The Chronicle


Carers access less than 50% of funds due to complexity


AVAILABLE funding for participan­ts in the National Disability Insurance Scheme is going to waste, with less than half of those eligible in the Toowoomba region using all the support available.

Despite the rollout of the

NDIS starting in the region in 2017, the latest data released by the NDIS shows that on average Toowoomba participan­ts used just 48 per cent of their funding in the first year, which is below the Queensland average of 50 per cent.

LIVING in regional Queensland with a daughter suffering from incurable Huntington’s disease, Dalby mother Lynne Webb knows all too well the challenges of finding disability support. Unfortunat­ely Ms Webb isn’t alone in navigating the complexiti­es of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The latest NDIS quarterly report has revealed that despite the rollout of the scheme to the Toowoomba region in 2017, on average participan­ts

use just 48 per cent of their funding in the first year, below the state average of 50 per cent.

Ms Webb said her daughter Alanna needed constant support as Huntington’s slowly took more of her mental and physical aptitude.

“We have 24/7 care, and that means having one carer on all the time,” Lynne said.

“It’s not easy finding support workers but the team we have now have all been handpicked.”

Not-for-profit organisati­on Community Solutions has called on Toowoomba participan­ts in the NDIS to seek support co-ordination to maximise the support available.

Community Solutions’ general manager – NDIS specialist services Jenny Madden said many people didn’t realise that help was on hand for them to get the support they needed.

“Thousands of people in the Toowoomba region are receiving just a fraction of the support they are entitled to under the NDIS,” Ms Madden said.

“Once people have gone through the process of applying for the NDIS and have been accepted into the scheme, the paperwork, emails and phone calls don’t stop there because then you have to actually find the support providers.

“I want people to know help is on hand and there are people – support co-ordinators – who are there to do the leg work for you and find you the support you need.”

Ms Madden said finding the right support could be confrontin­g as there were 493 NDIS registered service providers active in the Toowoomba region from April – June 2021, with 1333 providers registered since the scheme began.

Ms Webb said she simply couldn’t have found the support she needed without their support co-ordinator from Community Solutions.

“I can’t tell you how important it is to have support co-ordination,” said Ms Webb.

“To have someone there where you can ask them to do or find things for you – it’s been an incredible help, and I couldn’t manage without it, it’s just amazing.”

Community Solutions’ new Toowoomba office at 158 Margaret Street has opened. For more details call 1300 770 145.

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