A national disability insurance scheme that meets people’s needs

A national disability insurance scheme that meets people’s needs

Each year, we assist over 25,000 people who identify as having a disability. For our clients the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been a major change in their lives. 

Through this work, we see the potential for the NDIS to deliver choice, control and the promise of living life well and independently in the community. 

We also see that when the NDIS is not working as it should, there are devastating consequences for people, their families and communities, including:

  • long periods in custody without conviction
  • inability to obtain bail or parole
  • homelessness 
  • extended detention in mental health services
  • deterioration in health, wellbeing and social engagement 
  • increased risk of offending or re-offending 
  • family breakdown, including through the child protection system. 

We are committed to making the NDIS work as well as possible for clients, through: 

  • training and resources for our staff and others in the legal assistance sector, to make sure we understand the landscape of the NDIS and how to navigate it for the people we work with 
  • strategic advocacy informed by our practice and the experiences of our clients and consumers to help reform the NDIS to help it deliver choice, control and the promise of living life well and independently in the community.

We are committed to working with the NDIA, governments and our partners in the community and legal assistance sectors to maximise the potential of the NDIS.

Do you need help with the NDIS?

Learn more about the NDIS and how we can help with some appeals of NDIS decisions.

How the NDIS must be improved

We’re calling for an NDIS that ensures people receive the supports and services they need to live well and independently in the community. 

These three changes are crucial to make sure the NDIS fulfills its promise of delivering choice and control to people with disability: 

  1. Effective coordination and collaboration to make sure people do not fall through the gaps between the NDIS and other services like health, justice, housing and transport.
  2. A focus on making the NDIS work for people with different needs, including culturally safe services, better regional access, expert planning, timely reviews and skilled support coordination. 
  3. A service safety net that prevents serious harm when the NDIS market fails or when people need urgent access to NDIS supports.

Market failure

We are concerned about cases where clients with disability who are funded to receive supports under the NDIS, are at risk of harm because they cannot access the services in their NDIS plans. Read our Explainer – National Disability Insurance Scheme and market failure. Please note: In the past Victoria Legal Aid referred to the need for a ‘provider of last resort’. We have updated this language to a “service safety net’ due to feedback from people with disability. 

Read how we’ve helped clients with NDIS issues

  • Liam – a landmark Federal Court decision 
  • Ken – how we helped a farmer with multiple sclerosis get early support
  • Francis – a young man who became stuck in prison when his NDIS service provider’s quit
  • Alex – stuck in prison because he had nowhere else to go
  • Sasha – fighting an endless battle for her son’s needs
  • Beau – removal of choice in access to respite services has serious consequences for young man and his family
  • Sam – has Huntington’s Disease and is living in a Melbourne psychiatric ward. Despite having a large NDIS plan no housing supports can be found for him
  • Evelyn – fighting for interim supports during COVID-19
  • A Father – getting the NDIA to fund what they agreed to at the AAT
  • Rick – losing NDIS funded supports and falling into a service gap

More information

The National Disability Insurance Scheme website.

Victorian Government’s NDIS website.

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations website Disability Loop is a way to find out more about the NDIS news, information, resources and events.

The Office of the Public Advocate can help with advocacy and decision-making and the NDIS.

Every Australian Counts is the grassroots campaign that fought for the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and won.

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