Take Survey
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Communities

Disability Groups Cautious Over NDIS Independent Assessment Pilot


Monday, 12th November 2018 at 5:38 pm
Luke Michael, Journalist
Disability advocates say they will be closely watching an independent assessments trial to ensure it achieves its stated aims of fairer access and planning decisions for National Disability Insurance Scheme participants, rather than reducing access to the scheme.


Monday, 12th November 2018
at 5:38 pm
Luke Michael, Journalist


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Disability Groups Cautious Over NDIS Independent Assessment Pilot
Monday, 12th November 2018 at 5:38 pm

Disability advocates say they will be closely watching an independent assessments trial to ensure it achieves its stated aims of fairer access and planning decisions for National Disability Insurance Scheme participants, rather than reducing access to the scheme.

The National Disability Insurance Agency last week announced an independent assessment pilot aimed at improving the consistency, accuracy and reliability of NDIA decision-making.

The free, voluntary pilot will use independent health professionals with experience in disability to undertake functional assessments of people’s capacity.  

This comes after analysis by the NDIA showed that access and planning decisions have been inconsistent for participants with autism, intellectual disability, and psychosocial disability.

“Participants and their families have told us they want the NDIS to be more consistent and equitable,” NDIA CEO Robert De Luca said.

The pilot is available to people who have already applied to the NDIS and are awaiting an access decision, and for people already accessing the scheme who are awaiting a plan.

A NDIA spokesperson told Pro Bono News that pilot participants will undertake the same application or planning process as everyone else, except they will additionally receive an independent functional assessment delivered by a qualified professional from The Benevolent Society.

The spokesperson confirmed that the outcome of each assessment will be provided to the NDIA, and depending on the person’s stage in the participant pathway, will contribute towards their planning or access decision.

Therese Sands, Co-CEO of People with Disability Australia (PWDA), told Pro Bono News she cautiously welcomed the pilot and its intent of creating fairer access and planning decisions for people with disability.

“People with disability often raise with us the distress that inequity in NDIS planning decisions can cause, and the impact of not getting essential supports,” Sands said.

“We are also pleased to see that the pilot is potentially a move away from using a diagnostic approach to assessment towards a focus on what people with disability actually need to live a good and equal life.”

But Sands said disability advocates would be closely watching the pilot, as they were concerned about the potential of it being used in a way that could reduce people’s access to the NDIS.

“PWDA will be watching closely, and we want to see the [NDIA] being fully transparent about the implications and outcomes of this pilot,” she said.

Kathy Isaacs, secretary of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), said although the pilot could potentially improve the consistency of NDIA decisions, it had the drawback of requiring what was essentially a reassessment of functional status.  

She expressed fear that this reassessment could become an expected step, extending the time it takes for NDIS decisions to be made.   

“Reassessment still depends on the functional impact assessor asking the right questions and guiding the participant to an accurate description of their situation, and this will be affected by their depth of knowledge of both autism (or other disabilities) and the NDIS,” Isaacs told Pro Bono News.

“It also does not take into account the fluctuations of functioning capacity so common in the autistic experience.”

The NDIS pilot will be run in areas of New South Wales for people aged seven years and older from November this year to February 2019.  


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

 Print

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Australians With Disability Twice as Likely to be Evicted Without Cause

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 5th December 2018 at 5:29 pm

Government Offers $10 Million in Grants to Grow NDIS Workforce

Luke Michael

Thursday, 22nd November 2018 at 4:03 pm

Disability Sector Calls For $220 Million Industry Investment Fund

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 21st November 2018 at 12:31 pm

Disability Sector Remains Suspicious Over Employment Taskforce

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 19th November 2018 at 4:16 pm

POPULAR

Australians With Disability Twice as Likely to be Evicted Without Cause

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 5th December 2018 at 5:29 pm

Tech-for-good Companies Merge to Extend Impact

Maggie Coggan

Thursday, 29th November 2018 at 8:34 am

Putting Disability and Leadership in the Same Sentence

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 3rd December 2018 at 8:56 am

Glyn Davis Confirmed as New Head of the Ramsay Foundation

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 5th December 2018 at 6:00 pm

Take Survey
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!