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Commonwealth Continuity of Support Programme

Commonwealth Continuity of Support Programme
22 August 2016
New details emerge

We’re pleased to see more CoS details emerge, as the programme is an important step toward our goal of more integration between the Aged Care and Disability Care sectors.

A new national programme, CoS will provide ongoing support for older people with disability, not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), due to age.

CoS supports people on disability services and will phase in across states and territories from 1 December 2016 to June 2019.

How CoS works

People with disability, aged 65 and over or an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person 50 years and over, will be able to apply for a CoS arrangement. CoS eligibility requires a person must be receiving state-managed specialist disability services at the time CoS is implemented in their region.

Clients will not need to do anything in order to move to the CoS Programme and will not need to be re-assessed prior to entering the CoS Programme.

The Aged Care/Disability Care interface

It’s encouraging to know the NDIS bilateral agreements between the Federal and State and Territory governments includes a commitment to “support people currently in receipt of disability services, not eligible for an NDIS package”.

Whilst we welcome the government’s recent CoS update, we remain concerned about people, aged 65 and older living with MS, who acquire a disability.

For people under 65 diagnosed with MS, the fully-rolled out NDIS will provide access to supports to meet individual needs. In contrast, people 65 and over must rely on the aged care system, which is designed to address ageing, not disability.

That the Aged Care system isn’t set up for disability, is a concern we share with other agencies in the community sector. A key MSA focus and lobby area is to improve the national interface between health, aged and disability care, including services for people with MS 65 and over.

We want people living with MS to be able to maintain their wellbeing and live a fulfilled life – whether at home, in the community or at work.

The long-awaited CoS is good progress but we need to ensure those living with MS, over the NDIS eligibility age, who a/ acquire a disability and b/ are neither eligible for NDIS or CoS, get the support they need!

The tricky question - how someone with MS aged over 65 has their disability needs met - is a discussion point MSA will continue to raise.

To read more about CoS (eligibility, implementation, shared support arrangements and NDIS eligibility) visit:

For CoS enquiries email:

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