140,000 Australians now benefiting from the NDIS: latest data released

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More than 140,000 Australians are now benefitting from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as the life changing reform continues to roll out across the country.

The latest NDIS Quarterly Report for the period 1 October to 31 December, released today, shows that the Scheme continues to grow, with 142,266 people with disability now receiving supports under the NDIS.

Of this number 132,743 people had an approved NDIS plan and 9,523 children had been referred through the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach.

NDIA CEO, Robert De Luca said the life-changing NDIS continues to grow from strength to strength.

"The number of Australians with disability now benefitting from the NDIS has grown significantly over the last 12 months with the numbers of providers registered to deliver services under the Scheme growing from 5,110 to 12,328 in the same period," Mr De Luca said.

"These figures demonstrate the pace and successful progress of the NDIS, which will ultimately deliver reasonable and necessary supports to Australians with disability to help them achieve their goals, and increase their economic and social participation."

The report also contains survey data illustrating that the NDIS continues to support participants to achieve their goals and encourage more community participation.

Of the participants aged 25+ years who entered the Scheme in the first two quarters of 2016-17 and had their plan reviewed in the first two quarters of 2017-18:

  • 72% indicated that the NDIS had helped them with activities of daily living
  • 68% indicated that the NDIS had helped them with choice and control
  • 62% indicated that the NDIS had helped them with social, community and civic participation

"These results demonstrate that the NDIS is supporting Australians with disability to participate in the community, increase their independence and exercise greater choice and control," Mr De Luca said.

While the national rollout of the NDIS is on track, with the Scheme expected to be available to all eligible people across Australia (with the exception of WA) by July 2019, the NDIA reiterates its commitment to getting the balance right between participant intake, the quality of plans and the sustainability of the Scheme.

Solid progress continues to be made against the original participant intake schedule, underpinned by Productivity Commission estimates. Overall participant enrolment for the Scheme is tracking at 82 per cent of the cumulative NDIS bilateral estimate.

The bilateral agreements are estimates only, based on available state and territory records, which estimate the number of people expected to enter the NDIS, by quarter, in each jurisdiction over the three years of Scheme transition.

The NDIA will continue to bring people into the NDIS in line with available records in future quarters. The NDIA is also working to bring eligible participants into the Scheme who did not previously receive support.

"We have seen positive progress in the number of plans approved this quarter. A total of 19,965 participants received plans, over 3,000 more than the average number of plans approved in prior transition quarters," Mr De Luca said.

The report shows that 83 per cent of surveyed participants in the quarter rated their experience either good or very good. While the December quarter's rating is consistent with the experience since the start of Transition, the NDIA acknowledges the need to continually improve and continues work to significantly enhance the experience that participants and providers have with the NDIS.

Updates on the progress of the NDIS pathway improvements are available here.

The Productivity Commission's report on NDIS Costs released in October 2017 confirms that $22 billion remains an appropriate estimate for the cost of the full scheme.