The NDIS will be introducing free independent assessments for people over seven years old who are applying for the Scheme for the first time from early next year, and then at some plan reviews for existing participants from the middle of 2021.
Independent assessments for children less than seven will also start in 2021.
So, why Independent Assessment?
Well it’s important to note first that it won’t be needed every year or at every plan review, rather only when there is or has been a major change in your life, or your plan.
With that in mind, the NDIS have said that thanks to your feedback, the processes surrounding the NDIS need to be simpler, faster and fairer. Having Independent Assessors does a couple of things to make that happen:
- Assessors will be trained to use the same tools to ensure each participant is treated fairly and consistently.
- Workload for current NDIA/NDIS assessors will be reduced where an independent assessor can get involved, speeding up processes where they might otherwise create a bottleneck.
- It makes access to assessment of your application and plan more readily available, so you don’t spend as much time waiting for an assessment to be completed.
How will it work?
The NDIS are creating a (well trained) panel of assessors, health professionals, rehab counsellors and social workers to work at arm’s length from the NDIA – they’ll be truly independent.
Access to Independent Assessment will be free (your feedback made this happen too!), so you’re not out of pocket when gathering evidence in supporting your application or having it assessed.
You can do the assessment in one session or many. Where possible, you’ll have the ability to choose which assessor you want from the panel including your preference of a male or female assessor. You can engage in a video call or do your assessment in person and of course, you’re able to have someone with you, like a family member, support worker, or your current health professional.
To ensure there’s an avenue to rebut any issues, you’ll be completely able to request an appeal or review from the NDIA of any decision made by an independent assessor.
There’s still some time between now and independent assessments kicking off – the NDIS announced early on purpose:
“We did this so there would be time to work through the detail in close consultation with people with disability and representative organisations.“
Which is encouraging considering just how important participant feedback is to the healthy function of the NDIS.
If you have questions about this new development or would like to provide feedback to the NDIS with regards to independent assessment, you can email them here firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, we’re here for you too, so if you have any Plan Management related concerns when it comes to the assessment of your plan, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our friendly team: https://ndsp.com.au/contact-us/
NDSP Plan Managers are a NDIS registered provider specialising in NDIS Plan Management. If you are a NDIS Participant looking for the right Plan Manager, CLICK HERE to get in touch with our friendly team today.