Disability Reform Council Update

On 28 June 2019, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council (the Council) held its first formal meeting for 2019 at the Gold Coast, Queensland. 

As members of the Council, the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments endorsed four major reforms to improve the delivery of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The Council noted the role of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) in guiding market stewardship. Ministers welcomed the NDIA’s commitment to publish its full price-setting methodology to the market and to share market data. The Council welcomed the release of NDIS 2019-20 price guide, which will commence on 1 July 2019, incorporating outcomes from the Therapy Review and recommendations from the Western Australia Market Review.

The key announcements include:

  • Agreement between Commonwealth and State and Territory governments that the NDIS will fund a range of disability-related health supports where they are part of the participant’s daily life and result directly from the participant’s disability. This agreement is due to commence on 1 October 2019. A fact sheet in accessible formats about the implementation of this approach is available on the DSS website.
  • Clarification and agreement of the responsibilities for children in voluntary-out-of-home care due to complex disability needs. From 1 September 2019, the NDIS will deliver an improved funding model which can fund supports including 24/7 care, staffing (including overnight staffing), disability supports (including home modifications where necessary), and specialist support coordination. 
  • The endorsement of a National Hospital Discharge Action Plan to reduce the number and length of stays in hospital experienced by NDIS participants. The plan jointly commits the NDIA, DSS and State and Territory governments to resolve key discharge delay issues in areas including home modifications, assistive technology, communication, accommodation and clinical supports.
  • The DSS will initiate an Act Review to assess the operation of the NDIS Act, with a focus on removing legislative impediments to NDIS processes and removing red tape for participants.

The Act Review will also develop details of the new Participant Service Guarantee, which will set additional timeframes for decision-making by the NDIA in relation to access, planning, review and appeal processes to be legislated mid next year.

  • The establishment of a national NDIS Reserve Fund to resource projects that improve the performance of the NDIS. Further consultations on the design of this fund will occur later this year. 

The NDIA will work closely with the Commonwealth and state and territory governments to implement these major reforms to improve the delivery of the NDIS.

For more information, read the Council’s Communique 28 June 2019 (external)  available on the DSS website.