30 March 2023
A question that has been weighing on many NDIS participants and others in the disability community is, ‘will the unexpected increasing number of NDIS participants mean that funding gets cut from current participants?’
Although it is difficult to definitively say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, the latest NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission Quarterly Report (1st October 2022 to 31st December 2022) can provide some insights.
The Quarterly Report shows that the total number of participants currently on the scheme is 573,342 which is 9,500 higher than recent projections had indicated. However, this difference is largely due to the number of children who have entered the scheme since June 2022. A total of 48% of new participants in the last quarter are children aged 0-7 years. This seems to be a consistent trend.
With the increasing number of children joining the scheme, it could be inferred that there could be an impact on plan funding. The short-term impact appears to be low as many of these new participants have developmental delays or autism and typically require smaller plan budgets. There may be a longer-term impact if these children remain on the scheme as they enter adulthood, but it’s too soon to know if this impact could be significant or not.
The current stats show that since 30 June 2022, payments for participant supports, average plan payments, budgets and participant numbers have continued to increase and are sitting above the expectations for the first half of 2022–23.
For the 6 months up to 31 December 2022 the Scheme expenses sat at $16.8bn (on an accrual basis), which are 1.8 per cent higher than the estimate from $16.5bn estimate of 2021–22. The Quarterly Report states that “the key drivers of this variance is that there are more participants than expected in the Scheme, and the average payment per participant is also higher than expected.”
If you would like to read the report in full, you can access it on the NDIS website: https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/publications/quarterly-reports