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 these changes, a small number of eligible Baw Baw residents will be transitioning 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 NDIS. 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 or disability requirements, will continue to receive services as they do now. That means that approximately 93% of Council clients will carry on as usual.
In Baw Baw Shire, the NDIS became available on 1 October 2017.
Council’s potentially eligible Home and Community Care Program for Younger People (HACC-PYP) clients are currently being contacted by the NDIA or their Local Area Coordinator (LAC) to test their eligibility and conduct planning meetings. Some clients may be automatically eligible if currently accessing other services.
Latrobe Community Health Service is the LAC for those aged 7 to 64 years old and are coordinating plan meetings.
Link Health and Community is the LAC for those aged 0-6 and parents need to contact them directly to start the early intervention NDIS process. Once clients are determined to be eligible, they will have a plan meeting with the relevant LAC to understand their service needs and prepare their NDIS plan.
To ensure that the small number of affected residents make a smooth transition, Council will work closely with the Latrobe Community Health Service and Link Health and Community (our Local Area Coordinators), 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.
Whilst Council has historically responded to gaps in services and delivers good quality support services, we are not a specialist provider of disability services.
Council has resolved that it will not register as a service provider for the NDIS, and will not provide services as an unregistered service provider to NDIS clients.
From 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018, a transition period (called the ‘in-kind’ period) applies and Council will be funded to continue to provide existing services to existing clients.
Clients who enter the NDIS will be required to continue to obtain their current services and hours from Council via the HACC PYP program until 30 September 2018. After this point Council’s HACC PYP funding will be transferred to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and clients will be able to transfer to other service providers.
Council is committed to ensuring that the move to the NDIS is as smooth as possible for our clients, and has resolved to support clients for up to 12 months after they have an approved NDIS plan in place.
Council has recruited an NDIS Transition Project Officer, Laura James, to help clients with the transition to the NDIS. Laura can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on (03) 5625 0213.
To find out more about the NDIS transition, visit the National Disability Insurance Scheme website, the Latrobe Community Health Service website, the Link Health and Community website, or call the National Disability Insurance Agency on 1800 800 110.