10349 – Individual submission

NDIS Participants are not able to use all their NDIS funding because the NDIS is not working the way people want it to work. It is all complex and confusing for people. Plans are not easy to understand, when a person runs out of funding in one area they are unable to move that funding around to other areas, there is no voice, choice and control for people to choose what they use their NDIS funding for whether this be conferences within Australia, New Zealand or International, Education costs to learn at private colleges, TAFE’S or universities, Respite and other areas. Plans are meant to be meet each persons goals, passions, interests and aspirations not focusing on each persons needs and what is reasonable and necessary. There are areas that were previously funded by ADHC (Ageing Disability and Homecare Department of Family and Community Services) and the NDIS is not matching what the state previously funded. The options for people to choose how their NDIS packaged is managed is not good there is no flexibility, choice and control for them to choose what they do whether it is agency managed, self managed, plan managed or a combination. One of the options needs to be replaced with another funding model that works properly the way it is meant to work or added to the current ways a person manages their NDIS package. The model that would be most appropriate is choice, control and flexibility managed this model demonstrates and shows that people have the choice, control and flexibility to choose what they use their NDIS funding for, the choices are broader instead of given limited options to choose from, plan managers not being flexible and letting NDIS participants know what they can and can’t use their funding for and people with disabilities/NDIS participants having no option other than to send the money back to the NDIA. The reason the money is underspent is not because people don’t need the funding it is because the NDIS is not working the way people expect it work, want it to work and is not working the way it is supposed to work. Support Coordination should be in all NDIS participants plans not just some plans. Local Area Coordinators do not help NDIS participants to implement their plan and link them to services, when you ask a Local Area Coordinator to help you find a service for example a psychologist they have no luck to find you anyone, they do everything they can to their capacity and if the Local Area Coordinator cannot help you find a service you are left with no service. Many services do not understand how the NDIS works, when you say to a non NDIS registered provider that you can use NDIS registered and non NDIS registered providers because you are not agency managed, the person pays the cost and then the practice/service sends an invoice to the person and the person submits their invoice to the NDIA and the full cost is reimbursed back to them everyone keeps referring to the Medicare system where there are gap fees. People are having great difficulty finding services since the NDIS replaced the state system. It is very hard for people to find and access services under the NDIS and the model that services use is not the same, non NDIS registered providers that participants access who are self managed or plan managed do not fit in with when the participant is available, services keep going back to the old model instead of being flexible, available when the participant is available for example instead of the service/practice being available Monday to Friday, negotiating with the participant and agreeing to meet the participant when it suits them the participant is advised when the service/practice is available and if the participant is not available then they are having to call another service/practice and get no where. A lot will only work with children and no adults, For someone living in Sydney who can’t access a service they have to call services in other states and territories around Australia including Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania because there are no services in Sydney or not enough in Sydney. One psychologist who I previously saw in Sydney did not make any appointments from January 2019, advised me that it is not her responsibility to find me another psychologist, did not refer me to another psychologist before closing her books from her end as me no longer being her NDIS client, have called over a billion Psychologist in Sydney and no one has the skills to help, their books are not full and the current psychologist I have sessions with via phone is in Western Australia and because I do not have Skype and she does not live in Sydney I have to have all my sessions via phone. When making contact with Psychologists in other states and territories around Australia I am asked why aren’t you seeing a psychologist in Sydney? I then have to explain that I have called billions of psychologists in Sydney, have spoken to my GP and no one can help me. Other states and Territories understand how the NDIS works and yet no one in Sydney understands how the NDIS works. If Psychologists, services, practices or anyone is not able to fit in with the participant they should not be paid and people will not go to them for assistance and support. Why is it then when I call a service outside of Sydney I can get the assistance and support I ask for and yet when I call a Psychologist in Sydney I can’t get anyone to assist and support me? These gaps between mainstream services and the NDIS such as education, employment, housing, transport and justice system really need to be fixed for people to get the most out of their NDIS plans, People need to be able to choose who they would like to develop their NDIS plan, if participants have someone they feel most comfortable with there should be no reason why the person cannot have that planner be involved in their upcoming planning meeting, for a participant not to get to choose who develops their plan is a breach of the UNCRPD (United Nations Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities). The UNCRPD states that people with disabilities are involved in the decision making process at all times, have the right to choose who they would like to develop their plan and what services they choose, People with Disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as those people without a disability have. There are gaps between the delegated act and the NDIS act. There is no clarity with NDIS plans for people to understand, planners and local area coordinators are not on the same page as the participant and interpret information differently to what the participant interprets it, each persons understanding of the NDIS is different what one sees as a flexible package is different to someone else. People with Disabilities are the experts in their field, no what is working, what isn’t working and what changes need to be made to get the NDIS back on track working the way people expect and want it to work. If changes are not made to the legislation people on the NDIS now will continue to be worse off and disadvantaged and those who access the NDIS in the future will be worse off and disadvantaged. Participants are not involved in the decision making process of approving their plan, when applying for a review the NDIA does not ask the participant what they think and what their opinion is, Participants should be asked if they approve the plan and if they say no the NDIA planner does not approve their new NDIS plan. People with disabilities/NDIS participant have the authority to make decisions, Local Area Coordinators, NDIA planners and plan managers need to seek authority and approval from participant before deciding where the money is spent. Plan Managers need to listen to NDIS participants and when participants ask the plan manager and services to do something the plan manager and service is flexible and without any questions or queries just does what the participant says. If the participant says can you pay for my conference coming up in November the plan manager and participant negotiate if the participant is going to pay and send the invoices to the plan manager to reimburse them or send the invoices to the plan manager to claim the money and pay on the participants behalf, plan manager should not say they are not going to do it and respond to the participant by saying “yes I will do that if you send me the invoices I will pay the cost on your behalf, the plan manager notifies the participant when the costs have been paid for and the issue is resolved the participant does not have to find the cost out of their own pocket. Since the NDIS has replaced the state system service providers are not seeking approval from participants, not liaising and consulting with people with disabilities/NDIS participants on what they would like to do and are providing lesser choices, lesser options, lesser flexibility and service agreements are not matching to what participants ask the service provider to support them with. There are a lot of problems that need to be fixed and Disability Service Providers are not set up properly to support people under the NDIS.