NOFASD Australia is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Health.

DELAYED INTRODUCTION OF INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENTS

DELAYED INTRODUCTION OF INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENTS

The NDIA are seeking feedback from NDIS participants, other individuals living with disability, their families, community members, professionals, organisations, advocates and others.

Background information

The Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Stuart Robert, recently announced that compulsory independent assessments would be introduced for individuals applying for the NDIS. The NDIS stated that the introduction of these independent assessments aims to provide an understanding of functional capacity and the overall impact of a person’s disability, to allow the NDIS to make more consistent decisions.

Compulsory independent assessments were planned to roll out early in 2021, however many individuals within the community and disability sectors expressed concerns about the impacts that independent assessments could have. Many community members and families are concerned that independent assessments will create another layer of challenges and barriers to applying for, and accessing, NDIS supports and funding. For more information on the concerns about independent assessments click here.

 

What is happening now?

The Minister for the NDIS has now announced that the legislation to introduce independent assessments has been delayed and the draft legislation is out for consultation – meaning the NDIS wants your feedback. The NDIS has released discussion papers which explain the proposed changes, how they will work and what they mean for participants.

This is excellent news for individuals, families, carers and communities who will be directly impacted by these changes. This means that it is time to voice your opinions and have your say!

The three consultation papers are:

Access and eligibility policy for independent assessments

Planning policy for personalised budgets and plan flexibility

Supporting young children and their families early, to reach their full potential 

More information about these papers is provided below.

 

How to make a submission on the access and eligibility policy for independent assessments

Download the consultation paper:

You can respond to just one, some, or all of the questions asked by the NDIA. You may choose to type your answers into the easy read forms above or respond to them in your own way. Submissions can be made in written, video or audio formats (accepted formats are PDF, DOC, DOCX, MP3, MOV, AVI, TXT, with a 20MB limit).

Upload your submission to the NDIS by clicking here and completing the consultation submission form.

Submissions close at 10.00am ADST Tuesday 23 February 2021.

The NDIA are asking the following questions:

  1. What will people who apply for the NDIS need to know about the independent assessments process? How this information is best provided?
  2. What should we consider in removing the access lists?
  3. How can we clarify evidence requirements from health professionals about a person’s disability and whether or not it is, or is likely to be, permanent and life long?
  4. How should we make the distinction between disability and chronic, acute or palliative health conditions clearer?
  5. What are the traits and skills that you most want in an assessor?
  6. What makes this process the most accessible that it can be? For example, is it by holding the assessment in your home?
  7. How can we ensure independent assessments are delivered in a way that considers and promotes cultural safety and inclusion?
  8. What are the limited circumstances which may lead to a person not needing to complete an independent assessment?
  9. How can we best monitor the quality of independent assessments being delivered and ensure the process is meeting participant expectations?
  10. How should we provide the assessment results to the person applying for the NDIS?

Upload your submission to the NDIS by clicking here before Tuesday 23rd February.

 

Details about the other NDIS consultation papers

To make a submission about the personalised budgets or supporting young children papers, click on their titles below.

Planning policy for personalised budgets and plan flexibility. The NDIS invites you to give feedback on:

  • How independent assessments will be used to help determine a participant’s NDIS budget
  • How participants will have more flexibility in their NDIS budgets
  • Where funding will be ‘fixed’ (not flexible)
  • Plan implementation
  • Making changes to NDIS plans and check-ins

Supporting young children and their families early, to reach their full potential. The NDIS invites you to give feedback on:

  • The age group best suited to receive early childhood services and whether this should be changed from under seven years of age, to under nine years
  • How independent assessments will be used to determine eligibility and budgets for participants over 12 months of age
  • Short Term Early Intervention (STEI), which is the early support that is offered whether or not a child is eligible for the NDIS
  • Planning and implementation of best practice supports
  • Support for young children and families to transition to the next stage of their lives, if they are no longer eligible for the NDIS.

 

At NOFASD, we strongly encourage anyone impacted to have their say. Your feedback is a valuable component in determining the future of the NDIS. These changes need to be made right, and community consultation is imperative to this process being empowering and inclusive in order to develop the best processes possible. Thank you to everyone who completed our recent survey, sharing your concerns about independent assessments. The information received from families is being compiled into a report to be submitted.

 

Further reading

Information about independent assessments from the AFDO Disability Loop

VALID’s statement about independent assessments

More about the NDIS reforms

NOFASD’s blog about independent assessments

 

Read more NOFASD Australia blogs

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