Background: Utilisation, the proportion of individuals’ National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plans that are used, was 70% for the period between 1 October 2019 and 31 March 20201 . While full utilisation is not realistic, it is possible that utilisation lower than 100% could be indicative of people not receiving the supports they need.
Aims: This project has two aims: A) to quantify inequalities in NDIS utilisation and B) assess whether exemplar scenarios can close these inequalities.
Data: In accordance with the NDIA’s public data sharing policy, a tailored data release was obtained through a data sharing request with the NDIA. The tailored dataset covers 1 July 2016 – 30 June 2020. We used detailed information on socio-demographic characteristics (e.g., age, disability), plans and spending for active participants’ completed post-trial plans. Having the plan and payment data allows us to calculate utilisation for each individual as they progress through their plans. It also allows us to calculate the utilisation of specific support categories (e.g., core, capacity building or capital supports).
Study design: Utilisation is a complex outcome to analyse. It is a composite measure of the use of multiple planned supports. This complexity was highlighted in the Comparative Analysis, conducted in parallel to this report. It found if utilisation is to be used as an indicator, it should be used to compare groups or individuals over time. As such, the rate of utilisation is not necessarily that informative, rather its why there are large differences at the individual level. These findings frame how we design the analysis in this report. We need ways of making comparisons between groups that help us determine what is driving utilisation. To do this we have two main ways of splitting the population of NDIS participants up that serves two distinct purposes