e-Blast: Update on “Independent Assessments” 

This week, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) released new information on the federal government’s plan to introduce “Independent Assessments” as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) access and planning process. A public consultation process is now open 

Major news out of the new information is the delaying of the introduction of “Independent Assessments”. The Independent Assessment process will now start in mid-2021 for people applying for access to the scheme and late-2021 for existing NDIS participants. 

While this is welcome news, as it provides an opportunity for people with disability to be consulted, the federal government has clearly stated that the consultation will only look at how Independent Assessments should be introduced, not if they should be introduced 

It is critical that people with disability tell the government what they think about the introduction of Independent Assessments and how it will impact their lives. It is really important that people with disability speak up.  It is important that Governments understand the concerns that people with disability and their families have about the introduction of “Independent Assessments”. 

In total, the NDIA and the Department of Social Services have released five papers this week on changes to the NDIS. There are four consultation reports from the NDIA: 

The Department of Social Services has also released a consultation report on changes to the NDIS: 

There is a lot of information in these documents and QDN will continue to analyse what it means for people with disability, services providers and the overall direction of the NDIS.  

Our allies at Every Australian Counts (EAC) developed a summary of the high-level changes outlined in these documents and what they will mean for participants. Read the summary of changes. 

QDN shares EAC’s concerns about the reports’ proposed assessment processIt is alarming that the reports make clear that the new compulsory “Independent Assessment” will be the only thing that determines participant’s NDIS plan and budget. Participants will not be able to provide their own medical reports and will only be asked to consider their goals after the independent assessor has determined their budget. This proposed process is completely at odds with the core principles of the NDIS – choice and control.  

QDN will be developing a submission in response to these reports. We want to hear from you about what you would like us to raise and give us examples of how these changes will impact your life and supports. There are a few ways to provide your feedback: 

  1. Complete the QDN survey on “Independent Assessments” here: https://bit.ly/33zXGrl  
  1. Email qdn@qdn.org.au 
  1. Call 1300 363 783 and ask to speak to the policy team. 

This is your NDIS. Your views should shape its future. We will keep you informed as more information becomes available.  

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