New report urges funding boost for NDIS support service

April 5, 2023

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A decade on from the creation of the NDIS, a new report has found millions of people with a disability are unable to access the support services they need.

The report, commissioned by National Disability Services, said there was a concerning outlook for community-based support services, with funding and volunteers at a critical low.

Of those with a disability who aren’t on an individualised NDIS funding plan, 90 per cent were unable to access services.

About four million people with a disability do not have an individualised package, instead relying on disability services provided by state and territory governments, community organisations or not-for-profits, also known as tier two services.

The report found without proper tier two services, people with disabilities were more likely to need funding packages or would need increased NDIS support.

National Disability Services chief executive Laurie Leigh said more funding was needed to ensure the longevity of the service.

“A lack of so-called tier two supports has created an ‘NDIS or bust’ situation for people with disability needing assistance,” she said.

“Investing in these community support programs will take considerable pressure off the scheme.”

Tier two funding accounts for less than one per cent of investment in disability supports

The disability scheme is set to be one of the biggest expenses for the federal budget, with projections showing the NDIS will cost more than $50 billion by 2025/26, more than the annual cost of Medicare.

NDIS Minister Bill Shorten announced a review of the scheme in October last year in a bid to rein in spending.

Ms Leigh said more funding was needed for tier two support services to take pressure off the system.

“We need reliable, ongoing funding for tier two services, be that through states and territories, local councils, the NDIS or linkages grants, so that there is – for the whole sector – a thriving environment for people with disability to access the information and supports that they need,” she said.