Disability Intermediaries Australia responds to the NDIA Discussion Papers

Disability Intermediaries Australia (DIA) is pleased to inform our members that we provided submissions and responses to the following NDIA Discussion Papers on 23rd February 2021:

  1. Access and Eligibility with Independent Assessment
  2. Planning Policy for Personalised Budgets and Plan Flexibility
  3. Supporting Young People and their Families Early to reach their full potential

Our responses were evidence based, drawing on market insights from our extensive member network and market driven research.

A well-functioning market of supports and services is one of the foundational pillars of the NDIS. It is critical to realising the vision of the Scheme, whereby people   with   disability are   living   independent   yet   connected   lives   and empowered  through  having  choice  and  control  over  the  supports  they engage.

DIA  are  thought  leaders  in  understanding  and  building  of  Intermediaries (Support  Coordination  and  Plan  Management)  role  and  function  within  the market. At their core, Intermediaries support participants to navigate, guide, capacity   build   and   make   self-directed   decisions   whilst   overseeing   and monitoring Participant service providers.

DIA   acknowledges the   considerable   work   to   date   undertaken   by   the Department  of  Social  Services  (DSS),  the  NDIS  Quality  and  Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) and the NDIA to support the development of the market.

On the submissions, DIA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jess Harper said:

“DIA welcomes the opportunity to provide these submissions to inform the NDIA on its direction forward.

Whilst DIA is encouraged by the NDIA’s intent to reduce barriers and costs to access the NDIS and at the same time make the planning process fairer, we are not convinced that such a blunt instrument and ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is the best way forward.

DIA continues to have concerns about functional capacity assessments being conducted for people with a disability:

  1. Outside of their support network / treating healthcare professional;
  2. By assessors who is unlikely to have detailed knowledge of the persons disability and its complexities;
  3. By assessors whom will have between 1-4 hours to make their assessment;
  4. With no ability for a participant to choose their assessor from a market of approved providers; and
  5. With no ability for a participant to have the assessment rejected, reviewed or appealed.

There are a range of GAPS that the NDIA is yet to respond to. DIA would welcome being a part further consultations.”

DIA invites the NDIA and NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to work collaboratively together on the next stages of the proposed changes, along with DIA’s development and implementation of Sector Service Standards for Support Coordination and Plan Management.