NDIS news round up – system failures, near $400m NDIS fraud and more

  • A young boy’s family has had to pay thousands of dollars for him to be diagnosed with autism, or wait two years for public therapy according to reporting from the ABC. The then 19 month old was assessed as needing speech and occupational therapy but would need to wait 2 years before public services were available to him. With financial help from her parents and grandfather, his mother was able to get $4000 of private therapy for her son, allowing him to be diagnosed with autism and gain funding through the NDIS in what would appear to be a failure of the public system to provide care.

  • Two mother’s have told SMH they are facing the prospect of giving up their children due to insufficient NDIS plans. Both mothers are sole parents who’s children present with severely challenging behaviours which have resulted in injuries to the mothers. Their complaint over insufficient funding for specialist behaviour support is said to become a test case for funding.

  • In a win for dignity, after 3 years an NDIS participant no longer has to shower outdoors. The NDIS has approved bathroom modifications that will allow for accessibility improvements for the Latrobe Valley man to shower indoors, ABC reports.

  • A school for children with disabilities is facing funding cuts with the State government no longer willing to pay for staff to assist the students with eating, going to the toilet, moving around the school and speech. The ABC reports that the school is caught between the State which says these supports are now to be funded by the NDIS and the NDIS which says the State Government is responsible.

  • 105 organisations will share in $105.9m under the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building program of the NDIS according to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). Recipients of the funds include Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, Children and Young People with Disability Australia and Women with Disabilities (Australia) amongst others.

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  • The NDIS has provided a Gold Coast mum funding to repair a non-existent wheelchair according to the ABC. The report states the specialist wheelchair is awaiting order underneath agency management and that the mum has had to repeatedly prove her daughter’s disability with each new round of funding.

  • The Daily Telegraph reports that NDIS Chairperson, Dr Helen Nugent has had her contract renewed for a further two years. The Tele highlights that Dr Nugent had been found to have conducted NDIS business using the ‘private email server’ of her former employer, Macquarie Bank. Dr Nugent reportedly pays the bank to maintain an office in Sydney and continue use of their email services.

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  • SBS reports on the calls to end the age cap on NDIS. Currently a person aged over 65 cannot qualify for NDIS funding unless they are an existing participant. Those aged 65+ are directed to My Aged Care, however campaigners state the maximum Government subsidy of $50,250 under this scheme is not sufficient for those with extensive care needs.

  • Police are investigating a suspected NDIS related fraud valued at almost $400m in a report by SMH. The alleged fraud targeted investors with the proposal to invest in specialist disability accommodation, motivated by the $700m in funding the NDIS is intended to provide in support of specialist housing suited to the needs of people with disability.

  • The Australian Federal Police, working in conjunction with the National Disability Insurance Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services, have executed search warrants in Bendigo according to the Bendigo Advertiser. While the reason for the searches is not given, the report states that the “focus is on high risk and serious criminal activity targeting the NDIS”. A 22 year old man is said to be assisting the AFP with their investigation.

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