Changes to the Act: Schedule 2 – Improvements to NDIS processes
Schedule 2 of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Participant Service Guarantee and Other Measures) Bill 2021 (the Bill) contains improvements recommended by the 2019 review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act), to improve NDIS processes, reduce red tape, and make the NDIS more responsive to the needs of participants.
It is about making the NDIS work better for people with disability.
It introduces changes that were agreed from the 2015 review of the NDIS Act. Some of these changes are about people with disability helping to design the NDIS and the role of carers and families in decision-making.
It gives the NDIA more flexibility to support participants to access NDIS supports, and help children with disability get supports early.
It makes it clearer when someone with a psychosocial disability may be eligible for the NDIS.
It gives more protection to participants who want to use a registered plan management provider.
Schedule 2 also clarifies how payments are made under the NDIS. It enables the NDIA to make direct payments on behalf of participants to reduce the administrative burden on participants.
Schedule 2 in detail
Schedule 2 makes improvements to increase the flexibility of the NDIS, and reduce the administrative burden on participants, providers and the NDIA.
To better assist with the consistency of required decision-making and to help people understand exactly what the NDIA may need, the NDIA CEO or their delegate will be able to approve and publish an ‘approved form’ for certain purposes in the NDIS Act.
Schedule 2 will also clarify eligibility provisions. The eligibility criteria will be amended to reinforce that impairments resulting from psychosocial disability (or mental health condition) that are episodic, fluctuating or varying in intensity may still be regarded as permanent, and references to ‘psychiatric conditions’ will be replaced with ‘psychosocial disability’ (recommendations 8a and 8b).
The ability of participants to access their funded supports will be improved, as Schedule 2 will enable the NDIA CEO to provide funding outside of a plan for the purpose of enabling a participant to access the supports in their plan (recommendation 17), and to provide funding to service providers for children under the age of seven in order to meet their disability needs before the plan is approved (recommendation 13), furthering the NDIS principle of effective early intervention.
This Schedule also revises the treatment of plan management under the NDIS Act, enabling the NDIA to undertake risk assessments for those who request supports be managed by a registered plan manager (recommendation 19).
Changes agreed by the Disability Reform Council following 2015 Review of the NDIS Act will also be implemented in Schedule 2 of the Bill (recommendation 27b).
Finally, in line with the proposed plan variation power as part of Schedule 1, amendments in Schedule 2 make it clear that if a participant gives a changed version of their statement of goals and aspirations the plan is taken to be varied and not replaced (recommendation 21).
An amendment is also being included in Schedule 2 which did not emerge from the 2019 review of the NDIS Act. This amendment is designed to reduce the administrative burden felt by participants in organising and making payments, including record keeping. It does this through giving the NDIA the flexibility to pay for a participant’s NDIS services directly to the providers of the participant’s choosing, irrespective of plan management type. This change only affects the payments flow for self-managed and plan-managed participants. It does not impact their ability to manage their own plans, nor their choice over who they are able to go to for supports, including unregistered providers.
What should you read?
You can read the following documents to understand Schedule 2:
If you want more information, you can also read:
- NDIS Act review report for the full recommendations and the reasons for them
- Government’s response to the NDIS Act review report
- Easy Read summary of the report, recommendations and response
- Implementing the recommendations of the 2019 NDIS Act review
- Summary of the NDIS Bill and changes to NDIS Rules.
Have your say
You can have your say on Schedule 2 of the Bill by making a submission.