In the five months to November, the number of NDIS complaints submitted to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal soared 324% compared to the same period in 2020. The situation is getting worse. In the nine months to March 31, 4,656 NDIS-related appeals were filed with the AAT, compared to 2,160 for the entire prior year.
If NDIS participants thought it was difficult to negotiate services with the agency, imagine the frustrations, personal expenses, and legal quagmire they face in transporting the agency into the AAT.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham at least acknowledged how difficult it can be for people with disabilities and their families to deal with the NDIS when he described “the many systems challenges you have to overcome to get the support “.
In response to Yeoman, Morrison described the NDIS as “one of the greatest innovations in social policy that this country has ever ambitiously undertaken”. He also admitted that the NDIS was “still under construction and still had flaws”, and could be “a very difficult system” to navigate.
As for the solution, the Coalition has yet to come up with anything that can allay the concerns of many thousands of people with disabilities, their families or service providers.
The NDIS was designed under Labor governments and came into practice under coalition governments. It is now a full-fledged program that helps over 500,000 Australians. This figure should reach 530,000 within a few months, and exceed 850,000 by mid-2030.
The NDIS should not be viewed as a cost sink without benefits. On the contrary. This is an extraordinary commitment on the part of this nation to people with all kinds of disabilities and from all walks of life. This should be taken as national assurance that we can and will do better for each of them.
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