Technical report

Mind the gap: the National Disability Insurance Scheme and psychosocial disability

Final report: stakeholder identified gaps and solutions
Mental depression Mental health Disability insurance National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Policy Australia

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a major opportunity to create a network of person-centred supports that will assist individuals with disability to have choices and lead meaningful lives. The NDIS has the potential to provide significant positive benefits for people with psychosocial disability.

Right now, for people with psychosocial disability, there are gaps in implementation of the NDIS with - often stopgap - solutions being implemented which are poorly coordinated and funded. This report reveals these gaps and proposes solutions as identified by consumers, carers and practitioners from the field who are highly committed to ensuring the best outcomes for people with psychosocial disability. Many of the gaps identified are not new and have been raised by peak bodies and in government-sponsored inquiries by the Commonwealth’s Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS and the Productivity Commission. The experiences of the 58 expert stakeholders reported here reinforce and extend the earlier reports of these bodies.

Current participation in the NDIS of people with a primary psychosocial disability is low and indicates multiple difficulties in the implementation of the Scheme. Latest NDIA figures show that only 6.4% of Scheme participants have a primary psychosocial disability which is less than half the expected numbers. To date, 81.4% of people with psychosocial disability who requested access were accepted into the Scheme compared to over 97% for people with cerebral palsy, autism or intellectual disability3. These figures reinforce that people with psychosocial disability are missing out for many reasons and the NDIA is failing to engage appropriately with people experiencing psychosocial disability. This report also documents that when individuals do enter the Scheme they frequently receive inappropriate plans and are unable to find services to carry out their NDIS plan.

This report draws on the great wealth of knowledge held by services currently providing community based services for people who experience psychosocial disability across Australia and sets out the gaps and proposed solutions that they have identified.

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