This week the Morrison Government introduced legislation to improve the experiences of participants, their families and carers of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The NDIS provides essential support for almost 500,000 people living with significant and permanent disability.
“After eight years of lived experience of the NDIS it is evident changes are needed to further safeguard participants, cut red tape and give greater control and choice to participants,” Minister Reynolds said.
The NDIS Amendment (Participant Service Guarantee and Other Matters) Bill 2021 implements recommendations of the 2019 Tune Review, which was underpinned by extensive stakeholder and participant consultation.
Key reforms in the bill include:
- The Participant Service Guarantee will set timeframes for decision making by the National Disability Insurance Agency and set strict service standards.
- The Commonwealth Ombudsman will report on the NDIA’s performance against the Guarantee.
- Increased flexibility for participants and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
- Embedding co-design with people with disability and their representatives.
- Participants will be able to make changes to their plan without the need for a full plan review.
- Flexibility in how payments can be made, allowing the NDIA to pay providers directly on behalf of participants – so participants don’t need to use their own money for services and claim re-imbursement.
- Provisions that originally enabled transition to the NDIS, but which are no longer needed now the scheme is fully operational across the whole country will be removed.
- The requirements to be considered in making appointments to the NDIA Board will be extended to specifically include people with disability or lived experience of disability.
“Together, the amendments in this Bill provide for a significant reduction in administrative red tape and strengthen the person-centred focus of the NDIS, which is what the insurance scheme is about,” Minister Reynolds said.