Disability scheme to be probed

A disabled man who appeared in advertisements promoting disability services in 2013 has joined the thousands whose applications for help have been rejected.

Jeremy Hawkes, 46, who suffers from Parkinsonism and chronic pain, was among several disabled Australians featured in the ad. But when the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was rolled out in his region this year, his application was rejected.

Access to disability services is regularly hampered by a confusing network of local, state and federal providers. Some recipients who receive services under one tier find that when they wish to make the switch to NDIS support, they are ruled ineligible.

To clear up the confusion and streamline the process for recipients, the Federal Government this week asked the Productivity Commission to review the links between the tiers, as enshrined in the National Disability Agreement (NDA).

The scope of the commission’s study includes:

  • the extent to which the NDA has supported improved outcomes for people with a disability, their families and carers
  • the roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth, state and territory governments under the NDA
  • whether the NDA needs updating to reflect the changing policy landscape, including the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the National Disability Strategy (NDS)

    • examining the interface between the NDIS and mainstream service systems, noting that many people who are unable to directly access the NDIS may access support through alternative service providers, mainstream services and their communities.


The commission is seeking submissions from the public by 24 August 2018. It expects to hand down its report on 25 January 2019. Participants are not restricted to comment only on issues already raised by the commission. To lodge a submission, visit the commission’s website.

The NDIS is not available in all parts of Australia yet. To find out if the scheme operates near you, visit:


You need to be under 65 years of age to apply for NDIS support. You may meet the disability requirements if:

  • you have an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent
  • your impairment substantially reduces your ability to participate in activities or perform tasks unless you have help from other people, assistive technology or equipment
  • your impairment affects your capacity for social and economic participation
  • you are likely to require support under the NDIS for your lifetime.


Do you access disability services? Have you tried and not succeeded in accessing disability services? What suggestions would you make to improve the provision of disability services?

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YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writershttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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