Kymberly Martin

Another overhaul for the NDIS

Findings from an independent review into legislation underpinning the National Disability Insurance Scheme have been released. The review is intended to deliver shorter, agreed timeframes for people to get decision on whether they will be covered by the NDIS and receive and review plans.

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The government commissioned the review to identify opportunities to make NDIS processes simpler and more straight-forward. The review has made 29 recommendations on how to improve NDIS processes and cut wait times and red tape for participants.

The review’s findings reaffirmed that while many participants have excellent experiences and are benefitting from the scheme, many others have had frustrations with wait times, complexity of processes and a lack of understanding of their needs, NDIS Minister Stuart Robert said. “We’ll use these findings to update and clarify the legislation and remove barriers to a better NDIS.”

The minister said the government will respond in the coming weeks with more details about what specific improvements will be made to set the new participant service guarantee into law by July 1, 2020.

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The review found that the rollout of the NDIS has not been smooth for all participants with transition to the NDIS confusing and frustrating, with some saying they ‘missed’ the supports offered under state and territory systems, particularly active case management.

Many also felt the scheme was too complex and difficult to navigate and they were not recognised as the experts in their disability; and National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) staff did not understand disability or appreciate the challenges people with disability face as part of everyday life.

The review also found that while this work progresses, some modest improvements to the legislation and operations of the NDIS could be made to strengthen its participant focus and ensure the NDIS is fit for purpose as it moves from a transition phase to a more mature system. Also that governments need to work together to resolve outstanding policy issues and government and the NDIA should publish a greater range of policy information, including in a wider range of accessible formats, to help participants better understand why certain decisions have been made.

Find out more:

Click here for a plain English summary of the Review with an easy read version available soon. Read here for Terms of Reference for the review, also available in Auslan and Easy Read

Visit the Engage website for information about the 2019 consultation process on the development of the participant service guarantee, including the discussion paper and public submissions.The review report and a summary explaining the recommendations are available on the Department of Social Services website.

 

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