26 August 2021
At the end of each yearly quarter, the NDIA releases a report with supporting data to showcase key information regarding the scheme, participants, families, and providers linked to the NDIS. The latest Q4 report was released on Monday 9th August 2021 and summarises how the scheme performed between March 31st and June 30th 2021, as well as additional data reporting for 2020 and 2021, and plans for the future of the NDIS.
Key statistics to note:
• 466,619 people with a disability are currently supported by the NDIS
• 18,400 people joined the scheme in Q4
• 2% increase in Plan Managed participants
• 2% decrease in Agency Managed participants
• 10.8% of participants come from CALD backgrounds
The Q4 report indicates that the number of active NDIS participants has reached 466,619. Which means that there are currently 19,300 fewer participants in the scheme to-date than the Government predicted.
These figures also indicate that Plan Management has seen a 2% increase (totalling 49%) of NDIS participants opting to be Plan Managed, while Agency Management has seen a 2% decrease. There has been no increase or decrease within Self-Management this quarter.
The incremental data (pg. 45 Appendices) shows that 54% of new participants in the scheme entered with Plan Management, which accounts for the slight increase in cumulative numbers.
“The predicted 2019 number of Participants in the NDIS (460,000) has finally been exceeded this past quarter, some two years late. Yet the economists response is to question the sustainability of the scheme rather than to ask what ever happened to the windfall of unspent funds due to this rollout delay? What are the cost savings to other government departments like Health and increased revenue for the tax office. "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics" Mark Twain”
- First2Care Managing Director, Peter Withey
The Q4 report demonstrates that 10.8% of participants come from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Participants with CALD backgrounds typically require slightly higher plan budgets due to cultural sensitivity and safety, as well as support providers who come from the same or similar CALD backgrounds. This 10.8% is significantly lower than the 20% predicted in the CALD strategy.
The tone of the Q4 report has shifted significantly compared to the previous Q3 report. This is likely a result of the decrease in tension around sustainability and the defeat of the independent assessments. While Q3 report reflected the constant media portrayals of the scheme as a waste of tax-payer money and entirely economically unsustainable, the Q4 report is more motivated towards co-design.
Having an NDIS scheme focused on co-design brings a lived experience to the future of the NDIS. This means that every person with a disability, their families and support networks, providers and policymakers are all custodians of the NDIS scheme, which is vital for creating a scheme that truly works for everyone.
Alongside this quarterly report, the Ministers in charge of the scheme have committed to creating a more realistic and up-to-date report on Scheme financial performance, which is due to be produced by December 2021. This report will presumably better reflect the changes in participant costs due to the huge economic impacts of COVID-19, including a significantly greater inflation than what the NDIA previously has outlined (based on their data from 2019 prior to the current pandemic).
First2Care will be paying close attention to how exactly the Government plans to utilise co-design to fix a scheme that has shifted its focus away from the original intention – the wellbeing and livelihood of its participants. We will always advocate for our clients and commend movements towards a scheme that actively engages with its community before making key decisions on the way the NDIS scheme is structured and implemented.
The statistics linked to the Q4 report indicate the perceptions of the scheme, plan management style preferences, and participant outcomes, among other areas. If you would like to view the NDIS Q4 report and statistics, you can do so by visiting the NDIS website here https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/publications/quarterly-reports.