Big changes coming
NDIS advocacy group Every Australian Counts recently interviewed the minister responsible regarding proposed changes that will impact the 610,000 scheme participants. Here is a summary of the interview.
Cap on growth of the scheme?
Minister Shorten said that the NDIS remains uncapped and demand-driven, and that the 8% growth target is just that, a target, not a cap. The aim is to keep the growth in the budget to a maximum of 8% with some big changes.
What are the big changes?
The government will spend $720 million to make changes that it believes will result in $74 billion worth of savings. It believes that these reforms will be enough to get the growth target to under 8% by 2026.
Changes in planning – the government is promising better and more transparent (clearer) decision-making processes, more training for planners and less frequent plan reviews when they are not needed. Planners will be more specialised and some planners will focus on working with specific groups such as people with disabilities stuck in the hospital or in nursing homes.
More support to use your funding – there will be more support for people when funding is provided to help understand individual plans and budgets. The government believes that this will reduce the amount of overspending.
Prove it works or it won’t get funded – the government does not want to pay for things that have not been scientifically proven to be effective. Expert panels will decide what gets funded. This may affect access to funding for participants using services that lack a scientific evidence base.
Payment for outcomes – there will be a trial of “blended payments”. This means that providers will get paid bonuses for achieving a predetermined outcome or goal. Some examples might be finding someone a job or getting someone out of hospital or out of a nursing home.
Help to access mainstream housing – more support will be available from the NDIS to look for housing in the mainstream market. This might include help filling out housing applications and finding affordable and accessible housing.
“Preferred provider” arrangements – The government will do deals with providers of commonly purchased products to help participants find the cheapest providers and push prices down. Some examples might be continence aids, beds and shower chairs.
First Nations pilot – the current way of providing support often doesn’t meet the needs of people living in aboriginal communities, so the government will work with these communities to find better ways of delivering support.
A commitment to codesign – the NDIS is working with Independent Advisory Council (IAC) and Disability Representative and Carer Organisations (DRCO) to establish co-design working groups on 6 focus initiatives:
- addressing workforce capability to improve the consistency of access and planning decisions – this includes increasing the number of specialised planners
- processes to support participants around better planning to manage their funding
- implement a lifetime planning approach so plans are more transparent and enable flexibility for life events
- improve the consistency of supported independent living decisions
- help participants understand and access evidenced-based supports
- support staff to detect, respond to, and reduce provider fraud and non-compliance.
Ensuring we co-design reforms with people with disability and the disability community is critical to the success of the NDIS.
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You can register as a jobseeker, explore job opportunities, check out employers who are disability-inclusive and showcase your skills and abilities to potential employers.
The NDIS has updated the self-management guide and OG – Creating your plan.
The NDIS says “we are improving our information, guidance and practices to provide better support for people who self-manage their NDIS funding”.
Self-management is when you, your plan nominee or child representative, manage your NDIS funding. This means you have control over, and responsibility for, arranging and paying for the funded supports in your NDIS plan. It gives you flexibility when choosing the supports that meet your needs.
|National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline If you have experienced or witnessed someone with disability being hurt, treated badly or neglected you can report it to the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline. It’s free, independent and confidential. Contact the Hotline on 1800 800 052 or email [email protected] (opens in new window).
Learn more on their website (opens in new window).