Disability Reform Council Update July 2019

In case you missed it, Australia’s Disability Ministers met on Friday 28 June on the Gold Coast as part of the first Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council (the Council) for 2019. Together with the Commonwealth Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Minister for Government Services, the Hon Stuart Robert MP as Chairperson of the Council, it was finally agreed what health supports the NDIS will pay for where they are a part of the participant’s daily life and result directly from the participant’s disability.

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 1 October 2019.

To read the full meeting communique, including a full list of all the supports that have been agreed to click here.

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 list is what can be funded in their NDIS plan ONCE they are a participant.

Other highlights from the COAG meeting include:

Clarification and agreement of the responsibilities for children in voluntary-out-of-home care due to complex disability needs. From 1 September 2019, the NDIS will deliver an improved funding model which can fund supports including 24/7 care, staffing (including overnight staffing), disability supports (including home modifications where necessary), and specialist support coordination. 

The creation of a National Hospital Discharge Action Plan to reduce the number and length of stays in hospital by NDIS participants. The plan jointly commits the NDIA, DSS and State and Territory governments to resolve key discharge delay issues in areas including home modifications, assistive technology, communication, accommodation and clinical supports.

The DSS will initiate an Act Review to assess the operation of the NDIS Act, with a focus on removing legislative impediments to NDIS processes and removing red tape for participants.

The creation of an “NDIS Reserve Fund” to fund projects to improve the performance of the NDIS. Further consultations on the design of this fund will occur later this year. 

The introduction of a Participant Service Guarantee. This was one of the Morrison government’s election commitments. The guarantee will establish set time frames for entering the scheme, getting a plan and reviews. 

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