QAI made a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme on NDIS Planning.
Here is an excerpt from the submission of our recommendations:
- LAC’s and Planners must have intensive training to understand the social and other impact of disability and what makes people with disability vulnerable. The NDIA must undertake intensive training for Planners and Plan reviewers to ensure that the Scheme is implemented as it was envisioned and not as a cost savings exercise. This training must also encompass respectful engagement with Participants and plan nominees to overcome the fear and distrust that is being experienced as a result of bullying by Planners.
- The NDIA should hire people with lived experience of disability and or people with experience from the disability advocacy sector.
- Invest in appropriate Pre-Planning (with independence from direct service provision organisations) so that there are fewer Plan Reviews and Appeals, and to enable LAC’s to return to their intended functions of linking and connecting people with generic and specialist services. Foster smaller and consultative community-based services that engage local staff particularly with pre-planning activities.
- The NDIA must randomly audit Plans developed by NDIA Planners to determine consistency of content and supports.
- Participants should be asked to submit a self-assessment about what they need in order to attain their goals and should be incorporated into the planning process. Planners must have skills in ‘active listening ‘rather than self-promotion of their own experiences or purported expertise.
- Planners must focus on inclusive approaches to supports while respecting the wants and wishes of Participants.
- Informal Supports must not be factored into Planning as a cost-savings exercise.
- The NDIA should provide funding for translation services for CALD Participants in planning and to engage with support coordination services.
- Abolish SIL from Plans.
- Supports that Participants and nominees discuss and agree to at planning meetings must be included in the Plan.
- Draft Plans should be sent to Participants and Nominees for agreement and or negotiation.
- Abolish Typical Support Packages (TSPs) to reduce internal reviews, AAT appeals and Participant dissatisfaction.
- Ensure that there are no service/support gaps and provide early intervention to Participants and Nominees to ensure that supports are not withheld even if funds are expended before end of Plans.
- Plans must not be reduced unless Participants disclose they no longer require specific funds or support types.
- The NDIA must cease the manipulation of reviews under Section 100 by either refusing the review request or instead attempting to thwart the process by deception and inserting the review under Section 48.
- The NDIA must ensure equitable access to all forms including review request forms and not restrict word limitations by the use of PDF or other means.
- The NDIA must ensure that reviews are free from conflict of interest and breaches of confidentiality by warranting that no staff members involved in the original decisions are involved. Strict penalties for breaches must apply.
- Whitelist formal advocacy organisations to reduce red tape and better enable Advocates to assist Participants and Applicants.
- NDIA should provide a readily available means to track progress of reviews for Advocates and Participants.
- Mandate an enforceable maximum time frame within which the NDIA must respond to reviews.
- Improved decision-making by the NDIA in the first instance to reduce review and AAT applications.
- Improved liaison between the internal review team and the Early Response Team (ERT).
- NDIA staff members provide advice to Participants at critical moments such as denial of review applications, how to best utilise current Plans and gather evidence to improve their next approaches.
- NDIA staff give greater attention and consideration to the issues impacting Participants, Nominees and supporters in regional and remote areas particularly with issues and costs associated with transport, thin markets and alternatives to traditional service provision.
You can read the full submission here.