Temporary Transition Plan, NDIS
October 1, 2019
Representatives from the Illawarra Disability Alliance recently met with Stephen Jones MP to express their concerns about the impact of government changes to Temporary Transition Plan provisions.
The NDIS introduced the Temporary Transformation Payment (TTP) from 1 July 2019 in order to provide additional funding to organisations to assist them to transform their business. It acknowledges the costs involved for organisations to transform their operations and continue viably under the NDIS. TTP can be applied to in-home support and community participant supports whether provided in a centre or in the community (and when provided one-to-one or in groups). In this financial year, it is set at 7.5%, decreasing by 1.5% per year.
Before claiming the TTP-included price, providers must have the agreement of a participant and agree to meet 3 NDIA-set criteria by December 2019 (the main one being to participate in an NDIA-endorsed benchmarking survey). NDIS plans already in existence at 1 July were increased to accommodate the higher TTP-included prices. This was to ensure participants were not disadvantaged.
However, the funding in new plans since 1 July (for either new participants or following a plan review for existing participants) is not based on the TTP-included prices. The only way the TTP-included prices can be charged is if a participant agrees to forgo some hours of what has been determined as their ‘reasonable and necessary’ support needs. NDIS participants should not have to agree to receive fewer hours of support in order for providers to charge the TTP-included prices (which the NDIA believes they need).
This decision by the NDIA needs to be overturned as soon as possible.
The IDA representatives also discussed concerns about the Australian government’s ‘underspend’ on the NDIS and the inappropriate use of these funds to balance the federal budget. The $3.78 billion underspend is not acceptable and should be invested in supporting people with disability and their families and communities around Australia as it was intended. The Australian government has benefited financially from not meeting its own implementation targets with regard to the number of participants in the scheme combined with underspend on approved participant plans. Australia has much to do in order to achieve an accessible and equitable society and this “underspend” should appropriately be used to support developments in this critical arena to provide for the wellbeing, equality and inclusion of people with disability who at this time lag behind on every indicator of health, wellbeing, employment, education and economics.
Finally, members raised the issue of transport in NDIS plans. NDIS participants, particularly in regional and remote areas, are being disadvantaged by lack of access to transport to support their social supports and other activities. If these supports are deemed reasonable and necessary, then transport to make them accessible must also be included in plans.