May 29, 2018

The latest quarterly report on the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) shows why the staffing cap on the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) must be lifted, immediately.

The report shows a big jump in the number of complaints about the NDIS. 4,146 complaints were made in the most recent quarter, with more than 17,300 complaints made since the scheme commenced.

Progress against the bilateral estimates also continues to worsen. Since the scheme started, 78 percent of the bilateral estimates have been met, down from 83 percent in June 2017.

The rate of unscheduled plan reviews also remains far too high (28%) – indicating people are not getting the right supports included in their plans.

The Turnbull Government must lift the staffing cap on the NDIA.

It’s clear that the Agency doesn’t have enough staff to rollout the scheme on time. 

If we are going to sort out the problems with poor-quality NDIS plans the staffing cap on the NDIA needs to be lifted.

The Turnbull Government must also take action on workforce and market development. We know that one in five new jobs over the next few years will be in the disability sector.

Underutilisation of NDIS plans is a growing source of concern. 

A high proportion of NDIS plans (55%) have a utilisation rate of between 0-50 per cent. This means far too many people with disability that already inside the NDIS aren’t getting the services and supports that their NDIS plan says they need.

Even worse, around 15 percent or 3,254 plans have not been activated at all in the most recently reported quarter alone.

We need a comprehensive workforce development and training plan so that the workforce is ready to provide the support services that people with disability need as the NDIS continues to rollout across Australia.

There are just too many examples of people not getting the services they need in their NDIS plans. Work on market development is urgent.

The good news is that 151,970 people with disability now have an approved plan at 31 March 2018, an increase of 19,228 from the previous quarter.

Encouragingly participant satisfaction remains above 80%. 

The clear message from the latest NDIS quarterly report is that much work still needs to be done to ensure that the NDIS fulfils its promise.

TUESDAY, 29 MAY 2018 

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