Updated: Jun 24, 2022
Recently, as I was doing my research on plan reviews, I came across a media article that shared a story about the revealations in the parliament, during some of the recent budget hearings, stating that more than 1200 people died while waiting to receive an outcome for their NDIS Plan funding. Shocking hey?
It was identified that these were the participants of the scheme who were assessed eligible for the NDIS but were waiting to receive their first funding plan.
The article further explained that the NDIS minister denied to accept it and provided reasons stating it to be untrue and putting an argument that the delay was not from the NDIA however it was the insufficient evidence provided by the participants to the agency regarding their disabilities, that caused the delay.
Now, whatever the exact reason may be, it is something that will be explored eventually or it may not be, however, such incidents do pose some serious questions about the efficiency of the agency in not being able to deliver the outcomes on time.
Considering the super busy nature of the job, that the agency is carrying out, in framing plans we have known and experienced, that in some or many cases, participants have to wait longer if they miss on providing required evidence in the first instance and if they reschedule a meeting means more wait time.
With NDIS, it is hard to get the answers straightway from the helpline regarding your plan-related decisions or review, as the staff at the helpdesk will have to further refer you to the back-office planning team. Such delays and not getting the answers quickly can be frustrating and undoubtedly put a person with a disability in a state of confusion, particularly when the person with a disability has a desperate need or has less support from family or friends.
So, the time delay is definitely an issue with the agency, and hence as per an article published on 12 Aug 2019, David Tune was appointed to review NDIS rules and legislations in light of reducing the red tape and wait times for a scheme eligible person to get a new plan and review.
To solve this issue and delay, NDIA acted by creating a checklist on its webpage that states the criteria for a person to qualify and be eligible for the scheme, which is as below -
1. You must be aged between 7 and 65,
2. Living in Australia and having a permanent residency
3. Being supported by another person or using special equipment because of a permanent and significant disability.