The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australian government-funded program that provides support to people with a permanent and significant disability.
The NDIS minister, Bill Shorten, has promised a fresh crackdown on providers price-gouging products and services for people with a disability, sharing information about companies putting big markups on simple products like chairs and walking sticks.
In 2023 National cabinet agreed to a cap on the growth of the scheme, to 8% a year, to keep a handle on rising costs in an effort to keep the system “sustainable”. The NDIS was the fastest-growing expense in the October budget, outside interest payments on the national debt.
The NDIS has seen a number of changes in the past few years including:
Price increases: From 1 July 2021, the NDIS announced an average price increase of 1.2% across all support categories to better reflect the cost of delivering services.
NDIS Independent Assessment Pilot: The NDIS launched an Independent Assessment Pilot in December 2020 in four locations across Australia. The aim of the pilot is to develop a consistent and transparent approach to assessing a person's eligibility for the scheme and their support needs.
Participant Service Guarantee: The Participant Service Guarantee was launched in July 2020, which sets new standards for NDIS participant services. The guarantee outlines time frames for plan approvals, plan reviews, and access to support services.
NDIS reforms: The Australian Government announced a range of reforms to the NDIS in its 2021-2022 budget, including changes to make it easier for people to access the scheme, greater support for children with disability and their families, and new measures to improve the quality of services provided under the NDIS.
NDIS Workforce Strategy: In May 2021, the NDIS Workforce Strategy was launched, which aims to build a skilled and sustainable workforce to support the growing number of Australians with disability accessing the scheme.