PQSA/HomeCare+ 2016 NDIS Survey Results

PQSA/HomeCare+ 2016 NDIS Survey Results

PQSA and HomeCare+ conducted a survey in August 2016 to determine how much information clients and support workers knew about the Natioanl Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

We would like to thank everyone who completed this survey; we had a fantastic response and this has provided us with valuable information. As such, we have compiled this booklet of responses to the questions and concerns raised in the survey.

While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate at the time of this booklet being produced, it may change in the future. The information contained within this booklet has been primarily sourced from NDIS resources.

PQSA and HomeCare+ will provide updates on the NDIS through our websites and social media, newsletters and via mail outs.

If you have any questions regarding the questions raised in the survey or the NDIS overall, please contact:

Linda Macmillan Projects Coordinator

Phone: 8355 3500, country callers 1800 063 419 (Toll Free)

Email: lindam@pqsa.asn.au

What is NDIS? (what does it stand for, what is its purpose, who does it cater for?)

Will the scheme cover everyone fairly? What do these changes mean for individual persons?

Will these changes affect individuals’ employment?

NDIS and people over the age of 65 years. Am I eligible for the NDIS if I currently receive specialist disability services funding (a funding package) and turn 65 by the time the NDIS commences in my geographical area?

Will it ever support elderly people?

What if DCSI cuts funding?

The clients may not have the capability or the education to use the funds in a way which benefits their wellbeing.

Can it be abused by unentitled clients/services?

Will the services be limited in remote areas?

How long do payments take to commence?

Funding may run out as NDIS may underestimate the amount of people who could qualify.

Concern about the reliability of the new system.

Is the budget big enough?

Will the scheme run for a long enough period of time? Will it cost too much to contain?

How smoothly will the scheme run and will it be a quick process to start? Will the scheme be implemented quickly for clients?

Will contacting the NDIS be difficult?

What is NDIS (what does it stand for, what is its purpose, who does it cater for?)

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will provide insurance cover for all Australians in the event of significant and/or lifelong disability. This national system of disability support will focus on the individual needs and choices of people with a disability.

It is changing Australia’s old welfare and charity model of disability funding and replacing it with a legislatively guaranteed ‘insurance’ model whereby all Australians who meet the eligibility criteria are legally entitled to funding for all ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is an independent statutory authority charged with implementing the NDIS. It ensures registered providers meet required standards, assists people with disability to access the streamlined system through an online gateway or phone number, and works to build community awareness of the NDIS.

The reforms will see the disability sector move away from State/Territory funded services to a Commonwealth/National scheme. It changes the historical block/grant funding of disability services to individualised funding for people with disabilities based on their individual needs assessments.

Will the scheme cover everyone fairly? What do these changes mean for individual persons?

The NDIS will assess the needs of participants based on what the NDIS deem as ‘reasonable and necessary’ for equipment, care and support services. These supports and services need to assist you to:

  • Achieve your goals
  • Become as independent as possible
  • Develop skills for day to day living
  • Participate in the community and
  • Work and earn money

To be considered ‘reasonable and necessary’, a support must:

  • Be related to your disability and support needs
  • Represent value for money
  • Be likely to be effective and beneficial to you
  • Take into account informal supports given to you by families, carers, networks and community
  • Not include day to day living costs that are not related to your disability support needs (e.g. groceries, paying electricity bills, doing a home renovation that is not related to your support needs etc.)

Examples include:

  • Daily personal activities
  • Household tasks
  • Home modifications
  • Allied health support
  • Transport after taxi subsidies exhausted
  • Vehicle modifications
  • Mobility equipment
  • Workplace support
  • Garden maintenance
  • Respite
  • Continence products
  • Assistive technology

The NDIS will work with you to identify supports you need to live your life. Supports may help you to become more independent and involved in your community, education, employment and general health and wellbeing.

The NDIS will give you greater choice and control over how, when and where your supports are provided, and the certainty you will receive the support you need over your lifetime.

Will these changes affect individuals’ employment?

No. The Scheme will fund supports to assist participants with employment where these are beyond the requirements of employment services and employers. The Scheme will also fund supports the participant would require regardless of the activity they are undertaking.

This includes:

  • Assisting participants who are not eligible for DES or JSA to build their skills and capacity to participate in employment, as well as assistance to find and maintain employment
  • Personal care or assistance with transport where the participant requires these supports regardless of the activity they are undertaking
  • Assistive technology devices such as wheelchairs, personal communication devices or a hearing aid
  • Supported employment, such as services offered by Australian Disability Enterprises

Re-Entering the Workforce

Assistance to re-enter the workforce is an important support for many participants. DES or JSA providers will be the primary source of assistance to prepare for work and assist the person to find and maintain work. This capacity building could include assistance with training on travelling to and from work, relationships with colleagues and communication skills.

The Scheme can also assist with transport to and from the workplace where the participant has a mobility impairment, or equipment such as a wheelchair or a hearing aid. Personal care can also be funded, where a participant needs assistance while at work.

The Scheme will not fund the cost of educational attainment, such as course fees or other student fees. These remain the responsibility of the education system and individuals.

NDIS and people over the age of 65 years. Am I eligible for the NDIS if I currently receive specialist disability services funding (a funding package) and turn age 65 by the time the NDIS commences in my geographical area?

No, you are not eligible for the NDIS as you are over 65 years of age. However, the South Australian and Commonwealth Governments, through the ‘no disadvantage principle’ have agreed that people aged 65 and over who are currently receiving South Australian supports and services, will continue to be provided with continuity of support that is consistent with their funding arrangements to achieve similar outcomes.

‘No disadvantage’ is essentially the commitment that people who become participants in the NDIS should be able to achieve at least the same outcomes. However, this does not mean you will always have the same level of funding or supports provided in the same way. Where the NDIS does not fund a support you previously received under another program, the NDIA will help you to find other supports so you can achieve similar outcomes.

Will it ever support elderly people?

There is no plan for this. People over the age of 65 years will be eligible for services through the Commonwealth Aged Care sector.

What if DCSI cuts funding?

The Bilateral Agreement between the Federal and SA Governments lays out the terms and conditions of the funding transferring over to the NDIS and must be adhered to. From 1 July 2018, NDIS will be the primary agency for administering and funding disability services in Australia. Existing disability sector agencies need to register with NDIS to become an approved provider of services. PQSA and HomeCare+ are registered providers for the NDIS.

The clients may not have the capability or the education to use the funds in a way which benefits their wellbeing.

Under the NDIS, participants will be able to choose to:

  • Self manage your own funding package
  • Ask the NDIA to manage your funding for you
  • Arrange for another organisation to assist you with managing your funding
  • Apply to have their funding plan adjusted accordingly as individual circumstances or needs change

Can it be abused by unentitled clients/services?

No. Everybody accessing the NDIS will be assessed for eligibility. To be eligible, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Have a permanent and significant disability that affects your ability to take part in everyday activities
  • Be aged less than 65 when you first access the scheme. You will be able to continue accessing the scheme after age 65
  • Be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen who holds a Protected Special Category Visa
  • Live in a trial site location or access when it is at full scheme

Will the services be limited in remote areas?

The NDIA held its first remote disability service provider forum in Adelaide in March 2016. This event was attended by people with disability who live in remote areas, as well as current and prospective remote disability service providers from across Australia. The forum participants shared views on the range of disability service delivery models and responses that work best in remote and very remote regions.

At this time, there is no further information on the outcome of this forum. It would be expected that existing services will continue with the principle of “no disadvantage” applying.

How long do payments take to commence?

Payments are able to commence once your plan has been made available on the ‘myplace’ participant portal or ‘myplace’ provider portal. How payments are made will depend on how your plan is being administered; that is, whether you are self-managing your plan or using an agency.

Funding may run out as NDIS may underestimate the amount of people who could qualify

All State and Territory Governments have made a commitment that if you were receiving supports before becoming a participant in the NDIS, you should not be disadvantaged by your transition to the NDIS. The commitment is that people who become participants in the NDIS should be able to achieve at least the same outcomes under the NDIS.

This does not mean that you will always have the same level of funding or supports provided in the same way. You will have access to reasonable and necessary supports consistent with the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013.

Where the NDIS does not fund a support you previously received under another program, the NDIA will seek to identify alternative supports or refer you to other systems with a view to ensuring you are able to achieve substantially the same outcomes as a participant in the NDIS.

Concern about the reliability of the new system

Changes this great in the disability sector will raise concerns such as reliability and it is hoped that many of the ‘risks’ will have been mitigated through the trial period of the NDIS.

Is the budget big enough?

The State Government funding to the disability sector will be transferring over to the NDIS as agreed by the Bilateral Agreement and Operational Plan for the identified participants. The NDIS will be responsible for funding of future clients into the program.

Will the scheme run for a long enough period of time? Will it cost too much to maintain?

The NDIS is the largest social reform in Australia since the introduction of Medicare. The NDIS is here for the long-term and will be replacing state and territory funding.

How smoothly will the scheme run and will it be a quick process to start? Will the scheme be implemented quickly for clients?

For people already receiving specialist disability services, either funded or directly provided by DCSI at the time of transition into the scheme, a streamlined eligibility and intake transition into the scheme has been committed to.

Specialist Disability Services are defined as:

  • Supported Accommodation
  • Community Access
  • Community Support
  • Respite

Will contacting the NDIS be difficult?

The NDIS will make themselves available through the Australia wide telephone number and generic email addresses. An automatic reply may be sent to you advising of the timeframe to get a reply.

The contact details are:

Email:

elizabeth@ndis.gov.au

modbury@ndis.gov.au

noarlunga@ndis.gov.au

portadelaide@ndis.gov.au

stmarys@ndis.gov.au

murraybridge@ndis.gov.au

Telephone:

1800 800 110 between 8am – 11pm local time, Monday to Friday

If you require a translator or other assistance, phone 1800 800 110

If you are a Text telephone (TTY) user, phone 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 800 110

If you are a Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech relay) user, phone 1800 555 727 then ask for 1800 800 110

If you are an internet relay user, visit the National Relay Service website and ask for 1800 800 110