NDIS could tighten access for autism

Work is under way to look at conditions around automatic entry to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Daniel McCulloch

Senior officials from the National Disability Insurance Scheme are not ruling out tightening access to people with autism trying to access the $22 billion program.

Chief executive of the National Disability Insurance Agency, Robert De Luca, has confirmed work is under way to consider conditions around automatic entry to the scheme.

Labor senator Murray Watt pressed Mr De Luca during a budget estimates hearing for a guarantee that people with level two autism will not be removed from a list of those who automatically qualify for taxpayer-funded support.

"No, I cannot guarantee that, senator," Mr De Luca told the hearing in Canberra on Friday.

Social Services secretary Kathryn Campbell said the department could never rule out changes to the NDIS.

"We have said constantly that we have to refine the system as it rolls out to make sure those people who are eligible for the scheme have access to the scheme," she told senators.

Disability advocates have raised serious concerns about potential moves to restrict access of autistic people to the NDIS in recent weeks.

Their fears stem from an updated operational guideline, accidentally uploaded to the NDIS website in mid-May.

A staffer at the disability agency altered a list of conditions for autism spectrum disorder, which would require a higher level of evidence to qualify for NDIS support.

from https://www.news.com.au/national/breakin...