Disability services shutting up shop
DISABILITY businesses are being forced to shut their doors after decades of providing vital services because the fees paid by the NDIS do not cover their costs.
Vince Bates, whose HeadEast service, at Eastgardens in Sydney’s east, helped people with an acquired brain injury learn how to talk, read and write and manage basic household tasks, says the NDIS payment rate is $20 an hour less than it costs to provide his service.
The situation will mean his service, which helps 32 clients, will close later this month. Mr Bates worries some of his clients may find it hard to find a replacement service because there is only one other provider in Sydney providing the same service.
“As our clients transition to the NDIS we lose state government funding and we are not able to recover enough money from the NDIS,” Mr Bates said.
The cost of vital disability equipment has also soared under the NDIS, with some parents reporting registered suppliers are charging five times more for equipment than existing providers.
Sydney woman Joy Collier said the NDIS has been a “nightmare” for her daughter Janelle, who suffers from cerebral palsy and is now having to pay more than $7000 extra for special shoes to help her stand upright from an NDIS-registered supplier.
“I went to the NDIS office near us and explained that this was an absolute rip-off of taxpayers’ money,” Mrs Collier said. “They gave me a form to get the new provider to fill out and when I asked him to fill it out he told me this would cost Janelle a further $285 to fill in the form.”