21 March 2022
Funding for participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme was cut by 4 per cent in 2021 with the average spend falling from $71,200 in 2020 to $68,500 in 2021.
The figures, revealed in the latest NDIS quarterly report, reinforces concerns among disability service providers that the cost cutting that they have been predicting is starting to become a reality.
Ms Monique Earsman, Executive Director of Catholic Social Services Australia, said today disability providers and participants have for months been raising concerns about cost-cutting.
“The average plan size for NDIS participants had been growing consistently until last year,” Ms Earsman said.
“This is the first year we have seen a cut in costs and, as we head towards a Federal budget that will be looking to make savings where ever possible, there are real concerns the scheme will be cut further.”
The average plan budget for people in supported independent living also fell 1.6 per cent, from $351,600 in 2020 to $346,100 in 2021.
“While the threat of independent assessments, where NDIS staff would assess participants rather than relying on reports from the applicants’ doctors and therapists, seems to have been shelved, there is still clear pressure from the government to reduce the cost of the scheme.
“We are hearing about providers being cut out of planning meetings and planners pushing hard to reduce payments for participants.
“Participants are being hit by reduced packages at the same time as costs of living are surging.
“While not everyone’s plans are being cut, for those who are losing money it is a bitter pill. It’s a big slug to participants, families and support workers who rely on the income,” Ms Earsman said.
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