In The Media | 6 March 2017

NDIS enrolments surging, but at what expense?

The number of people joining the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) jumped dramatically in the last three months of 2016, according to official figures.

Close to 26,000 people signed on — three times the number who joined in the previous quarter.

“We see it as a really positive step,” said Maryanne Diamond, from the agency that runs the scheme, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

Ms Diamond is the spokeswoman for the NDIA’s quarterly reports.

The latest numbers are a big turnaround from the first quarterly report of the scheme’s “transition” phase, when only 7,400 new participants were enrolled. That was well below initial targets.

“In the first quarter … the number was far less than what had been hoped [for] and expected,” Ms Diamond said.

Many of those trying to join the scheme said the NDIS web portal often did not work.

Other complaints included difficulty in reaching the agency over the phone, and planning meetings where scheme participants’ goals and objectives were ignored.

The agency said the problems were being addressed.

Source: ABC News