Swan, Kalamunda and Mundaring residents could be missing out on NDIS benefits


NDIS engagement business |support officer Emma Riley and |engagement outreach officer Patsy O'Grady at an information stall at Forrestfield Shopping |Centre. Picture: David Baylis           d452091
NDIS engagement business |support officer Emma Riley and |engagement outreach officer Patsy O'Grady at an information stall at Forrestfield Shopping |Centre. Picture: David Baylis         d452091

NDIS Midland engagement director Kerry Stopher said she believed about 4000 people in the area would be eligible.

“So far we’ve engaged only around 1700 people who meet the criteria for receiving help from the scheme,” she said.

“The NDIS is for anyone from zero to 65 with severe or ongoing disabilities, or mental health disorders.

“We develop a plan that emphasises what their goals are, what support they already have from family, the community and other mainstream disability services, and what extra funded support they need so they can reach their goals.”

The three councils are part of the two-year Perth Hills trial site, which ends on June 30.

Engagement outreach officer Patsy |O’Grady said the NDIS had organised ‘reach out’ services in the local area to catch more people.

“The outreach is focused on those we don’t have already who might not know about it,” she said.

“There may be people out there who don’t realise it’s not income-based.

“They might be working full-time and not realise they’re eligible, and then at the other end of the scale we have people who are very vulnerable and disadvantaged by literacy problems or cultural barriers who may be unaware of the scheme and not able to access it.”

Ms O’Grady said the NDIS was using a ‘catchment’ strategy to engage more people who met the criteria.

“We spend time at places like Karnany (Swan Emergency Accommodation), catching people there and supporting them through the process. We also partner with other organisations out there who would be aware of these people.

“It’s getting that missed group of people, people in the gap, that’s really what we’re trying to do at the moment.”

NDIS outreach officers are holding information stalls in the local area in the hope of engaging more people who are eligible.

“We had a stand set up at the Forrestfield Shopping Centre a fortnight ago,” Ms |O’Grady said.

“Soon we will be doing outreach services at Midland Gate and Midland Centrepoint as well.”

Ms Stopher said WA was unique because it had two other trial sites, which were state-run.

“The Perth Hills trial site is run by the Federal Government,” she said.

“Whereas residents living in the shires of Cockburn and Kwinana, as well as those in the lower South-West region, are part of a trial called My Way.”

Last month, West Australians taking part in the trials were assured they would continue to receive support after the trial period ended.

Last week Premier Colin Barnett warned of a funding black hole in the $22 billion scheme and said the rollout for the NDIS was progressing fairly slowly.

However, a spokeswoman for Federal Social Services Minister and Pearce MHR Christian Porter denied there had been a budget blowout, but said the full NDIS rollout would be delayed in WA despite beginning in other states.