After months of vocal opposition from both the disability sector and the community, the federal government has decided not to proceed with NDIS independent assessments.
Currently, treating medical professionals known to participants provide the reports that determine their NDIS eligibility and funding. Under the proposed plan, allied health professionals unknown to a participant would have assessed their eligibility and disability support needs.
A pilot study found participants, their families and carers had significant concerns with independent assessments. These include a lack of understanding of support needs by assessors. Some also reported that the process was invasive, inappropriate and stressful.
Minister apologises for the stress caused.
The NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds confirmed that the government would not push ahead with the proposal.
“I can absolutely confirm we agreed with the Independent Advisory Council’s recommendation that the independent assessments in their current form will not proceed,” Minister Reynolds told the ABC.
“I am very sorry that some of our most vulnerable felt concerned. I heard that concern loudly and clearly,” she said.
What happens now?
It’s back to the drawing board. The federal and state governments will now work together to develop a new method to establish a fair and equitable way of accessing the NDIS.
“We’ve agreed to work together in a way that hears more clearly the voices of those with lived experience of disability that is based on the principles of equity and fairness,” Minister Reynolds said.
Participant Service Guarantee to proceed.
Other proposed changes to the NDIS Act are expected to go ahead later this year as planned, including formalising the Participant Service Guarantee, changes associated with Tune Review recommendations and measures to address fraud.
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