Finally, some good news for those on NDIS waiting list

WAITING times for children with disabilities to get access to cash and support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme have been slashed, while a review of legislation will seek ways to further cut red tape.

NDIS Minister Stuart Robert will make the announcement in his National Press Club address in Canberra today.

The waiting time for children to get a support plan after being approved for access has dropped from 104 days to 54 days.

 

NDIS Minister Stuart Robert will reveal today that waiting times for children with disabilities to access support plans have been halved. Picture: Luke Marsden.
NDIS Minister Stuart Robert will reveal today that waiting times for children with disabilities to access support plans have been halved. Picture: Luke Marsden.

Mr Robert said more generally, support plans were being approved more quickly.

By September the wait time had dropped to 88 days, or almost three months, from more than 130 days.

"It is also a key priority to tackle the time it is taking to approve assistive technology and home modifications for participants - whether it be a motorised wheelchair, a prosthetic or a bathroom renovation," he said.

Mr Robert said long wait times had been "one of the key concerns experienced by some participants" and their families.

He said former senior public servant David Tune was continuing with a review into the NDIS Act to find ways to "streamline processes and cut red tape".

Mr Robert will say Australians with disabilities and their families now had "unprecedented choice and control", but admitted there were still issues to overcome.

"Unfortunately, I have also heard the NDIS is not always living up to high expectations," he said. "We will continue to focus on resolving these existing pressure points and implementing service changes to ensure we have quicker access and quality decision making for participants and their families."

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) logo.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) logo.

Issues to be addressed include further cuts to wait time, ensuring participants have a single point of contact with the National Disability Insurance Agency and increasing the number of participants with support plans greater than 12 months.

The NDIA has had recent troubles, including its previous chief executive Robert De Luca resigning on the eve of federal election to take up a job with Zenitas Healthcare, which listed the NDIS as its ­second-largest revenue source.

Mr Robert appointed Martin Hoffman as the new NDIA boss last month, having previously appointed the respected public servant to a taskforce to reform the Department of Human Services.


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