Over the last year the NDIA made a number of changes to participants’ NDIS plans. The most significant change was the need to include a Supported Independent Living (SIL) price quotation in each NDIS participants’ package, impacting their budgets. In addition to this, the NDIA decided to allocate a budget for community inclusion activities.
The implementation of these changes took 6-8 months, which affected all clients supported by an NDIS plan as they did not have a full plan for more than half a year.
In September the NDIA made a determination that these participants would receive an interim plan. However, this would only be for 13 weeks. Many of our clients did not have an approved plan until late February or early March, causing significant cash flow issues.
Nevertheless, as many disability support providers were in the same predicament, our industry representative body, NDS, took up the baton and worked with the NDIA and individual organisations, to resolve this financial impediment. There are some clients still without a NDIS plan and we are working hard with the NDIA to resolve this backlog.
In spite of this situation we have been able to maintain support levels to our clients at the required standards. I would like to thank the Board for their prudency and excellent financial stewardship.
As New Haven Farm Home is a Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) provider we would like to have our SDA status acknowledged in each individual NDIS plan. This is not currently the case, and we are still working with the NDIA to resolve a number of outstanding matters regarding SDA payments. We believe that those clients with physical and/or sensory disabilities would require SDA and as a result of this it should be a line item in their NDIS plan. Although we have not been provided with a rationale for the NDIA’s decisions in these matters, we are waiting for an outcome in the next few months.
Those clients who are 65 years old and over are funded by the Continuity of Services by the Commonwealth Department of Health. Currently all clients are fully funded, and services have not been affected. This funding will be reviewed next year.
– Jacques Stap
New Haven Farm Home CEO