The Chief execute Officer of the NDIA , Martin Hoffman released a video earlier last month on how independent assessments will be a fairer way of allocating funds for participants. He also goes on to explain how the scheme will ultimately be more consistent and beneficial for participants. However, with the release of transcripts from the latest Senate hearing many have been left shocked at claims of Roboplanning and algorithms left to determine participants budget allocations.
Here is what we know so far about the independent assessments.
- The NDIS have identified a series of assessment tools for adults and children. They’ve called this the “assessment toolkit”
- Independent assessors will be Allied health professionals that have been contracted by the NDIA.
- Depending on their age and disability, new and existing NDIS participants will undertake three or four of these approved assessment tools as part of their independent assessment.
- The data from the assessment will be fed into a system and assessed via the 400 different reference groups “personas” that have been preloaded.
- Assessment is based on support needs rather than goals.
- Goals will be assessed once funding has been allocated.
- The assessment will have no input from you current allied health and medical team
- The decision can not be challenged or appealed.
You can view the full details of each assessment in the “assessment tool kit here”
Mr Hoffman stated “We’ve developed about 400 different reference groups, personas, of participants through disability type, age and a range of other factors that enable us to work out what a typical flexible plan budget should be”
Professor Prof. Bonyhady describes the new reforms as nothing less than roboplanning,
“The fact that roboplanning has reached the current stage of implementation is a disgrace. It should have been stopped long before now”
Prof Bronyhady was one of the key architects of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and was the inaugural Chair of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) from 2013 to 2016.
“These planned reforms completely undermine the vision of the NDIS and, as a result, they’ve caused tremendous fear, anxiety and anger amongst people with disability, their families and their carers”
We also learn more about the the role of the contracted allied health professionals employed to carry out individual assessments on participants. Their role will be to work through the assessments via the “toolkit” and not have influence on the assessment via their expertise as such, they are merely qualified to conduct the pre selected tests. The obtained data will then feed into the “roboplanning’ system to generate the allocated dollar amount. Once the amount has been allocated then you will be referred to your LAC to run through how to spend your financial allocation to help achieve goals.
We also learn there will no way to appeal or dispute the outcome.
Claims that the system will be fairer have been challenged
The NDIS claim this is a much fairer system. Currently participants are required to present reports from their allied health team or doctors to report and justify assistance required at each review. Minister Linda Reynolds claim this is a disadvantage to some.
“it matters where you live, your socioeconomic circumstances, and it should not”
“I completely reject your assertion that everybody in the disability sector disagrees fundamentally with independent assessments. From my experience, that is simply not true”
Many believe the new independent assessments are purely driven by budget and do not have the participants interests and goals at the forefront of decisions. The system leaves participants vulnerable and can cause avoidable trauma. The fact that our accessibility and dignity will be left to fit in these so called “400 Persona” boxes seems unfair and will leave many disadvantaged. The system was never meant to work like this.
If you agree with Prof Bronyhady and the many advocate group fighting against the proposed changes you can take action now by heading to https://everyaustraliancounts.com.au/hands-off/ or emailing the office of Minister Linda Reynolds direct.