NDIS Review – Getting The NDIS Back On Track

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NDIS Review – Getting The NDIS Back On Track

Written by:  Anthea Taylor | NDIS Plan Management Team


And so it begins.  As promised by the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Bill Shorten, changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme are coming.

There is no question that changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the National Disability Insurance Agency, the statutory agency responsible for implementing and administering the NDIS are needed.  Changes to improve transparency, consistency, equity, less bureaucracy, time management, and compliance just to name a few.

12 months on, the Review and its recommendations are still hot topics in the disability sector for people with disabilities, their support networks, providers and government departments at both federal and state levels.  It has now notched up a level with the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Getting the NDIS Back on Track No.1) Bill 2024.

Want to know more about the NDIS Review when it was released and what it’s about?  Check out this previous blog we put together: NDIS Review – What’s It All About?

NDIS Bill Review

The National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Getting the NDIS Back on Track No.1) Bill 2024 circulated by the authority of the Minister for the NDIS, Bill Shorten was tabled in the House of Representatives on the second last day of sitting before the Easter break.

The timing is either by calculated design or pure coincidence as members of Parliament were getting ready to enjoy an extra long weekend, chocolate and hot cross buns.  There was a lot of reporting in the media and commentary on social media when the Bill landed.  Whilst the sector has been and is expecting proposed changes, it was not expecting them so soon, and with such minimal sector consultation.  There is an understanding that some peak bodies were consulted, but were required to sign Non-Disclosures.  The lack of consultation and transparency has raised concerns within the sector.  With the House of Representative not due to sit again until mid May, at which time the focus will be on the Budget, the parliamentary debate over the Bill may be delayed.

NDIS Budgets, Support Workers… Whats Proposed to Change?

According to the Bill’s Explanatory Memorandum the proposed amendments will:

  1. Require the NDIA to provide participants with a clear statement of the basis on which they entered the NDIS, either by meeting the disability requirements, the early intervention requirements, or both.  The Bill will clarify and expand the NDIS rules relating to access provisions, including the methods or criteria to be applied when making decisions about the disability and early intervention criteria and the matters which must or must not be taken into account.
  2. Create the new reasonable and necessary budget framework for the preparation of NDIS Participants’ Plans.  This aligns with the original intent of the NDIS to support people with permanent and significant disability as part of a larger landscape of supports outside of the NDIS.  The Bill provides for ‘new framework plans’ to be developed in accordance with a new budget framework.  Participants will receive funding based on whether they accessed the Scheme on the basis of impairments that meet the disability requirements or the early intervention requirements or both.
  3. Provide for the needs assessment process and the method for calculating the total amount of the participants flexible funding and funding for stated supports for new framework plans to be specified in legislative instruments and NDIS rules.  These will be developed in consultation with people with disability, the disability community, health and allied health technical professionals, and with all States and Territories.
  4. Insert a new definition of ‘NDIS supports’ which will provide a clear definition for all participates of the authorised supports that will funded by the NDIS and those that will not.
  5. Insert measures focused on protecting participants such as:
    1. Allowing the CEO to specify in the statement of participant supports the total funding amount under the plan for reasonable and necessary supports together with the funding component under the plan for each support or class of support up to a specified amount.
    2. Clarifying the requirements that an NDIS participant who received an amount or amounts for NDIS supports may only spend that money in accordance with the participants plan.  This reflects the reasonable expectation that participants should spend up to the limits specified in their plan – unless their needs sign change and spend on supports needed as a result of their impairment.
    3. Enabling the Agency to change the plan management type as well as imposing shorter funding periods to safeguard participants where others may seek to exploit or coerce the participant to use their package in a way that’s not consistent with their best interests.
  6. Insert quality and safeguard amendments to enable the imposition of conditions on approved quality auditors to not employ or engage a person against whom a banning order has been made, and to enable greater delegation of the Commissioner’s compliance enforcement powers to specified positions.

How Does This Affect My NDIS Plan?

So what does this all mean?  The Bill is one of the first steps the Government is making towards addressing and progressing some of the key recommendations of the NDIS Review:

  • To clarify the NDIS access requirements;
  • To clarify the supports that the NDIS will and will not provide for an NDIS Participant;
  • Create a new model for determining a reasonable and necessary budgets;
  • Provider greater flexibility on how the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner can take regulatory actions to protect NDIS Participants from abuse, harm and neglect; and
  • Sustainability of the NDIS.

And where does all this leave NDIS Plan Management?

NDIS Plan Management remains an option for NDIS Participants.  Like self-management, plan management can be revoked if the management types presents an unreasonable risk to the participant in that the participant is utilising their funds for supports, services or item which are not reasonable or necessary in context to their disability, plan or funding, or if a provider is taking advantage of the participant, or is non-compliant with their claims.

The Bill as tabled, continues to support the initial intent of the NDIS to support people with disabilities to have access to supports and life changing outcomes, and refocus the NDIA and NDIS to be person-centered.

As the saying goes “interesting times ahead” – watch this space.

The full details of the Bill and changes can be found in National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Getting the NDIS Back on Track No. 1) Bill 2024.

Canny Plan Management + Our Excellent NDIS Plan Management Services!

At Canny Plan Management we work for our clients and raise awareness or issues of concerns.  We want to ensure our clients are getting the best supports, value and outcomes from their plans.

Canny Plan Management has a team of NDIS Plan Managers that are available to discuss the definitions and the use of choice and control as well as provide the applicable National Disability Insurance Agency information to our clients and to you, to help you make an informed decision.

Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help you and how we can form part of your support network to ensure that your supports are supporting you!

Anthea Taylor | Head of Canny Plan Management

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