The way that some people will access support for disability is changing.
Historically, all Baw Baw residents have received disability support through the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments via a mixture of individualised funding and block-funded services.
With the upcoming changes, a small number of eligible Baw Baw residents be transitioned to a new system: the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing support for eligible Australians with disability under the age of 65, their families and carers. It is funded by a single agency, the National Disability Insurance Agency.
It is different from the current system in that services will be entirely funded on an individual basis. As an insurance scheme, this funding will be paid in arrears, after a service has been provided.
Assistance from the NDIS is not means tested and has no impact on income support such as the Disability Support Pension and Carers Allowance.
Baw Baw Shire Council has a very small number of current clients that will be eligible for the new NDIS system. In fact, we anticipate that only about 7% of current Baw Baw clients receiving aged and disability support will be immediately affected by the change.
People who are not eligible for the NDIS, such as those aged over 65 or those who do not meet the residency requirements, will continue to receive services as they do now. That means that approximately 93% of Council clients will carry on as usual.
The NDIS is being rolled out nationally, with different regions switching to NDIS at different times. This is to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible.
In Baw Baw Shire, the NDIS will become available from 1 October 2017.
A person may meet the access requirements to become a participant in the NDIS sooner – up to six month prior to 1 October 2017.
Baw Baw Shire Council is not a registered NDIS service provider.
The Latrobe Community Health Service has been appointed as the Gippsland Local Area Co-ordinator. As the Local Area Co-ordinator, they are responsible for providing planning and community connection services, and assisting eligible Baw Baw residents aged over 7 to transition to the NDIS.
To support children aged 0-6 and their families, Link Health and Community have been appointed as the Inner Gippsland Early Childhood Partner.
Council remains committed to supporting people with and affected by disability. This includes dedicated disability support services, ongoing improvements to the physical environment to make our Shire as accessible as possible to all residents, and making mainstream services and opportunities more inclusive for people with a disability.
To ensure that the small number of affected residents make a smooth transition when the NDIS is rolled out in October 2017, Council will work closely with the Latrobe Community Health Service (our Local Area Coordinator), the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) so that we can keep our residents up to date with all the information they need.
Although Council has historically responded to gaps in services and delivers good quality support to residents, we are not a specialist provider of disability services.
There will be no changes to our current services until the funding we receive for those services moves to the NDIS.
Leading up to and following the roll out, Council will keep our community informed of any development that may affect them.
To find out more about the NDIS transition, visit the National Disability Insurance Scheme website, the Latrobe Community Health Service website, or call the National Disability Insurance Agency on 1800 800 110.