NDIA CEO addresses NDIS participants, families and carers with open letter

The NDIA CEO, Martin Hoffman, published an open letter to all NDIS participants, their families and carers. 

The letter focuses on the NDIS commitment to be better, simpler, faster and fairer over the next two years.

The CEO outlined information on the introduction of independent assessments in early 2021, using feedback from NDIS participants.

  • Introduction of free independent assessments for people over seven years old who are applying for the Scheme for the first time from early 2021
  • Free independent assessments at some plan reviews for existing participants from the middle of 2021. 
  • Independent assessments for children less than seven will also start in 2021.
  • Independent assessments will only be needed when there is a major change in your life or plan.
  • Assessments will be free as getting assessments and evidence to support NDIS applications and reviews can be costly and leave you out of pocket. 

The letter outlined that the NDIA are creating a panel of assessors (health professionals) who will work at arm’s length from the NDIA. These assessors will all be trained in using the same set of assessment tools to make sure everyone is treated in a fair and consistent way.

Important aspects of the independent assessments:

  • Assessment tools take into account each person’s circumstances, capability and environment
  • You will have choice and flexibility in regard to how the assessment is conducted and who is present
  • You can request a review or appeal if you do not agree with an NDIA decision from an independent assessment
  • Your doctor, health professional, planner and/or Local Area Coordinator are still involved in the process
  • You will still have choice over the providers and types of supports you need 

The NDIA will conduct a second pilot program to test the implementation of the independent assessments in October 2020. 

The NDIA will shortly release an engagement and consultation schedule to support the implementation of independent assessments. Sessions will be conducted nationwide, aligned to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

To read the NDIA CEO’s Open Letter in full, and for more information on the NDIA’s announcement of independent assessments please visit the NDIS website here.