NDIS and access requirements for Autism
The NDIA has been progressing work on the recommendations of the Productivity Commission's Review of NDIS Costs. Among those recommendations, the Productivity Commission identified that the NDIA Lists used to assess eligibility for entry to the Scheme should be monitored to ensure they are working as intended.
The specific purpose of each of List A and B is as follows:
- List A includes conditions which are likely to meet the disability requirements in section 24 of the NDIS Act;
- - List B includes permanent conditions for which functional capacity is variable and further assessment of functional capacity is generally required.
In other words, List A guarantees automatic access to the NDIS. List B requires further information for access. Inclusion on List B does not mean that an individual is not eligible for the NDIS. It does, however, necessitate that further evidence be provided to fulfil the requirements for eligibility. The intent of List B needing greater rigour is to ensure that, as intended, the Scheme benefits all eligible individuals with a significant and permanent disability.
As suggested by the Productivity Commission, in monitoring what should be included in List A versus List B, the NDIA has been undertaking further work on this, and at this stage, no decision has been made to change the Lists.
The NDIA will continue to work in partnership with key autism stakeholders on this work. As demonstrated with the recent Participant and Provider Pathways reviews, the NDIA is committed to engaging with the sector and greatly values the views of individuals with autism and those organisations that support people with autism.
A collaboration was established last year between the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC) and the NDIA to develop Australia's first national diagnostic guideline for autism. This is a critical step in ensuring a consistent and equitable access to autism diagnosis for children and adults. In combination with a functional assessment, this will provide a more contemporary and evidenced based approach in identifying the support needs of individuals with autism and determining their eligibility for access to the NDIS.
The NDIA regrets the confusion caused earlier this week by the placement of an incorrect document loaded onto the NDIS website. This error was rectified as soon as Management became aware of it. Accurate information was made available the same day.
In the spirit of openness and transparency, senior NDIA staff also called autism stakeholders to alert them to the error.
In line with the Productivity Commission's recommendation, the NDIA will continue to undertake work to ensure the appropriateness of Lists A and B, with a view to ensuring the needs of individuals with autism are addressed and that the principles of fairness and equity are upheld for all eligible participants in the Scheme.
Following the process that is currently underway, if any changes are made to List A or B, the decision will be fully informed by research and evidence and will only be made following extensive consultation with key stakeholders.