What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a nationwide scheme that provides eligible people with the requisite funding to assist with managing a permanent or significant disability.

This ensures that people with disability can receive the supports they need to improve their quality of life, including but not limited to medical assistance, community access, physiological and psychological support, social assistance, and much more.

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Source: www.ndis.gov.au

Disability Minister Bill Shorten calls for major overhaul of NDIS!

According to Disability Services Minister Bill Shorten, the Australian government's central agency for supporting individuals with disabilities has "lost its way" and requires significant attention to ensure its sustainability.

Speaking at the National Press Club, Shorten criticized the mismanagement of the scheme for almost its entire existence, resulting in a fraudulent, inefficient, and cost-ineffective agency that would not be helpful to participants if left unaddressed.

Shorten acknowledged that there is still "more good than bad" in the scheme, but he proposed a six-pronged plan to overhaul the NDIA, including an increase in staffing, longer-term care plans, addressing fraud and rorting, enabling more individuals with disabilities to live at home, removing ineffective providers, and improving the linkage of other community services to the NDIA.

Shorten stressed that the National Disability Insurance Scheme will remain in place and commissioned an independent panel to make recommendations on how to "reboot" the agency, which are due by October. The panel has been tasked with examining a range of changes, including growing the NDIA workforce, reducing workforce turnover, and restoring some call center functions to the agency.

Shorten highlighted that NDIS participants must often repeat their disability verification to various agency workers and proposed that the agency offer multi-year plans that could be adapted over time, allowing for better planning, support spending, and participant-agency worker relationships.

Additionally, Shorten warned against the spiralling costs of the scheme, including providers who overcharged for their services.

He emphasized that if one provider overcharges for their service, participants may not be able to afford another service they require. Shorten also addressed those who were exploiting the scheme by providing services that provided little benefit to individuals with disabilities.

Shorten reassured participants that a crackdown on fraud would not jeopardize their support packages and that it would be necessary for the NDIS to continue to expand in cost. He emphasized, however, that these costs must result in improved outcomes for participants.

Shorten believes that the scheme's sustainability is dependent on public trust in the scheme, and he stressed that the scheme would grow each year. He noted that the right priorities must be targeted to focus on participant outcomes and rebuild public trust in the scheme.

1. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to address mismanagement, fraud, inefficiency and spiralling costs that threaten the scheme's future.

2. Shorten has outlined a six-pronged plan to "reboot" the NDIA to implement various changes, including hiring more staff, providing longer-term care plans, and cracking down on fraud.

3. The NDIS is expected to grow each year, but Shorten says it must focus on improving outcomes for participants and rebuilding public trust.

Source: ABC news

Your disability supports just became faster and fairer!

In the latest update by the Minister, the Hon. Bill Shorten MP, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) revealed that participants are now receiving faster and fairer access to the funding they need for their supports.

Achieved by establishing an alternate dispute resolution panel, the resulting reduction in cases with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), has eased the bottleneck of NDIS participants stuck with the courts over the issue of the level of supports they receive.

This move not only will help the AAT smash through the pending cases but also pave way for a more streamlined dispute resolution process for the future. Moreover, in a move to make the NDIS even fairer, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has also taken measures to establish an Independent External Review (IER) trial.

Being monitored by an Oversight Committee comprising of a range of experienced disability and advocacy personnel, the IER, which in itself comprising of disability management experts will provide independent recommendations to the NDIA.

Furthermore, these developments while offering more control to the NDIS participants over the care they need, will also provide them with the confidence that they won't have to compromise on their quality of life while waiting for the right funding package.

Although we are yet to see the long term results of these changes, we do believe that the Hon. Minister Bill Shorten's vision of creating a faster, fairer and a more transparent system for the NDIS to function in in a step in the right direction.

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For an in-depth study, please see:

An improved approach to dispute resolution

Source: www.ndis.gov.au

Your NDIS rights

You have the right to:

1. Choose who delivers your supports and how they do this. You do not have to use just one provider for all your supports.

2. Not use a provider if you feel they aren't acting in your best interests.

3. Ask if a provider has a conflict of interest.

4.to buy services or supports you don’t want or need.

5. Pay for supports at a fair and reasonable rate. You must follow the NDIS Pricing Arrangement and Price Limits if you are NDIA-managed or plan-managed.

6. Decide what personal information you give to a provider so they can deliver supports.

Your NDIS responsibilities

You are responsible for making sure the supports are:

1. Directly related to your disability and align with your plan

2. Not covered or delivered by another service system or organisation (e.g. Medicare or private health insurer).

If you self-manage your NDIS funds, you need to keep evidence of what you spend your NDIS funds on (e.g.. invoices, receipts, pay slips, bank statements).

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Choosing your provider

A provider is a person, company, or organisation that provides participants with NDIS-funded benefits. The knowledge and competence of each provider varies, which is why finding the best service providers to satisfy your demands is crucial.

Large businesses, not for profit organisations, independent contractors, sole proprietors, and other business models can all be providers.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission controls NDIS registered providers and the NDIS Code of Conduct applies to all providers, whether registered or not. However, you can only utilise NDIS registered providers to offer your services if your NDIS funding is managed by the NDIA.

Participants who manage their own finances or have a plan manager handle their NDIS plan financing may choose to work with licenced or unregistered providers under the NDIS.

Communicating with your provider

You have the option of speaking with your provider alone or with a trusted companion, such as a relative or friend. If you have a nominee to assist you with he decision making process, they can be with you as well

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Source: www.ndis.gov.au

How does the NDIS work?

The NDIS is an Australia wide scheme that provides funding to Individuals to access disability supports and improve their life. Here's how it works:

1. Understanding the NDIS and its benefits

2. Checking your eligibility

3. The application process

4. Developing your plan

5. Using your plan

6.Reassing your plan

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How can the NDIS help you?

For NDIS participants, the NDIS Commission will:

1. help you, and your families and carers, by responding to your concerns or complaints.

2. Require providers to uphold your right to be free from harm.

3. Promote safety and quality services.

4. Oversee a new NDIS Code of Conduct and Practice Standards for providers and workers.

5. Require registered NDIS providers manage incidents involving participants.

6. Require registered NDIS providers to report incidents, including abuse and neglect, to the NDIS Commission

7. Provide national oversight of, and leadership in relation to, behaviour support

8. Identify areas for improvement across the NDIS market, and provide information and advice to improve future services.

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COVID-19 information and support

For latest information regarding the response to Coronavirus (Covid-19), please check the official updates on