Clients need to see their draft NDIS plans

Clients need to see their draft NDIS plans

The Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has called on the Minister for Families and Social Services to intervene and allow clients of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to view their draft plans before they are submitted for final assessment.

Rebekha made the call after raising the issue in Question Time today, saying errors and misunderstandings in draft planning stage were leading to woefully inadequate plans, months of delay, and exclusion from services for people with disabilities.

“I was deeply concerned when Minister Paul Fletcher told me that people could just ask for an internal review if they found there was a problem with their final plan,” Rebekha said.

“NDIS participants and their families are telling me these reviews are taking weeks and often months to resolve.

“If a review is the only redress, then the Minister needs to do something about the timeframes involved and either change procedures or increase personnel at the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

“Frankly, I believe the easiest way forward is to simply allow clients and their families to see a draft of their plan so can get them right in the first place.

“Withholding draft plans from participants has disempowered and frustrated numerous families, leaving them feeling betrayed and misled by a scheme that was designed to empower them to thrive within their communities.”

Rebekha used Question Time to highlight the problems with the NDIS planning process after hosting an NDIS information session in her local community last week.

During that session the local MP heard from participants about a range of problems with the assessment process, including their frustration at not being able to see their draft plans.

One mother told the story of her 27-year-old son who has spastic quadriplegia and needed assistive technology to open his front door.

The young man’s NDIS plan offered a gym membership.

“The NDIS was supposed to provide funding choices to people with disabilities to access supports and services they need to live and enjoy their life," Rebekha said.

“At present, the system doesn’t allow participants to look at their draft plan prior to it being submitted to the NDIA for assessment.

“This needs to change. It’s an easy change that could save an enormous amount of time and angst.

“I call on the Minister to make this change happen and speed up the roll-out of this important social reform.”