Older Canberrans, young children and school leavers will be among the first to transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) when it commences in the ACT from 1 July, Minister for Disability Joy Burch said yesterday.
The NDIS trial in the ACT will run for two years, with people gradually transitioning into the Scheme according to their age or life stage.
“The ACT Government has undertaken considerable analysis and research to develop a strategy for moving people into the NDIS in a way that is equitable, practical and efficient,” Ms Burch said.
“The ACT will be the first jurisdiction in Australia to accept all eligible people into the Scheme and obviously not everyone will be able to access the NDIS on day one.
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“So the ACT and Commonwealth governments have agreed on a plan to have people enter the Scheme according to their age, or school year for school-age children.
“I am pleased that the Commonwealth has finally ticked off on our plan, less than a month before the NDIS starts, and I can start giving our community the information they need to plan their lives.”
The plan will help transition more than 5,000 eligible Canberrans into the NDIS over the two?year trial period.
“We want the Scheme to be equitable and sustainable here in the ACT,” Ms Burch said.
“Because the cut-off age is 65, older Canberrans will transition first so they do not miss out. In the first year of the trial, 64 to 59 year olds will transition to the NDIS, followed by 58 to 20 year olds in the second year.
“We want our children to have the best start in life, so children under four will transition by the end of this year. All high school and primary school-age children will transition across during the 2015 school year.
“School leavers with high and complex needs who left school between 2008 and 2013 with a Post School Options package will have access to the NDIS in 2014, and all 2014 school leavers will also transition at the end of this year.
“Finally, our disability group homes will transition separately – home by home – so that each household can be assessed as a group and move into the NDIS together. The age of the youngest person in the household will determine at what time the whole house is moved across to the NDIS.
“Disability ACT will be contacting families and residents in group homes to let them know when they will transition to the NDIS.”
The ages and life stages approach will help ensure the NDIS can deliver what it promises for Canberrans with a disability, their families and carers.
“Until people transition to the NDIS, they will still get the support they are currently receiving. Nothing will change immediately on 1 July,” Ms Burch said.
“People with disability and their families and carers will be contacted by the National Disability Insurance Agency when it is time for discussions about their transition to begin.
“The ACT Government and the NDIA will work with people with disability, their families, carers, and service providers to ensure the transition plan is implemented effectively.”
The National Disability Insurance Agency will open its doors on 1 July at two locations:
– 212 Northbourne Ave, Braddon
– One Human Services Gateway, Nature Conservation House, Emu Bank, Belconnen.
(Media Statement Joy Burch)