In The Media | 21 April 2017

NDIA to Appeal Disability Transport Ruling as Test Case

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is to appeal a Federal Court decision over funding arrangements for transport costs under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, claiming it will be a test case for the future viability of the scheme.

The agency said in a statement on Tuesday it had carefully considered the Federal Court decision handed down on 28 March 2017 in relation to the case of 21-year-old Geelong man Liam McGarrigle who has autism spectrum disorder and an intellectual disability.

McGarrigle challenged an earlier ruling that the NDIS pay only 75 per cent of his necessary transport costs. The court heard that McGarrigle, who lived 25 kilometres from Geelong, spent nearly $15,850 per year on taxis transporting him to and from his work and NDIS-supported activities.

Justice Debbie Mortimer ruled that the decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal erred in law and should be set aside and ordered the tribunal to reconsider the matter.

The McGarrigle decision is set to benefit thousands of NDIS participants who live in remote localities if the NDIS is made to fund 100 per cent of transport costs.

However, the NDIA argues the decision could have significant implications for the ongoing viability of the $22 billion NDIS.

Source: Pro Bono Australia