NDIS to start but concerns remain

The disability and aged care agency will provide support to people funded by the NDIS when it goes live on July 1.

Mr O’Meara Smith said it was great to see the state and federal governments provide funding for the WA trial.

‘The NDIS now has the funding it needs to implement the trial, but of concern is that there is no funding allocated to affordable or accessible housing for people with a disability in the launch site or state,’ Mr O’Meara Smith said.

‘The NDIS will provide funding for home modifications, but where will the people we support access these homes if they are seeking to leave the family home now that they have the funding and support they needed for this their independent living?’

Mr O’Meara Smith said he was also concerned about proposed changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme, co-payment for doctor and hospital visits, and a change in the assessment and indexation for the disability support pension.

‘Many people with disability are financially vulnerable, and these changes create a real risk that they could struggle to meet their day-to-day expenses,’ he said.

The NDIS trial seeks to see how funding can be allocated to all people who qualify without having to sit on a waiting list.

Funding is based on an insurance principle: People who qualify will work through a process to identify their support needs and the funding they require to provide reasonable and necessary supports.

This could include therapy, assistive technologies and home modifications.

Previously in the state system, there was an application process and when people were identified as qualifying for funding they were put on a waiting list. Many would have to be deemed critical or urgent to rise to the top of the list.

The trial will affect 4300 |people in the Midland, Swan and Mundaring shires and will be coordinated through a new NDIS office in Midland.