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Independent Assessments: changes to NDIS eligibility & access

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Last updated: 23 December 2020

Changes to the NDIS Eligibility/Access process

There is much discussion around the changes proposed by the NDIS starting in 2021, we shine a spotlight on what we know so far.

Here is a summary of key changes proposed to the NDIS access and eligibility process:

  1. From mid-2021, people over the age of 7 who meet the initial access requirements of the NDIS will be referred for an independent assessment.
     

  2. Disability access lists will be removed from the access process. Instead, the NDIS will use independent assessments for all eligibility decisions.
     

  3. NDIS review and appeals processes will not change
     

  4. Eligibility Reassessments

1. Accessing the NDIS and independent assessments

If you have a disability and think you might be eligible for the NDIS, you will need to provide the NDIA with the same initial access requirements:

  • Details of your age
  • Australian residency
  • Evidence of your disability.
  • Evidence that your impairment is, or is likely to be, permanent

If you meet the initial eligibility criteria, the NDIS will refer you to an assessor for an independent assessment.

2. Independent assessments

The NDIA disability lists A-E will no longer be used to access eligibility, instead, an independent assessment will be performed.

After your independent assessment is completed, your assessor will send your independent assessment to the NDIA.

The NDIA will use this information to make a decision about whether you meet the access requirements of the NDIS.

3. Reviews and Appeals

If you don’t agree with the access decision made by the NDIS, the same review and appeals process is available. Find out more about requesting a review here.

4. Eligibility Reassessments

The NDIA has stated that "you may be asked to complete an independent assessment from time to time to make sure your NDIS plan and budget are right for you".

This may result in:

  1. You receiving more supports because your independent assessment shows that your needs have increased.
     
  2. You no longer need NDIS funded supports because your independent assessment shows your functional capacity has significantly improved.
     The NDIA will help you move out of the NDIS system to mainstream services like health and education.

NOTE: If your circumstances change, and you need the NDIS again, you can reapply to access the Scheme. 

Why is the NDIS making these changes?

The NDIA have acknowledged that many people applying for NDIS funding need reports from allied health professionals (and more) about the impact of their disability on their functional capacity.

Not only can wait times be long, but appointments to see doctors and specialists can also cost a lot of money.

The current process can also result in inconsistent decision making and a high number of review requests. 

With these new changes the NDIA wants to:

  • Implement a transparent and consistent national approach to determining access to the NDIS 
  • Decrease the financial burden and barriers to applying for NDIS funding - no more cost and capacity restrictions on getting the reports you need to apply.

There are many aspects of these proposals being questioned and investigated so we will wait and what the final outcome is.

HAVE YOUR SAY

The NDIA are inviting you to submit your thoughts about these new changes. You can write up a submission in word or even pdf and upload it with your details.

You can make a submission here by 10.00am ADST Tuesday 23 February 2021.

 

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