the NDIS website.



‘Better Start’ funding, HSP and the NDIS

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The Better Start for Children with Disability initiative provides funding for early intervention services.


We were contacted at the Foundation by someone concerned about losing funding if their grandchild had HSP and not Cerebral Palsy. Here is that story…

Diana became concerned about the possibility of losing support funding because her grandson may not have the Cerebral Palsy originally diagnosed but may in fact have HSP.


Diane told us “Albert was diagnosed with mild Cerebral Palsy around 6 months ago when he was 3, mainly affecting his legs but also with delayed speech. He is now three and a half and it looks as though he has HSP. My daughter (Albert’s mother) is concerned that if he is diagnosed officially with HSP instead of CP that his funding will cease. She uses this allowance for speech therapy and physiotherapy. Obviously we would all like to have him officially diagnosed as we have 4 children and three of them have children who might have problems later in life. We also have a son who is severely autistic, challenging behaviours, no speech, age 40, mentally handicapped, hyperactive etc. So it seems that this might have come down through our family and be X linked, but I am wondering about the funding if it turns out that Albert has HSP”.


Because there may be others in the HSP community in the same or similar situation, we contacted Carers Australia who implement the Better Start program on behalf of the the federal Department of Social Services. They advised that if an HSP diagnosis is confirmed, then you are required to disclose the diagnosis to the DSS early intervention helpdesk and the matter is referred back to the doctor who made the original CP or other mis-diagnosis rather than HSP. That doctor then decides if the new diagnosis fits under the CP umbrella, and if it does, eligibility for Better Start is not affected. However if the doctor determines that the HSP diagnosis is outside the CP family, Better Start eligibility would cease.


This is far from precise science as it is up to the individual medical practitioner’s decision, so the system is not very good. It would be good to have an accurate diagnosis AND it would be good to maintain Better Start funding where it has already been approved and obtained. For anyone in this situation, one idea aimed at achieving both outcomes is to talk with the medical practitioner involved and ask them how they would view an HSP diagnosis in terms of continued eligibility for the Better Start program. That way you will know where you stand before taking the decision whether or not to get a clinical HSP diagnosis or have gene testing done for HSP.


‘Better Start’ and the NDIS

Once the NDIS is running in your area, funding for early intervention services and treatment provided by Better Start will move to the NDIS. Other resources like Better Start Medicare items will stay the same.
Better Start is closing to new clients as the NDIS is introduced. It will keep operating in areas where the NDIS isn’t yet running.


What will happen when the NDIS starts in my area?

If you have a child getting support from Better Start, you should get some information and paperwork from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) once the NDIS starts in your area. You can also ask for this information by calling the NDIA on 1800 800 110.

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