The $5000 per person funding is separate to the $10.6 million from the NDIS agreement signed by the Commonwealth and ACT Governments that has been referred to in several public statements the Government has made recently.
The $5000 figure relates to ACT Labor’s 2012 Election commitment to provide $5000 in extra support for each school leaver with a serious disability, and that extra funding has already commenced. Only a few dozen of persons are eligible for this in any given year. Letters of offer to about 40 young people and their families have already gone out, and several have already accepted this funding offer. Disability ACT has managed to fund this initiative from within existing budget allocations, and so this commitment is being delivered in 2012-13 (now).
Separate to that, from July 2013, the ACT and Federal governments will invest $10.6 million in 2013-14 to respond to the demand for disability and mental health services. The quantum of additional assistance received by individuals from this extra funding will vary on a case by case basis. This funding will be used to provide enhanced services in 2013-14 in the ACT which will enable eligible people to have access to additional funding to improve their quality of life and independence, while also providing a break for their families and carers.
The types of supports and services to which people may have access will include aids and equipment, modifications which may increase their independence or reduce their need for support from paid or unpaid carers, access to day-time activities to enhance community inclusion, and respite services.
From July 2014 eligible ACT residents will begin to transfer to the NDIS. It is necessary to transition over 2013-14 to the NDIS model to enable the sector, the Government and disability clients to smoothly transition to the new funding model, which is significantly different to the way things currently operate. To facilitate this, the Commonwealth has committed a further $12 million for the ACT in sector preparation and workforce development, which will also commence in 2013-14.
As the media release says, it is expected 2,500 Canberrans with disability and mental illness will begin to receive this support from the NDIS during 2014-15, increasing to approximately 5,000 clients in the NDIS by June 2016. All of the launch sites for the NDIS are seeing a phased in implementation.