The cost of autistic NDIS participants

Media Release

The NDIS provides summary data on its website. The following values are extracted from the participant numbers and average plan budgets data for March and June 2020.

1

RprtDt

DsbltyGrpNm

PrtcpntCnt

AvgAnlsdCmtdSuppBdgt

1816

30-Jun-20

ALL

391,999

 $70,000

1856

30-Jun-20

Autism

122,830

 $40,000

89275

31-Mar-20

ALL

364,879

 $67,000

89315

31-Mar-20

Autism

113,470

 $38,000

The total committed supports for the NDIS at full roll out (end June 2020) was $27.4 billion (391,999x$70,000). Autistic participants, while they were 31.3% of NDIS participants, accounted for $4.91 billion (122,830x$40,000) or 17.9% of the total committed supports.

Note that the average committed support for a non-autistic NDIS participant is $83.7K ($24.44B-$4.9B)/(391,999-122,830). The average committed support for an autistic NDIS participant is 47.8% of the average for a non-autistic participant, or less than half.

Some other points:

  • The number of NDIS participants at full roll-out (end June 2020) are below the estimated number of 460K (or the original estimate of 420K).
  • While the annual committed supports are $27.44 billion, average plan utilisation is below 80% so the actual total support for the NDIS over 12 months is around $22 billion which is close to the expected cost of the NDIS – though adding overheads would likely push it over budget.
  • The low level of committed support for autistic participants means autistic participants help to keep the NDIS sustainable – the opposite of what the NDIA believes.
  • Apparently, the NDIA uses ICD-10 classifications so their “autism” group includes 393 participants with Rett’s disorder (generally now considered a “genetic disorder”). The total also includes around 2477 with Asperger’s Disorder/syndrome as their primary disability.
  • The $3K variation in average committed supports between March and June 2020 is surprisingly large over a relatively short period. The reasons for so much variability need to be better understood.

Contact: Bob Buckley