NDIS Amendments Go to Parliament
Wednesday, 13th March 2013 at 11:23 am
The Federal Government has introduced amendments to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Bill, following feedback gained from consultations with people with disability, their families and carers, and with states and territories.
Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin said that the Government’s amendments also respond directly to submissions made to the inquiry by the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, which will table its report this week.
Key amendments are clarification that all people who are NDIS participants will be able to choose to remain in the scheme after they turn 65 and changes to the compensation provisions so that the NDIS Launch Transition Agency (the Agency) can conduct legal proceedings on behalf of a person with disability.
The Government says it will also establish an NDIS division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and an independent expert panel to advise the Agency’s merits review process.
“This will ensure that people with disability are supported to have their plans reviewed and that reviews will be conducted by people with expertise and understanding of needs of people with disability, their families and carers,” Macklin said in a statement.
The Government says it has accepted the advice of the Productivity Commission to introduce an age-65 threshold for entry to the NDIS in order to establish a working interface with the aged care system.
“The NDIS will complement the aged care system to ensure we are delivering a cohesive system that gives people with disability, older people, their families and carers the support they need,” the statement said.
“The Government’s amendments make clear that people with degenerative conditions who are under the age of 65 can enter the NDIS, and that people who are NDIS participants will be able to choose to remain in the scheme after they turn 65.”
The amendments also clarify that all NDIS participants will be able to choose whether to continue to receive support under the NDIS after they turn 65.
Other amendments include:
- Elevating the importance of certain obligations that Australia has as a party to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and explicitly recognising the broader context for disability reform. This ensures that the rights of people with disability, their families and carers are at the heart of the NDIS.
- Clarification that people who need early intervention therapies and supports, including for degenerative conditions, and who are not better supported by another systems such as the health care system, can access the NDIS.
Ensuring the NDIS Board receives and considers actuarial advice, helping to safeguard the financial sustainability of the NDIS.