NSW Disability Scheme roll out dates released

WE now have dates for the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) across NSW.

Prime Minister Turnbull signed agreements with New South Wales and Victoria on his second day in the top job, stating “this marks a huge milestone towards the delivery of one of the largest social policy reforms in our nation’s history”.

The NDIS is the Scheme that will provide individualised funding for people with disabilities to access the support services and equipment they need and should provide them with the opportunity to choose which services they need.

At present, people with disabilities are given a package and often no say in the type of services and equipment they can receive – it’s a bit of a situation of you get what you’re given depending on how you have been assessed, where you live and what has been deemed most cost effective by Government. This means that people are left with supports that aren’t exactly tailored to their needs, unless they have the funds to be able to purchase services from elsewhere.

So the NDIS is certainly welcome and long overdue. However the catch is that people with disability over the age of 65 are not eligible for the NDIS, something which CPSA has argued against since day one.   

These people will be left with the aged care system which provides a lot less in the way of at-home support services and isn’t tailored to the needs of people with non-age related disabilities.

Those who enter the Scheme before the age of 65 will continue to be eligible once they turn 65. For this reason it’s very important that those who are nearing 65 gain access to the Scheme as soon as it enters their local area to ensure they make the cut.

People with disability living in the local government areas of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland can already access the NDIS through the Hunter trial.

From 1 July 2016 people living in the New England, Southern NSW, Central Coast, Northern Sydney, South Western Sydney, Western Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains districts will be able to access the NDIS.

From 1 July 2017, the NDIS will be in place across the rest of the state and people living in Northern NSW, the Mid North Coast, Sydney and South Eastern Sydney, Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Murrumbidgee, Western NSW and Far West NSW will become eligible.

140,000 people with disability in NSW are expected to benefit from the NDIS once the Scheme is fully operational.   

Agreements for the timeframes of the other states still need to be finalised and it is expected that the roll out will be completed nationwide by 2019/20.

For more information and to find out about eligibility you can go to ndis.gov.au or call 1800 800 110.

Purple map of NSW segmented into regions