The National Disability Insurance Scheme is being criticised for creating frustration and anxiety.
Calwell MP Maria Vamvakinou raised a number of concerns about the assessment process for accessing the NDIS in federal Parliament last week, including the lack of a local area co-odinator, rate of approvals and lengthy delays.
“Complaints by people trying to access the scheme are mounting as people believe their individual needs are not being properly considered,” she said.
“Many of my constituents are facing unnecessary delays and there’s also unwelcome hurdles to accessing the NDIS as a result of these delays.” Ms Vamvakinou said the NDIS began rolling out in Calwell in March this year.
“My constituents will join thousands of others across the north western region of Melbourne who will be required to submit their care packages for approval.
“For some, however, already engaged in that process, it is proving a source of anxiety and frustration. The longer-than-expected rolling out in … Calwell, for example, has been a source of concern to begin with, but now the assessment experience itself is proving a challenge, as is the pricing structure.”
She said three months after the rollout began, the Brimbank area remained without a local area co-ordinator.
Autism Angels committee member Despina Havelas, who has seen families go through the assessment process, said Brimbank desperately needed a co-ordinator.
“There’s so much to take in when trying to access the NDIS – it’s almost like learning a new language,” Ms Havelas said.
Ms Vamvakinou said it was time for the government to take action.
“People with disabilities have a right to access the NDIS fully, not partially,” she said. “They should not be made to feel that they have to fight every step of the way in order to justify the most appropriate package to help them and their carers live a fruitful and valuable life.”