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17 October 2016
Access denied to the NDIS
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in the ACT has reached its participant target of 5,075, which means that people needing to access the NDIS will now be turned away, unless an existing participant exits the Scheme.
Alzheimer’s Australia ACT CEO Jan Chorley said this is a major issue, particularly for people in the ACT with younger onset dementia - a diagnosis of dementia under the age of 65 - who will now be unable to apply for the NDIS and gain access to the services and supports they need, when they need them.
“People who receive a diagnosis of dementia cannot be expected to wait indefinitely for access to individualised services and support they require. Dementia is a degenerative and terminal disease which results in cognitive decline as the condition progresses.
“We know that access to early intervention services and supports such as information, counselling and advice can have a profoundly positive impact on their lives and their quality of life,” Ms Chorley said.
“There are currently 25,100 people living with younger onset dementia in Australia. This group of people have very different needs and face different challenges to those that develop dementia over the age of 65. They may have families they support, mortgages, and are still actively participating in the workforce. It is critical this group of people and their families do not fall through the gaps.”
Alzheimer’s Australia is also concerned about the implications this will have for people living with a disability in other states and territories across Australia, as the ACT is currently the only state in which the NDIS has been fully rolled out. The issue is further complicated as the ACT legislative assembly is in caretaker mode as we await the results of the recent ACT election.
This situation also raises significant concerns about future funding for individual NDIS plans and the need for a guarantee from both the Commonwealth and state and territory governments, ensuring ongoing financial support for all NDIS eligible clients until this issue is resolved.
“It is imperative we have a system that is accessible to all and that meets the unique needs of those with a disability, including dementia.
“Until the ACT Government ascertain if they need to set a new bilateral agreement or amend the existing one, it raises serious concerns about the viability of the whole NDIS across Australia going forward,” Ms Chorley said.
Bianca Armytage | 0407 019 430 | [email protected]
Alzheimer’s Australia is the peak body representing people with dementia and their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. More than 353,800 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than half a million by 2030.
National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500
An interpreter service is available
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Dementia is a National Health Priority Area
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