The Australian government has announced that fewer people with psychosocial disability may be added to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in the future. The government expects to divert 27,000 people to outside supports in the next four years.
“We believe that if we can set up supports outside the scheme in the area of psychosocial support, maybe not everyone needs to go on the scheme who might have otherwise gone on the scheme,” Mr Shorten told ABC Radio.
“The reality is NDIS can’t look after every disabled person in Australia, but at the moment I think there is insufficient supports outside, and that is not just a comment about the states — federal departments, local government, we can do more.” added Mr Shorten.
What is the NDIS?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a major reform of disability support in Australia. It provides funding for people with a permanent and significant disability. Because of this it allows individuals to access the support they need to live an ordinary life. The NDIS provides funding for a range of supports, including personal care, mobility equipment, and home modifications. It also provides funding for therapy, education, and employment support.
What is psychosocial disability?
The term Psychosocial disability is used to describe the experience of disability that arises from a mental health condition. Furthermore, people with psychosocial disability may experience a range of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and psychosis. These symptoms can make it difficult for people to participate in everyday activities, such as work, study, and socialising.
There is some disagreement about whether Autism is a psychosocial disability. Some sources describe Autism as a psychosocial disorder with varying degrees of impairment of social interactions, communication, and restricted interest and activities. However, other sources suggest that Autism is not a psychosocial disability, but rather a developmental disability with links to biological and neurological differences in the brain. Currently, the NDIA does not clasify Autism as Psychosocial disability. You can learn more here.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is responsible for implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Australia. At the moment, the NDIS provides funding for people with disabilities, including those with psychosocial disabilities, to access support services.
Government Plans to Divert People with Psychosocial Disability from NDIS
The NDIS Minister, Bill Shorten, said that the program should not serve as a catch-all for disability. Hence some people with psychosocial disability could be better supported outside the NDIS. Mr Shorten stressed that no current NDIS participants would be removed from the scheme. The government believes that if they can set up supports outside the scheme in the area of psychosocial support, not everyone needs to go on the scheme who might have.
The creation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) almost a decade ago, resulted in significant service gaps for people with psychosocial disabilities. The scheme was never intended to replace Mental health services.
What does this mean for people with psychosocial disability?
People with psychosocial disability who do not qualify for the NDIS will need to seek support from other programs. The government has not yet announced which programs will be available, but it is likely that state and territory governments or non-government organisations will run them. Adequate funding and resources are crucial to ensure that people with psychosocial disability can access the support they require.
The NDIS is a crucial program that funds support for people with a permanent and significant disability. It enables them to live an ordinary and productive life. Ensuring the sustainability and effectiveness of the NDIS is important. However, we must ensure that people with psychosocial disability are not excluded from supports. The government must ensure that people with psychosocial disability can access the support they need, whether through the NDIS or other programs.