10344 – Individual submission

While the good news is that NDIS will fund health from the 1st October 2019 there are gaps remaining still with other mainstream services including education, employment, justice system, housing and transport. The NDIA/NDIS needs to meet with the department of education, department of industry and government both state and federal government to decide who is funding what. What the NDIS will fund in relation to education and what the responsibility of the government is. So far both department of education, department of industry, state and federal government say it is not their responsibility to fund education including schools, TAFE’S, Private training colleges and Universities. TAFE have advised all students to get their own funding for support as TAFE do not have the money to support people with disabilities. TAFE already are struggling to get the numbers each year to deliver courses. Job agencies will not support people with disabilities with their education, there are no scholarships or anything. Without NDIS funding education people with disabilities will not have an education. When people with disabilities attend their planning meetings they are concerned that their plan will not be correct and what they ask for in their plan will not be funded a person who asks for orthotics to be funded who has had orthotics since school, supplied quote and report from podiatrist as well as a letter from their GP supporting the podiatrist report for why the person requires new orthotics and what will happen if they are not funded for new orthotics is asked at the planning meeting to get a letter from a physiotherapist. The person gets a letter from a physiotherapist, sends the letter to the NDIA to state the physiotherapists opinion and the physiotherapist states the importance for new orthotics to be funded under the NDIS and how it will help the person attend appointments and social participation, the participant feels they have provided everything that the NDIA has asked for, lets say the NDIA are still not convinced what is the participant supposed to do now? The question is what is the NDIA exactly wanting in the letter to fund the orthotics? The participant is then left with no option other than to apply for a review, provide further evidence for the review, if the NDIA don’t change their mind to fund the orthotics the participant then has to take the matter to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to appeal the decision and seek legal advice, if the AAT doesn’t overturn the NDIA’s original decision and say it is reasonable and necessary for orthotics to be funded then the participant is left with no option other than to be stuck with their old orthotics, the old orthotics continue to wear out the participant will not be able to attend medical appointments, participate in social events and will end up having to go to hospital to have surgery. The hospital will then say to the participant why haven’t you got new orthotics? The participant will say “I had a planning meeting with the NDIA to have orthotics funded in my plan a letter from my GP, Podiatrist, a quote from the podiatrist and a letter from the physiotherapist was provided and the NDIA did not take into consideration any of these documents applied for a review the NDIA said no, took the matter to the AAT to appeal the decision, went and saw a solicitor to seek legal advice, the solicitor said it is fair for the NDIS to fund orthotics, the AAT did not overturn the original decision”. The hospital will then contact the NDIA to introduce themselves, state who they are, where they are from, the name of the participant that is in the hospital and will say to the NDIA “why didn’t you fund the orthotics for this participant”? “This participant is now in hospital having to have surgery all because you would not fund their orthotics, did not consider all the information that was provided from their podiatrist, GP and physiotherapist”. The NDIA will then have to answer to the hospital and to realise they are accountable and responsible for that participant in the hospital. Lots of changes are needed to fix the NDIS and for it to work the way it is meant to work. People don’t get to choose who their planner is for the planning meeting, who they would like to develop their plan, the NDIA does not involve participants in the decision making process and asks them for their opinion. Conferences need to be funded for people with disabilities to be able to attend and speak at conferences. Without conferences being funded people with disabilities will be isolated and will not have a voice. There is no funding out their for conferences whether it is in Australia or Internationally. Without the NDIS funding conferences there will be no people with disabilities at the conferences to present research that has been undertaken throughout the year. Support workers will be speaking on behalf of people with disabilities and instead of co-presenting and speaking with people with a disability. People will be fighting at the AAT for the rest of their life without changes being made to the NDIS.