NDIS 'not without challenges'


The National Disability Insurance Scheme is currently supporting 150,000 people but the scheme is "not without challenges", according to social services minister Dan Tehan.

Speaking in the house of representatives, the minister said when fully rolled-out the NDIS will support over 450,000 Australians living with a disability.

"Currently, there are more than 40,000 people on the NDIS who have not received any support before from either Commonwealth or state and territory governments. As former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes said today: Any social reform rolled out nationally will have challenges … but for a project as big as this the scheme is doing quite well," said minister Tehan.

The 2018-19 Budget confirmed the continued rapid increase in spending on the NDIS, passing $6 billion this year and surging to $16.6 billion in 2018-19.

The minister said the agency responsible for the NDIS, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), has commenced work on initiatives to improve the administration of reviews for patients and providers.

"One major project undertaken by the NDIA is the participation and provider pathway review. The NDIA recognises that requests relating to assistive technology and home modification drive a notable portion of review requests. These are complex, and the NDIA is addressing these areas.

"In addition to this, the NDIA has taken on more resources to clear backlogs and process complex claims. In the next 12 months the NDIA will also take on an extra 500 permanent staff. These measures will help us work towards an improved system for reviews and a smoother transition from current arrangements to the NDIS," said minister Tehan.

He continued, "As recommended by the Productivity Commission, ongoing work continues on how people access the scheme. I can assure the member that no changes will be made unless they are informed by research, evidence and extensive consultation with stakeholders and the community.

"Finally, as the Treasurer stated in his budget address, every dollar and every cent committed to delivering the National Disability Insurance Scheme remains in place and always will."