Minister for the NDIS Stuart Robert has announced HUGE changes to NDIS assessments. We’ve heard how worried you are about what these changes will mean for you – now it’s time for the Minister to hear it too.
The Minister says he plans to introduce “Independent Assessments” to the NDIS – not just for people wanting to apply for the scheme, but also for people with disability who are already NDIS participants.
What are Independent Assessments?
- People who want to apply for the NDIS will have to meet with an assessor who will be paid by the NDIS. They will do an assessment using standardised tools.
- The assessors are likely to be medical or allied health professionals such speech therapists, OTs or psychologists.
- These assessments will take somewhere between 1-4 hours. And that time limit includes writing a report. We’ve seen the tender and the time spent face-to-face with people might be as little as 20 minutes.
- And while these assessments will start with people who are applying for the scheme they will gradually be required for everyone who is already an NDIS participant when they have a plan review.
- There was a small trial of independent assessments last year. But a bigger trial was cancelled due to COVID19. Now this is being introduced without the results of the trial being released.
We’re really worried that these new assessments will add yet another layer of stress and red tape for participants and their families.
And we’re really concerned that the assessors will just use a “tick a box” system that won’t take into account individual circumstances.
We also need to know this is not a sneaky way to limit access to the scheme and save the government money.
The Tune review recommended introducing these assessments for people applying for the scheme – but only if there was consultation with people with disability and their families.
The Minister promised to talk to people with disability and their families about this big change.
He can start by coming clean and answering some simple questions.
Six simple questions
1. Will the assessments paid for by the NDIS be the only thing that determines eligibility for the NDIS? What if people have other assessments and evidence? How will they be used?
2. Will the assessments paid for the NDIS be the only thing to determine your plan and your funding? How will your individual circumstances be captured? What will happen if you have more than one disability?
3. What consultation did you do with people with disability and their families before deciding to introduce this?
4. Why won’t you release the results of the pilot?
5. Why is this being rushed through? Why have you ignored the recommendations of the Tune Review? Why won’t you pause this process and consult properly with people with disability and their families?
6. How can our community be assured this is not simply a cost cutting exercise to reduce access to the scheme? And reduce support for existing NDIS participants? What guarantee will you give that people will not be worse off?
And we need straight answers, not spin!
Will you email Minister Robert and ask him to answer everyone’s questions?