As announced by the NDIA on the 1st March 2021, the ability for participants to flexibly utilse their Core funding to purchase Support Coordination will end on the 31st of March 2020.
This back-flip has reversed the announcement last October that the flexibility would remain ongoing and indefinitely. It’s an incredibly disappointing decision, one that DIA believed will have a serious and profound negative impact on thousands of NDIS Participants.
DIA would like to thank all Support Coordinators who have supported participants through this month transition process which has not been easy.
Disability Intermediaries Australia CEO, Mr Jess Harper said
“Whilst we would prefer this flexibility to remain ongoing as expressed by the NDIA in October 2020, we welcomed the NDIA’s decision to give further time for Support Coordinators to work with participants to seek a full plan review, ‘light touch’ plan review or change of circumstances with the NDIA.
Unfortunately we are hearing from our members that many of the effected participants have lodged requests for full plan reviews, ‘light touch’ plan reviews and change of circumstances with the NDIA, however these are yet to be completed by the NDIA.
This could see profound service gaps for some of the most vulnerable participants that have complex support needs. We are disappointed that the NDIA has not been more proactive in supporting these participants through their requests.”
WHAT CAN PARTICIPANTS DO?
From the 1st April, participants that do not have funding within their capacity building budget for Support Coordination will be unable to purchase Support Coordination with their NDIS funds. Participants can take the following action:
Contact your planner and request a Light Touch Plan Review to move funds from CORE into Capacity Building for Support Coordination,. Noting that this is not possible for all participants.
Lodge a Change of Circumstances with the NDIA, to request further funding to be included for Support Coordination.
Tell DIA! If you have requested a Light Touch Plan Review or lodged a Change of Circumstances and have not yet received an outcome from these please complete this survey to tell us about it by answering this quick participant survey: https://intermediaries.typeform.com/to/THFs1YY8
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR SUPPORT COORDINATION PROVIDERS?
From the 1st of April, participants will only be funded by the NDIS for Support Coordination supports their their capacity building budgets.
Providers have been directed by the NDIA to cease service to participants where the participant will be unable to fund the service.
Registered Support Coordination providers that have to cease service must lodge this with the NDIS Commission using this form, and selecting the second check box “events which seriously impair the provider’s ability to effectively conduct its operations and deliver ongoing supports or services to NDIS participants;”
All Providers (registered or un-registered) should also inform the NDIA by:
- Emailing your NDIA Provider Relationship Manager (cc’ing firstname.lastname@example.org) to inform them that due to plan funding limitations and pending review requests you will need to cease service to x number of participants; and
- Email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org (cc’ing email@example.com) to inform them that due to plan funding limitations and pending review requests you will need to cease service to x number of participants;
Tell DIA! If you are supporting participants that are effected by this change and who are yet to receive an answer from the NDIA as to their Plan Review Request or Change of Circumstances please use this like to tell us about it by completing this quick 5 question provider survey: https://intermediaries.typeform.com/to/Tg7zOcRQ
CASE STUDY: UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT ON PARTICIPANTS
Participants whom have been determined by the NDIA to Reasonably and Necessarily require Support Coordination have more complex support needs, these needs are generally varied, not stable or consistent and require regular and in some cases constant oversight and support by their Support Coordinator. Support Coordination is a critical support.
John is an NDIA Participant – he has an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) which manifests with behaviors of concern. As such John has complex support needs. Due to John’s ABI he can become aggressive and sometimes violent at short notice, something that is not uncommon for people with a disability like John.
John was found by the NDIA to Reasonably and Necessarily require supports to implement, utilise and coordinate service delivery for his plan and in-turn was funded with Support Coordination in his Capacity Building budget. John’s plan is due to expire in July 21.
John was connected to his Support Coordinator by the NDIA via the NDIA request for service process, as such has had no interaction with an LAC.
John, like many participants, expended all of his Support Coordination funds in his capacity building budget during the peek COVID months and since then been using core to pay for his Support Coordination supports.
Upon being made aware of the NDIA’s decision to stop this funding flexibility, John’s Nominee and legal decision maker has been told by the NDIA contact center (1800 number) that the NDIA are no longer doing ‘Light Touch’ Plan Reviews and that they must lodge a change of circumstance.
John’s nominee lodged a change of circumstances in mid-March. Under the time lines listed with the NDIA’s participant service guarantee it is foreseeable that John will not have a decision by the end of March and likely won’t until at least May.
So between now and May (or when the NDIA makes its decision), if John requires support to engage a new support (likely due to behavioral issues), change an existing support (likely due to behavioral issues), or respond to crisis (extremely likely given ABI and Behaviors of Concern) who will support John?
- The NDIA have already determined this support is not appropriate for an LAC to deliver;
- The Support Coordinator cannot refer the participant to the ECSN Program (as they are not entitles to); and
- As stated by the NDIA the Support Coordinator should cease service from the 1st of April 21, as there is no funding available.