Following the 2022 Federal election that occurred earlier in the year, the elected Labour Government appointed a Federal Minister for NDIS in the Honourable Bill Shorten. This is the first time since NDIS’s conception that a government minister has been appointed to the National Disability Insurance Scheme itself. This appointment indicates that the federal government has a strong commitment to the National Disability Insurance Scheme and are focused on addressing some pain points within the scheme as well as ensuring its long-term viability. The Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award is the industry award and late in the financial year 2021-2022, it underwent a review. Outcomes of the review meant that some changes to award conditions were implemented from the start of the new financial year being 1 July 2022. Examples of some areas that have been updated include minimum shift lengths, broken shift allowances, damaged clothing allowances and cancelled services. Overall, the award received an increase of 4.6% to the hourly rate of employees.
Disability Support for Older Australians (DSOA) is the funding program that supports our clients that do not qualify for NDIS however at the time that NDIS was implemented, these clients were supported by state administrated specialist disability services (previously known as Continuance of Service COS). This program has been extended to 1 January 2023 and communication regarding its operation post that date is expected from NSW Health in mid-late October 2022.
Very pleasingly, in line with the well-publicised rise in inflation along with the increases to minimum wages, the National Disability Insurance Agency has increased its approved funding levels for all NDIS participants by 9% in order to ensure sufficient levels of support and service is provided to all participants.