Some big plans were announced by the Minister for the NDIS last week. These plans outline changes that are expected to result in a fairer and more accessible system for NDIS participants.
Here at Leap in! we’ve summarised all the important changes to make them easier to understand. Key planned changes include:
- New draft NDIS Plan summaries
- Greater flexibility across budgets
- Longer NDIS Plan durations
- Developing more consistent processes.
New draft NDIS Plan summaries.
From April 2020, the NDIS will provide participants with a draft NDIS Plan summary prior to an NDIS Plan being approved. This will mean participants, their families and nominees can review and if necessary, ask for amendments to key information prior to a plan starting.
This is expected to lead to a greater understanding from participants about their plan, how it was developed and how to use it.
It will also help reduce the number of plans that need to be reviewed early due to small errors.
Longer NDIS Plans.
From the middle of next year, NDIS participants can expect to receive longer NDIS Plans where needs are consistent. Plan Reviews will be scheduled in line with significant life milestones such as starting and finishing school, getting a job or other changes in support needs. Plans could be as long as 3 years.
In the future, the Minister is expected to allow minor adjustments to be made to NDIS Plans without requiring a full NDIS Plan Review.
Plans in more formats.
Being able to read and understand your plan is key to making the most of it. Another planned change will see NDIS Plans available in a number of formats, such as:
- Large font
Greater funding flexibility.
From 1 July 2020, the distinction between Core and Capacity Building will be removed so that participants and their families can use NDIS Plan funding more flexibly for supports that best meet their needs.
More consistent processes.
The NDIA has been reviewing how it can improve the consistency and reliability of access and funding decisions to reduce review requests as well as decrease participant anxiety.
A pilot program showed that consistent functional assessments carried out by independent assessors resulted in improved decision making and more equitable plan and access outcomes for participants.
The pilot will be continued with the intention of introducing independent functional assessments, fully paid for by the NDIS, from 1 July 2020. This change is expected to help make the NDIS more reliable, consistent and equitable.
Connecting the NDIS with mainstream services.
The government is seeking to ensure the NDIS operates effectively with other mainstream service systems.
Since 1 October 2019, NDIS participants have been able to receive funding for disability-related health supports via their NDIS Plans.
Other key actions include:
- A plan to reduce delays in hospital discharge processes for NDIS participants
- Improved access for NDIS participants with psychosocial disability, and plans to address issues between the NDIS and mainstream mental health system
- The introduction of Justice Liaison officers to provide a single point of contact for justice workers and a coordinated approach to supporting NDIS participants in youth and adult justice systems
- Interim measures to increase transport funding for NDIS participants who are significant users of taxi subsidy schemes.
Changes to Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA).
SDA eligible participants will be able to live in shared housing arrangements with family or friends that are not SDA eligible from 1 January 2020.
Some of the other initiatives include:
- Programs to help more people with a disability from diverse backgrounds, regional and remote areas to enter the NDIS, including the expansion of community connector services
- Better real-time technology and processes that make it easier for providers to start delivering services to NDIS participants
- The introduction of a single point of contact for NDIS participants.
Make the most of your NDIS funding.
Here at Leap in! we are here to help you navigate the NDIS and ensure you get the supports and services you need.
If you would like some support to make the most of your NDIS Plan or have any questions about how this information affects you, give us a call on 1300 05 78 78 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.