27 April 2022
The latest NDIS amendment bill was passed on the 31st of March 2022 and put into effect from 1st April 2022. To make things easier, our First2Care team have summarised the key changes below.
Participant Service Guarantee
One of the challenges many participants struggle with when it comes to the NDIS is the timeframes for decision making regarding access to the NDIS, plan approval and review requests. In this latest amendment, these timeframes have been clarified and the standards will be reported to the COAG Disability Reform Council.
The timeframes are:
• Access requests: a decision must be reached within 21 days from the application submission date
• Responding to the NDIA requesting information: 90 days to respond (formerly 28 days)
• Development of a NDIS plan: the plan must be started within 21 days of the person becoming a NDIS
participant, and be completed within 90 days for under 7 years or within 56 days for all other
• Cancellation of nominee appointment: maximum of 14 days after advising the NDIA of the change
• Internal reviews of a “reviewable decision”: decision must be made within 60 days
Variation of a plan
Within 21 days of receiving a request, the NDIA can work with a participant to vary a participant’s plan, without the need for a full review or a new plan. This may be (for example) when something in the plan needs to be corrected, where there is a change in support needs, an equipment request, or when a participant is in crisis or at risk of harm.
This is a new term that will replace what is currently referred to as a ‘plan review’. Plan assessments will continue to run in the same way that plan review’s currently do. At the end of each planning period, or when a variation to the plan in not appropriate, a plan assessment will take place.
Understanding why a decision has been made, the contributing factors and any other key information around decisions made can be helpful information to have. The NDIA will now provide participants and prospective participants with the reasoning behind their decisions about access, planning, and review/reassessment.
There will be changes to the definitions around psychosocial disability, in recognition that the impact of specific psychiatric conditions may be broader than the diagnosis. The amendments also recognise that episodic or fluctuating psychosocial disabilities, are identified as permanent conditions, for the purpose of the NDIS criteria. A person with a psychosocial disability will be assessed against the same functional capacity identifiers as a person living with any other type of impairment.
Like self-managed participants, the NDIA will now undertake risk assessments for participants who request their supports to be managed by a registered plan manager. The draft Plan Management Rules will be reviewed separately when available.
If you have any questions about the amendments bill or any other NDIS changes, please reach out to our dedicated, friendly support team on 1300 322 273 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact your personal Client Manager.