Proposal for a National Disability Insurance Scheme

There is growing support for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (see http://www.natdis.com.au/). A paper on the full proposal can be downloaded from http://www.natdis.com.au/NDIS.pdf.A4 members are encouraged to consider the proposal as tell us what they think about how such a scheme would affect people with ASD and their families. We have a forum at http://a4.org.au/a4/forum/NDIS

The website says ...

National Disability Insurance Scheme

It is time to cement a fully funded no-fault National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) at the heart of the National Disability Strategy. Ranking alongside Medicare and compulsory superannuation, the scheme would be a visionary economic and social reform for the benefit of all Australians.

This issue affects every Australian, today and in the future. We are each at risk of experiencing a disability in our lifetime and the numbers of Australians with a disability are increasing.

We need to plan ahead before the current unmet and under-met needs become overwhelming. The projected increase in the proportion of the population with disabilities, combined with the declining informal support through unpaid carers, will lead to very large increases in the costs of disability. Under present arrangements this would add to government outlays.

The situation is similar to the problem identified in the 1980s that led to the development of compulsory superannuation. It was recognised that an ageing population dependent on old age pensions would place an extreme burden on taxpayers.

Key features of the scheme

Key features of the scheme would be the universality of eligibility and the benefits to the individual with a disability through the funding of essential services including:

  • case management to facilitate independence, maximise potential and plan transitions over the life course
  • early intervention as a top priority in the areas of therapy, education and accommodation support
  • aids, technology and equipment and home modification needs met on a timely basis
  • training, development and access to work to build self-esteem and reduce long term costs.

Comments

Departmental Head Speaks Up for a National Disability Scheme

From the NDS website (http://www.nds.org.au/national/default.htm):

The Director General of the NSW Department of Disability Ageing and Home Care (DADHC) yesterday called for the introduction of a national disability scheme, similar to Medicare.

"It is wrong that a person who is born with a health problem, say a hole in the heart, has a system that guarantees them access to services, but a person who is born with or acquires a disability does not."

HREOC recommends government consider universal insurance

The HREOC website describes HREOC's submission on a National Disability Strategy (see http://www.hreoc.gov.au/disability_rights/commonwealth/NDS.htm). In relation to an Adequate Standard of Living for people with a disability, HREOC

"... recommends that the National Disability Strategy include ... Commitment to consideration of a national universal disability insurance scheme as a potential means for addressing costs of disability and gaps and limitations in supports and services"

HREOC could ask for more than a commitment to consider from government ... since such a commitment is inherent in the government's asking for submissions. The government effectively bound itself to considering a disability insurance scheme if anyone bought up the issue.

support for a National Disability Insurance Scheme

Here are some links to material supporting such a scheme ...

  • a report from the Uniting Churches of Australia (see http://assembly.uca.org.au/resources/37-update/254-update0708.html) says one of the items at the Government's 2020 Summit "that attracted most attention and endorsement in the Families, Communities and Social Inclusion stream" was a proposal for "The development of a National Disability Insurance Scheme";
  • in MJA, see http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/189_11_011208/red10568_fm.html
  • Families Australia, see http://www.familiesaustralia.org.au/links/index.htm says ...

    People with a disability and their families need a secure future. The struggle for essential services and support is never ending – from early intervention to equipment, respite, accommodation, employment and family support. It is time to change the way services for people with a disability are funded in Australia. A planned, fully-funded, National Disability Insurance Scheme will underwrite sustained, significant, long-term improvements in meeting the needs of people with a disability and their families.

  • Tha Association for Children with a Disability (see http://www.acd.org.au/noticeboard/news_1.htm) says ...

    The idea of a National Disability Insurance Scheme has been around for some time but appears to be gaining momentum after it was discussed at the Australia 2020 summit in April this year. ...

  • see http://www.thespasticcentre.org.au/news/index.htm ...

    Addressing the lifetime needs of people with a disability is a burden that is often placed on individuals and government funded agencies. A new report offers a solution to reform the disability sector: to shift from the current crisis-driven welfare approach to a planned and fully-funded National Disability Insurance Scheme that will underwrite sustained, significant, long-term improvements in meeting the needs of people with disabilities and their families.

  • see http://www.yooralla.com.au/NDIS.php ...
  • see http://www.novita.org.au/Article/NewsDetail.aspx?p=140&id=1364

more apparent support for the plan ...

Plan for no-fault disability insurance

Sue Corrigan | March 28, 2009

Article from:  The Australian

BRUCE Bonyhady is a successful Melbourne businessman, a former federal Treasury official, the chairman of Philanthropy Australia -- and the father of two sons born with cerebral palsy.

Because of his family experiences, Mr Bonyhady knows how dysfunctional Australia's crisis-driven disability support system can be. But his business acumen, contacts and financial background have equipped him to do something about it.

For the past three years, Mr Bonyhady has been working to promote the creation of a universal, no-fault National Disability Insurance Scheme, fully funded by a Medicare-style tax levy.

Former deputy prime minister Brian Howe, now based at Melbourne University's Centre for Public Policy, introduced Mr Bonyhady to the trailblazing work of Sydney actuary John Walsh, who had spent years designing and costing a no-fault insurance scheme for people disabled by catastrophic accidents.

He and Walsh joined forces to design a scheme covering all forms of severe disability regardless of cause. Both decline to reveal costing details at this point, but they "do not disagree" with the head of NSW's Disabilities Department, Brendan O'Reilly, who called for "a tax levy, similar to Medicare, to fund lifelong care of people with disabilities".

"The costs of introducing this sort of scheme are less than people might think," Mr Bonyhady told The Weekend Australian. "A well-planned insurance scheme would provide much better value for the billions of dollars governments now spend on disability services, and would give security to all Australians, because the risk of disability is one we all face."

To help press the case, he has assembled an influential coalition of supporters, many of whom already have the ear of ministers and senior bureaucrats.

source: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,,25253313-643,00.html