QDN Member eBlast: Important NDIS Announcements

NDIS Minister Stuart Robert gave a speech at the National Press Club last week where he talked about his plan to get the NDIS working better for everyone who needs it. Key announcements include:

  • From July 2020 participants will be able to use their funds more flexibly – including moving funds between core and capacity building. 
  • The NDIS will begin a pilot to test the use of independent assessments across the full range of disability types, ages, cultural backgrounds and circumstances. Following the completion of the pilot to Government’s satisfaction, the use of independent functional assessments – paid for by the NDIA – will be fully implemented in the access and planning pathways from 1 July 2020.
  • Joint planning meetings will roll out nationally next year. People will also be able to see a draft of their plan before it’s approved.

Additionally the first Quarterly report for 2019-20 shows:

  • 310,000 participants with an NDIS plan – including more than 114,000 participants who are receiving specialist disability supports for the very first time.
  • 6.5 per cent of participants who received a plan in the quarter identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders, compared with 5.8 per cent in previous quarters combined.
  • 11.5 per cent of participants who received a plan in the quarter identified as CALD, compared with 8.4 per cent in previous quarters combined.
  • 10 per cent of participants who entered the NDIS in the quarter had a psychosocial disability compared with 9 per cent in previous quarters combined.

The Government has also committed to providing a single point of contact for NDIS participants and encouraging longer duration plans. Almost 300,000 participants already have a single point of contact in the NDIS, and it is anticipated all participants will have one by the end of March 2020.

An additional $20 million over two years to further expand the community connectors program to help those Australians requiring more tailored support to access and engage with the NDIS. At its October meeting, DRC agreed to:

  • an approach to improve the access and experience for participants with psychosocial disability in the NDIS and to address interface issues between the NDIS and mainstream mental health systems; and
  • the introduction of Justice Liaison Officers in each state and territory to work across their justice systems, to provide a single point of contact for state and territory justice workers and a coordinated approach to supporting NDIS participants in youth and adult justice systems.
  • implement further recommendations to allow SDA eligible participants to be able to live in shared housing arrangements with family or friends that are not SDA eligible. This is an important change and will increase choice and control for SDA eligible NDIS participants from 1 January 2020.
  • These reforms are already seeing a significant increase in SDA. The number of participants with SDA in their plan has increased by more than 120% over the past two years – from 6,068 in September 2017 to 13,581 as at 30 September 2019.

Click here to access the infographic of Minister Stuart Robert’s plan to improve the NDIS for the benefit of all Australians.

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