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Top 3 take-away’s from the latest NDIS report

The National Disability Insurance Agency has recently released more information about how the NDIS is working (or not working!). Buried in the detail are some very important items that NDIS participants and families should keep in mind when using their NDIS plans each year.

A white number 3 against an orange background

Every 3 months the NDIA produces quarterly reports which talk about what supports NDIS Participants are using. Here are CareAbout’s top 3 takeouts:

1. Plan utilisation is still very low

The NDIA reports that during the last full year of operation in 2017-18, plan utilisation was at its highest for participants who were on their fifth plan, compared to a utilisation rate of 50% for participants on their first plan.

The data shows that people on their first plan only use half of it, and a few years later use three-quarters of it.

The NDIA says underutilisation occurs because there are new participants including those who haven’t received supports before and are less familiar with their plan and how the providers work.

At CareAbout we think it doesn’t really make sense to not use your NDIS plan, and we think people should be supported to understand their plan and connect with providers who do not have waiting lists.

2. Assistive Technology

Initiatives are underway to improve the timeliness of decision making to fund Assistive Technology.

Quotes for items below $1,500 will no longer be required and a dedicated quotes team is being established.

Hopefully this speeds up the process, as CareAbout is hearing from lots of you that it is taking a long time.

CareAbout is partnered with Assistive Technology providers and is also able to connect with specialist report writers including Occupational Therapists who can assist with developing quotes for now, or your next NDIS plan.  Combining Assistive Technology and Therapy in one referral by CareAbout makes it easier to trial more complex technology and write the reports the NDIA needs.

3. Employment

The NDIA is also very focussed on employment. After all, one of the main purposes of the NDIS is to lift the social and economic participation of people with disability and their carers.

The number of NDIS Participants in employment is at 21% which is very low.

Of these, for people aged 15 to 24 years, 2 in 5 (41%) are working in open employment while a third working in Disability Enterprises (35%). This could be a promising sign as for people aged 25 years and older who are in employment, only 1 in 3 are in open employment (33%) while half are in Disability Enterprises (49%). It will be interesting to watch this area develop.

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