NDIS delay slammed
Families face emotional, financial stress over plan renewals
DELAYS in renewing NDIS contracts are leaving families under financial and emotional stress, a concerned Hobart parent says.
Nigel Jones says 13-year-old son Xavier’s plan did not roll over after it expired last month, despite the family meeting NDIS deadlines.
“I would have thought it was common sense that they would have done their due diligence and had his new plan up and ready to go when the first run ran out,” Mr Jones said.
“I’m not the only one in the same boat — there’s lots of parents being left stranded.
“Some plans ran out in October and they’re still waiting for their new plan to arrive.”
Xavier, who has severe autism spectrum disorder, signed up for the National Disability Insurance Scheme last year as its Tasmanian rollout continued.
It allowed the Year 7 student to access services such as occupational therapy and psychology, while his carers receive a respite weekend once a month.
Families were also waiting on funds for necessities such as incontinence pads while they sweated on contracts arriving, Mr Jones said.
“It puts an enormous strain on them because you need those services, they’re essential to be able to manage,” Mr Jones said.
“Respite is so important — just that one weekend a month where you have a chance to be able to do things.
“There are children out there a lot worse off than mine and to be held back because the bureaucracy can’t get their act together is just staggering.”
Managing body the National Disability Insurance Agency immediately sent Mr Jones a contract after it was contacted for a response by the Sunday Tasmanian.
“The NDIA can advise that we have been in contact with the family and addressed their concerns,” a spokeswoman said.
No explanation for the delay was provided. The widely applauded NDIS is expected to help more than 10,000 Tasmanians by 2019.
Its progressive rollout in the state since July 2013 has focused on assisting young people with a disability.
Mr Jones’s concerns come as International Day of People with a Disability is held today.
STRAIN: Xavier Jones, 13, with dad Nigel at their Geilston Bay home.