Monday, February 13, 2017

NDIS Facts or Fiction

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme, known as the NDIS rolls out, many people set to benefit from the scheme are frustrated and confused. Like any new operational system their are hitches in the system and technology is not keeping up as more participates come online.
My advice eat some chocolate
and read on . . .
I have always been concerned about some of the preamble leading up to the roll out of the NDIS . . .and it would lead to disappointment for many. Sorting fact from fiction is proving difficult as the NDIA staff and its website struggles to unite all Australians living with disability into one commonwealth system.
Disappoint # 1
So people through if they were currently supported under state systems they would automatically switch over to the NDIS. This was never going to be the case.  As we move towards a system that takes a more individual approach and is based on the things people with disabilities want their lives to look like.
This is what the NDIS refers to when they are discussing participant goals. Initially, some of the discussion around setting goals use examples we know now are not being covered by NDIS like overseas holidays.  It appears the NDIA is not covering the expenses of a support worker traveling with participants.
The NDIA talks about funding supports that are 'reasonable' and 'necessary' to allowing those living with disability to achieve their goals.

Disappointment # 2

Here lies the conflict of what I see as 'reasonable' is different too the terms stated on the NDIS website.  I thought travel expense for a support person interstate while working was 'reasonable'.  Turns out the NDIA see travel as a 'luxury'. That it assumes people with disability can't afford.
Here lies an assumption of what our lives look like and propels the welfare model of disability, something we fought hard to stamp out.
Disappointment # 3
The NDIS was to hand people with disability and their families choice and control of their futures.  This is proving not to be the case and some people needing to hire support coordinators due to the NDIA planners perception' of the families ability.
I have always question whether we as a society were ready to allow people with disabilities to self-direct the own supports and where duty of care starts and finishes.
Disappointment # 4
The definition of 'support' has changed.  The NDIS covers a border range of 'supports'. It now include therapies, transport, supported accommodation, equipment and modifications.  As well as a whole range of costs that was previously unseen but still paid for under the states care.
Costs like administration, coordination of supports, staff recruitment and staff training. Now that the funding is given directly to participants in the NDIS and not service providers, organisations still need to charge these costs to your package.  Until now many people did not know the dollar value of their package. Largely in Queensland we were told the hours or no of days in day respite we could access.  We had no idea of what that looked like in terms of dollar amounts.
We seem upset about paying for things that our funding has always paid for.   What a support worker is paid per hour is not the costs of actual service delivery.  Those using providers for services are going to pay more per hour than those who directly employ their support staff, because they are doing their own administration, need to pay for police checks, superannuation, work cover, public liability and equipment insurance.
Many people I talk to think support workers are over paid and services over change.  Having worked in the industry I know services need to fundraise and apply for additional funding to cover services delivery costs.  The fact is the packages of individuals combined never paid for all service delivery costs. 
This is easily proven by requesting a copy of the organisations annual report.  It is easy to judge what we do not understand. Unless you are self-managing your supports cost more than what the worker is paid, all costs are calculated into your package amount.
I have no doubt that some providers may be over price by in the main given the level of accountability in the sector overprice is very difficult to maintain when a service is audited.

Disappointment # 5
Is cause by our own interpuration of what is fair and what we think we are entitled too. Sometimes our own judgements are tainted.
I think some people thought privation meat we as participants would not be bound by awards and employee obligations.  People would be happy with 30 p/h ..., This is not the case if you are self-managing you are trading as a business and bound by industry, small business and taxation laws.
With choice and flexibility come responsibility and an investment of time.  Even for those who allow the NDIA to administration their package need to work out the goals and write a plan to receive funding.
Are you ready?
The NDIA Ipswich office are already calling clients and requesting plans and documentation.  July 1 is not a flick of a switch.  You need to get up to speed or risk a gap in service. You need to know what you want; how you want your life to look like; how you intend to achieve your goals and the support you have now.  These are the determines in what you package will include.
To avoid major disappointment ask someone like a current provider to ensure you not left anything out. If you not got something call My First Plan you are now behind the game.  You need to pull that finger out and start asking for help to get up to speed.
Time to leave La La Land and head to the website download the documents or contact you current provider for a template and start writing.
You can message me for a free information booklet.

For Facts the website is your first port of call.

No comments:

Post a Comment