Yooralla and the NDIS

This is from the Yooralla NDIS forum I attended last week. My own question is included as well.

The projected roll-out date of the NDIS is in April 2018, and it was explained that prior to this, we will receive letters and phone calls to get started into planning. When it rolls out, it will roll out earlier for those people on the disability support register and those in shared support accommodation. To access the NDIS, there are certain criteria required to deem eligibility, including being under the age of 65. There is no need to prove your disability as DHHS already have the details and will provide it to the NDIS.

The NDIS pays for things such as: help for a disability support worker, disability equipment (all fully funded), mobility allowance (which is not the same as transport allowance), and everyday expenses. These are highlighted in the price guide and are determined by complexity – by this, the NDIS does not look at the complexity of the disability but the complexity of the individual’s circumstance.

The NDIS is a goal based plan, which allows for goals that are general, broad, and allows flexibility. Those approved to be on the NDIS will need to come up with about 4-5 goals, and once these goals have been worked out, you will be given help to reach them – i.e. support.

There are three different types of supports. The first type is mainstream support. For example, if a person wants to go to the doctor, it will be covered by Medicare, so the NDIS will not cover that cost. However, if you need help to be able to get there, that transportation cost will be covered by the NDIS. The second type of support is community support. Here, for example, if you like playing chess and you want to join the local chess club, and it costs $50, the NDIS will not pay for that because it is a common interest. The last type of support is informal support which is the support you receive from families – the NDIS will try their utmost to uphold this support. Moreover, the NDIS will fund support that is reasonably necessary.

The NDIS will account for your goals, if they relate to your disability. They will look for the most cost-effective way to achieve it – this does not mean less quality, the NDIS aims to spend money thoughtfully and gain value for money. The NDIS promotes socioeconomic participation: for example, anything that gets you out into the community, maybe to find a job, gives you a double tick from the NDIS’ eyes. Furthermore, they are evidence based and not experimental, so there must be objective evidence that your goals will help you.

The NDIS gives individuals the choice and control of how the money will be exchanged. The NDIS can pay service providers on your behalf, or you can self manage payments (meaning you will have to pay your service provider and keep records of it), or you use a financial intermediary. There is also an option to self manage only 10% of the funds.

To me, this sounded good. But in the forum, I posed a question to the guest speakers regarding some of my concerns about the NDIS as well. It is as follows:

This is from Doctor Peter Gibilisco. There are 9 residents. 5 of us have high support needs. And only 4 support workers are in attendance for their morning and night shifts and 1 sleepover from 11 pm to 7 am. Yooralla policies state that 2 support workers must be in attendance when supporting a person with high support needs. A good friend of mine who is a strong advocate for the NDIS has told me 9 people in a residence is an institution. I know from the NDIS Guidelines, it states that a maximum of 7 residents are allowed to participate. So what will happen with Dunblane?

The answer they gave me was full of rhetoric. To me, there was no coherent substance in what they were saying. I am still awaiting an emailed answer, as I do not want to suffer more of the same. It sounds to me like though the NDIS is a good thing, Yooralla will do anything in their power to save money for their management.

A special thanks to Christina Irugalbandara for her excellence in academic support work.

 

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Author: petergibilisco

Researcher, author and advocate. Bachelor of Business Accounting, PhD from Melbourne University. Dealing with issues involving disability.

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