NDIS Inquiry into Independent Assessments
QAI made a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS regarding the Inquiry into Independent Assessments.
Our key recommendations were:
- Independent assessments should be introduced as an option for prospective participants who do not have the financial resources to obtain a functional capacity assessment. Prospective participants should be supported to obtain an assessment from a provider of their choice. The need for the assessment process to remain flexible and tailored to the individual’s needs is critical to the entire premise of the NDIS. To impose a standardised process onto something which cannot be standardised is at odds with the nature of disability and the overall scheme.
- Inconsistency in decision-making by NDIA delegates could be improved through greater training and awareness and by increased clarity and consistency with regards to the information required for access decisions or plan budget considerations.
- Participants who complete an independent assessment must be provided a full copy of the assessment report upon completion, not a summary.
- Participants must be able to review/appeal the outcome of an independent assessment outside of the narrow scope proposed.
- Participants must be able to review/appeal the decision of an NDIA delegate to grant an exemption from undergoing an independent assessment.
- Participants must continue to be able to provide clinical evidence of their choosing that will be considered in relation to their access request and/or plan budget considerations.
- Planning meetings must allow participants to raise the need for reasonable and necessary supports which may not have been identified by an independent assessment, evidenced by relevant clinical information.