Sarah’s tip the balance story

Tipping the balance logo showing a smiley emoji and a sad emoji on scales with the NDIS logo underneath

Before transitioning to the NDIS all my costs to attend conferences both international, around Australia and New Zealand were paid for out of my funding package through ADHC (Department of Family and Community Services). When transitioning to the NDIS in 2016 I was advised that “no one will be worse off and disadvantaged under the NDIS what you use your existing funding for you will be able to use your NDIS funding for make sure you put everything in your plan that you use your existing funding for now when you have your planning meeting with your local area coordinator or NDIA planner if you don’t put everything in your plan at your planning meeting that you do now it will not be funded”. Before the planning meeting pre-planned and sent all the information to the Local Area Coordinator ready for the planning meeting, after the planning meeting and received the plan everything that I asked for was not funded, the plan that was approved could not use it and had to send all the money back to the NDIA. The NDIS has made me feel disadvantaged and worse off, have had to apply for a number of reviews, the flexibility is not the same as to what I had previously, now have limited choices to choose from instead of having the same flexibility and greater choice and control. Service providers do not listen to what I ask for and have no access to services as the services do not fund what I ask for, NDIA planners and Local Area Coordinators do not listen to people with disabilities/NDIS participants on what they want. The NDIS is about participants having their say on what they want to achieve. NDIS are spending more on legal fees and sending people to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal instead of being more flexible and involving people with disabilities/NDIS participants in the decision making process at all times the NDIA expect the participant/people with disabilities to agree to the decision.