New participants and sites for the full roll-out of the national disability insurance scheme are set to be finalised by the middle of next year.
The federal government will soon start negotiations on new agreements with the states guiding the full launch of the landmark scheme, which is expected by 2019.
It’s understood the agreements will detail how new sites across the country will transition into the scheme and the number of new people able to participate.
The initial bilateral agreements establishing the NDIS trial sites did not specify how each jurisdiction would transition to full coverage of all eligible participants.
This will now be finalised by mid-2015, Assistant Social Services Minister Mitch Fifield told AAP on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, state and territory ministers responsible for disability will refine such details as the scheme’s safety and quality framework at the next Council of Australian Governments meeting.
They will also consider feedback from the trial sites.
So far, satisfaction with the scheme remains high. The latest report on the scheme has found trial participants are largely happy with their care packages.
However, there are concerns for those outside the scheme and fears some eligible participants may be rejected from support services.
Mental Health Australia says some people with a mental illness, who have previously been able to access support programs, may be locked out once the programs are absorbed into the NDIS.
In South Australia, where the scheme started in July 2013, many children and families await access to the scheme’s planning and services.
SA Dignity for Disability MP Kelly Vincent says more than 2000 locals remain on a “crisis” waiting list – and most likely they’ll keep on waiting until the full launch.
She’s calling on the federal government to release funds from the NDIS levy paid by taxpayers to fund new participants and clear the backlog.
“It is not fair to be withholding the funds people urgently need now,” Ms Vincent said in a statement.
The expected finalisation of new agreement is set to coincide with the release of a “citizen’s jury” report giving the government feedback from those who’ve participated in the trials.
People with Disability Australia expects to publish the scorecard in April 2015.
NDIS KEY FACTS:
* NSW – Trial launched July 2013. Full launch from July 2018.
* VIC – Trial July 2013. Full from July 2019.
* QLD – Transition from 2016. Full from July 2019.
* SA – Trial July 2013. Full from July 2018.
* TAS – Trial July 2013. Full from July 2019.
* ACT & NT – Trial July 2014. Full from July 2019.
* WA – Two year trial from July 2014.