Kymberly Martin
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NDIA wants participant input on NDIS reforms

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is calling on people with disability, participants, their families, carers and the disability sector to have their say on changes to make the NDIS simpler, faster, fairer and more flexible.

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The Agency has  released three consultation papers about changes to how people access the NDIS, planning and plan flexibility, and early intervention services – the latter supported by the release of a detailed consultation report around best practice Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) reform.

The papers are part of ongoing public consultation about implementation of reforms announced in August to improve the scheme experience for current and future participants.

The release of the papers kicks off a three-month open public consultation on how the NDIS reforms will be implemented. People with disability, participants, their families and carers and the wider disability sector are strongly encouraged to take part.

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“It’s clear that after seven years of focusing on getting the new scheme up and running it is time to make some changes to deliver on the original intention of the NDIS so it works for everyone now and into the future,” NDIA CEO, Martin Hoffman said.

With community input the end-result will be one that:

  • Delivers fair and consistent plans and personalised budgets
  • Is easier to use and is faster and more responsive
  • Provides participants with more flexibility to use their budgets to achieve the best outcomes for them; and
  • Is sustainable and in place for future generations of Australians.

Other proposed improvements include:

  • Increasing the age limit for the early childhood early intervention pathway from 7 to 9 years
  • Free independent assessments will become the primary source of information used to decide whether a person meets or continues to meet disability or early intervention access and a key input informing the value of a plan budget
  • Planning conversations will focus on helping participants to consider how best to use their funds rather than needing to justify each individual support in order to secure funding.

The proposed reforms will take place in mid-2021. To make a submission visit: www.ndis.gov.au

Further information on the process for having your say on the legislation will be available on the DSS engage website in early 2021.