Kymberly Martin
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NDIS overtakes the 460,000 mark!

The NDIS is now supporting 466,000 Australians with almost a quarter of a million people receiving support for the first time. However, NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds said there was no escaping its challenges and the need to keep improving the participant experience.

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The latest report on the scheme contains the most detailed data on costs and assumptions that show the pressures facing the NDIS. These include inconsistent access and planning decisions, inequalities in packages based on socio-economic status and the apparent systematic decreases in functional ability for participants.

“It shows that without mitigation, projected costs are higher than both the 2021 Portfolio Budget Statements and the 2017 Productivity Commission projections,” the minister said.

The average payment per participant has continued to increase at 11.8 per cent per annum in the three years to 30 June 2021. Total participant costs increased to $6.6 billion in the last quarter of 2020-21 – a 33 per cent increase in total participant costs from the same period last year

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According to the minister, Australian Governments have a responsibility to make sure that the scheme remains affordable over the long-term and continually improves participant experience and outcomes.

Other key statistics from the quarter revealed: 35 per cent of participants who received plans were children aged 0-6 years; a 33 per cent decrease in the number of people under the age of 65 entering residential aged care; a 14 per cent increase in the number of young adults reporting that the NDIS has helped with their daily living activities and a 12 per cent increase in the number of participants reporting that the NDIS has helped improve their health and wellbeing.

The report also showed that the National Disability Insurance Agency continues to improve on its Participant Service Guarantee, with the latest report showing: 100 per cent of access decisions were made within 21 days in the June 2021 quarter: 91 per cent of first plans were approved within 90 days for participants aged 0- 6 and 94 per cent of internal reviews of reviewable decisions were completed within 90 days.

Read the latest quarterly report here.