From Sunday, 28 February, NDIS participants will no longer be able to claim support coordination line items under their Core Supports budget in NDIS plans. For many, this means being disconnected from an important lifeline at short notice. This is unfair and, in some cases, unsafe.
The chief executive officers of Mind Australia, Neami National, Open Minds, Flourish Australia, One Door, Stride, Mentis Assist and Wellways Australia are all in agreement that the short notice the NDIA has provided to NDIS participants – of just two days – has seen the NDIA pull the rug from under some of the most vulnerable Australians, especially at a time when the Commonwealth Government is winding back Job Keeper and the impacts of the global pandemic continue to be felt.
Laura Collister, CEO of Wellways Australia and group spokesperson said “support coordination helps participants to build connections with informal, community and funded supports and assists them to build skills to understand, implement and use their plans”.
“Our organisations collectively call on the NDIA to rethink this move that will see Wellways participants without access to much needed support coordination,” said Ms Collister.
“We are all extremely disappointed the NDIA has not consulted with or given any advance indication of the forthcoming change to NDIS participants, disability peak bodies or NDIS providers before making this change.
“Participants must be given more than two days to come to terms with changes to their plans. It is only fair that the NDIA immediately delay the decision to cease funding at short notice and give participants ample time to consider this impact on their NDIS plans,” said Ms Collister.
Access to support coordination out of participants’ core supports budgets was put in place during COVID-19 in 2020, to give participants access to more support coordination funds, including to those who required increased support due to crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.