In the Media

NDIS rollout in SA may miss July deadline as figures reveal significant delays already

Sowaibah Hanifie | ABC News

The full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme has suffered another setback, with delays in South Australia leaving almost 800 people in the lurch.

The latest NDIS quarterly report shows that, as of mid-year, 12,116 people in SA had access to the scheme compared to an expected number of 12,887.

The NDIS is being rolled out in phases and was made available to adult patients in July this year.

Dignity Party MP Kelly Vincent said her office has received calls every day from parents who have been waiting for up to a year for an appointment to organise NDIS plans for their children with their caseworkers.

“These delays are having a significant impact on the lives of those children, young people and their families,” she said.

“The families are having to pay out of pocket for very expensive therapies.

“Here we are having transitioned into the next phase yet we still have children and young people waiting unacceptable periods of time.”

The delays for both adults and children are likely to push back the expected July 2018 full rollout date.

‘It’s not easy, it’s not simple’

Ms Vincent has called on the State Government to modify its bilateral agreements with the Commonwealth to ensure there are enough resources to process the number of eligible participants.

“Given the fact that we are three to four years into the rollout and we’re still receiving calls every day shows the state and federal government need to put their egos aside and work side by side on this,” she said.

She has also previously called for the quarterly intake of children, who were not previously receiving State Government funding, to be raised from the current number of 32 per quarter.

Earlier this month, a review of the NDIS called on governments and agencies to begin planning for changed timetables as the full national rollout of the scheme was expected to happen after the 2020 deadline.

Disabilities Minister Katrine Hildyard said she was in discussion with the Federal Government to work through the cases that need to be transitioned by next year.

“The transition to the NDIS is the biggest social reform since Medicare. It’s not easy, it’s not simple,” she said.

“I certainly will be standing up for South Australians to make sure all with a disability transition to the NDIS by the middle of next year.

“We already have a funding agreement with the Commonwealth and we expect them to keep their end of the bargain.”