A campaign to expand NDIS coverage to all Australians, not just those under 65, is gathering momentum.
In late June, Spinal Life Australia launched the Disability Doesn’t Discriminate campaign.
The campaign aims to press the Federal Government to scrap the current age limit on entering the NDIS, set at 65.
Anyone who acquires their disability after 64, and needs government help to stay at home, has to rely on the MyAgedCare Scheme. With an annual funding cap of $52,377.50, it falls well short of providing for those with high-level care needs. Under the NDIS, which is a needs-based model, the average annual funding package for someone living with a spinal cord injury is $165,000.
As you can read in the article "We’re not ready to be thrown away" on this website, for people sustaining high-level spinal cord injuries after 64, getting adequate support to stay at home is extremely tough. To do so, relies on loved ones being able and willing to become full-time carers, as well as significant self-funding.
Among the recommendations handed down in the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care, delivered in early 2021, was that those receiving aged care funding and living with disability should receive support and outcomes equivalent to those under the NDIS, by July 1, 2024.
In response, the Government said they will “work to develop” a new at home support package, with the work due to be completed by 2022.
With an open-ended response such as this, a campaign highlighting community concern about the issue, and support for meaningful change, clearly has a role to play, and a plausible path to influencing policy.
Two months in
As of late August 2021, the Disability Doesn’t Discriminate campaign has attracted well over 18,000 signatures for its petition, and significant press coverage.
To find out more about the campaign, or to offer support, visit: www.disabilitydoesntdiscriminate.com.au