News | 2 July 2019

Health vs Disability – the good news for NDIS participants

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A red and a blue boxing glove, hitting each other.

Some good news late last week for all those sick of the argy bargy between the NDIS and health over who should pay for what.

Just in case you missed it, all the Disability Ministers from around the country met last Friday on the Gold Coast and finally agreed what health supports the NDIS will pay for.

The list now includes:

  • Dysphagia supports, including swallowing therapy
  • Support to manage diabetes, including daily care where a person cannot manage themselves due to their disability
  • Continence support, including catheter changes and cleaning
  • Wound and pressure care, including lymphedema garments
  • Respiratory supports, including tracheostomy equip and CPAP machines
  • Nutrition support, including PEG and HEN equipment and thickeners
  • Podiatry
  • Epilepsy supports including seizure monitoring

The changes will be introduced from October 1.

The statement from the meeting says that in deciding whether any health support will be included in an NDIS plan, “a practical approach to each participant’s individual circumstances” will be taken.

It also says more information for participants and their families will be released soon.

The Department of Social Service website has a full list of all the supports that have been agreed to.

There are also some questions and answers which you may find helpful.

One note of caution – we have seen some chatter on social media suggesting this is the list of what makes people eligible for the NDIS. That is not what it means – people still have to go through the usual eligibility process. This is list is what can be funded in their NDIS plan ONCE they are a participant.

Well done to all of the people with disability, families, advocates, and organisations who have been fighting to get this fixed since day dot.

The Communique also contains a summary of what else the Minister’s got up to when they met. But be warned – you will need google translate to make sense of it all.


If you can’t bear the thought of wading through all that bureaucratic doublespeak, this is the highlight reel:


Finally some agreement on who is responsible for what and who will pay for what when it comes to children in voluntary-out-of-home care. From September 1 this year, the NDIS will change what can be funded through an NDIS plan including 24/7 care, staffing (including overnight staffing), disability supports (including home modifications where necessary), and specialist support coordination. Great news that this really important area is finally getting sorted out.


The creation of a National Hospital Discharge Action Plan to reduce the number and length of stays in hospital by NDIS participants. Again long overdue but again great to see some action.


To the creation of an “NDIS Reserve Fund” to fund projects to improve the performance of the NDIS. No information on what it will fund or where the money will come from. Stay tuned.


The introduction of a Participant Service Guarantee. This was one of the Morrison government’s election commitments. The guarantee will establish set timeframes for entering the scheme, getting a plan and reviews. No detail on when or where or how. Again stay tuned.


A reminder that the NDIS Act is due to be reviewed this year. The statement says the review will focus on “removing legislative impediments to NDIS processes and removing red tape for participants and providers”. Sounds good – but it will be important to make sure people with disability and their families have their say about what changes matter most to them.


If you want to read more you can check out the Communique and fact sheet on the Department of Social Services website.

There is also a summary of the meeting on the NDIS website.

And here’s our translation of a COAG DRC meeting from this time last year.


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