The way people apply for the NDIS is about to change. At the moment, people who want to apply for NDIS funding often have to go through a rigorous process to obtain evidence of their disability and how it affects their every day life.
This process can be confusing, time consuming and very expensive. It is often unclear what type of evidence you need and many people are “knocked back” during their first application attempt and are required to find further supporting evidence.
With the new changes, set to come into fruition mid-2021, the application process will be simpler and more equitable.
The NDIA are selecting independent healthcare professionals who will be responsible for conducting all assessments, meaning that the process will be the same for everyone and fairer than it has been previously.
The assessors will be engaged by the NDIA but they will not be employees of the NDIA and are therefore independent. Assessments themselves will be more structured and all potential NDIS participants will go through the same procedure. Internationally recognised, evidence-based, consistent tools will be used to provide assessment of a person’s functional capacity.
The independent assessors will come from a range of medial health professions, such as:
- Occupational therapists
- Other specialists
This change also means that people will have access to assessors all across the country including remote and regional areas.
Assessments will be free!
Along with accessibility, one of the most positive results of this change is that these NDIS assessments will be free. At the moment, a lot of people end up spending huge amounts of money trying to gather evidence from a variety of health professionals in order to “prove” their disability and its impact on their day to day life.
The new process may not suit everyone
As with any change, it may take some time before this new process feels comfortable. There are some concerns amongst the disability community that the changes are unfair and could cause upset for some potential NDIS participants.
The structure around the new process and the desire to have every assessment follow the same course may result in NDIS participants to be treated like numbers, rather than people.
As well as that, those who are very comfortable and familiar with their current medical/health professionals may feel some anxiety about meeting a new assessor and having to explain their disability to yet another new person.
Change isn’t always easy and the new process may not suit everyone. However, overall, the purpose and goal of this change is to provide every person with disability equal opportunity to access the NDIS.
It also means that people in remote and rural areas won’t be excluded and potential NDIS participants will not waste thousands of dollars trying to scrape together the right evidence for their application.
While there may be some teething issues, we’re confident that these will be ironed out and the NDIA will continue to listen to feedback to make sure the new process is the best option for people with disability to access help and support.