MS Australia was pleased to see the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) roll out started on time, on 1 July 2016.
Whilst not all people with multiple sclerosis have had access to the NDIS from day one, the rollout is significant for people with disability, their families and carers and, as the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) says, the scheme will “(transform) the lives of 460,000 Australians with disability, their families and carers over the next three years.”
As reported previously, we continue to look for action in the policy space to ensure far more integration between the health, aged and disability care systems - so that, for example, people with MS over 65 with a level of disability have access to adequate levels of reasonable and necessary supports, and young people with MS are only admitted to residential care after all other possible supports are exhausted.
The state and territory MS organisations have been analysing the outcomes based on the experiences of the more than 300 people living with MS who accessed NDIS-funded services and supports in the trial sites. These results are being fed back to the NDIA, seeking improvements for the MS community.
Now that full yet progressive roll out has commenced, it’s time to take stock and reflect on this landmark scheme. For example:
- NDIS is a new way of providing individualised support and services for those eligible.
- NDIS promotes choice, control, social and economic participation
- NDIS is a whole of life approach – the idea is that a person with disability (or significant impairment) can receive the support they need to achieve their goals across their lifetime.
For those eligible, we encourage you to think about your goals, needs, areas where you may have difficulties, current supports and services, and to use the tools and resources from your state or territory MS society:
In the media, we regularly hear commentators claim that the NDIS is unaffordable. To counter this argument, National Disability Services (NDS) has produced a fact sheet on the potential economic benefits of the NDIS that is worth sharing: