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NDIS Review heads in the right direction for people living with ME/CFS 

Published: 9 January 2024

The recently published NDIS Review report, Working together to deliver the NDIS, recommends significant changes to the Scheme.  Emerge Australia welcomes the report, recognising the Scheme is not working for many people with disability,

“People living with ME/CFS, Long COVID and other post-infection diseases welcome the NDIS Review recommendation that NDIS eligibility be based on functional impairment rather than medical diagnosis” said Emerge Australia CEO, Anne Wilson. “Access to the NDIS for our community has always been challenging. The proposed changes will see removal of ‘access lists’ that provide automatic entry.  Instead, entry will be based on transparent methods for assessing functional capacity and need” Ms Wilson said.

The NDIS was intended to be part of a connected system of support enabling people with disability to use mainstream services in the same way as other Australians. The Review found that this is not occurring and there is also not enough support outside the NDIS. It recommended that foundational supports (such as home and community supports and personal assistance) be available outside the NDIS.

Emerge Australia has long recognised the need for navigational support to assist people connect to services and supports.  Our Telehealth Support Program provides this but more capacity is needed to meet the needs of all Australians living with ME/CFS (and Long COVID) who experience disability.  We are pleased that the Review recommends general and specialist navigators for those with complex needs.

Emerge Australia continues to lobby for education about post-infection diseases for NDIS assessors and support workers, to ensure both equitable access to the scheme and a safe experience when receiving much needed support through the NDIS.

The Review also promises to support NDIS participants to exercise genuine choice and control over their living arrangements.

The Government’s response to the Review will be released in 2024.

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