As of late June 2018, all of New Haven Farm Home’s clients participating in the NDIS, have a current plan.
Varying from last year’s NDIS plans, the Supported Independent Living (SIL) budget for each of our clients has been reduced. However, many clients have received a community participation budget, which compliments their SIL budget.
Community participation funds can only be used where the client has an identified community participation activity, which is set out in a program and where the client is supported by our staff. Each client has a person specific budget, which is related to their support needs.
As I mentioned in our last newsletter, there have been a number of issues regarding the payment of outstanding NDIS invoices. In March 2018 the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) set up a National Provider Payments Team to assist Service Providers in finalising outstanding invoices. This team will expand its function to increase engagement with the provider sector to understand its business needs.
From October 2018, changes to the NDIS participant pathway will be implemented across Australia. The revised pathway will include the offer of face-to-face planning meetings to all participants and an increased focus on pre-planning and post-plan implementation.
The Government has announced additional staff for the NDIA to deliver this, entailing:
• an additional 750 staff over the next 12 months and training of all planners and front-line staff;
• an increase to the NDIA’s staffing cap (to 3,138 this year; 3,230 next year; and 3,400 thereafter); and
• amendments to the NDIS Act to increase the number of NDIA staff members who can make access decisions and approve plans.
The Government has been subject to criticism for maintaining a tight staff cap on the NDIA at a time when the NDIA needs to lift its capacity and capability. Raising the staff cap, however, is only part of the solution; there is considerable experience and expertise in the non-government disability services sector on which the Agency should draw to improve the quality of planning.
Federal Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme is undertaking two new inquiries, one into ICT infrastructure and the other into the provision of assistive technology.
We are pleased that the Committee is investigating the poorly-performing ICT infrastructure.
– Jacques Stap
Chief Executive Officer