The transition period is a unique period in the life of the NDIS funding. Never again will the number of new participants be entering the NDIS providers in such a compressed timeframe.
The NDIS funding has continued to roll out according to the timelines set out in the bilateral agreement and is now available to all ages in all geographic locations in South Australia.
As at 31 December 2017, more than 15,000 participants had approved plans in South Australia. This is something to celebrate, with a large numbers of participants gaining access to supports they have never received before, sparking new growth and innovation in a diverse and thriving market.
However, due to a number of factors including the challenge of identifying appropriate Partners in the Community to support planning outcomes at the required pace, the transition of State clients will take longer than originally scheduled.
Both the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the South Australian Government agree that the ultimate priority is a high quality planning experience and outcomes for participants, including the ability to meet with an NDIS provider or LAC face-to-face.
For this reason, it is important not to rush the process of transitioning State clients to the NDIS.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is dedicating all available resources to complete planning for State and Commonwealth clients in South Australia as soon as possible.
All those existing State clients unable to be transitioned fully by 30 June 2018 will have had their access to the Scheme determined by this date.
The focus after that will be on developing quality plans with participants over the following six months. It is expected planning for State clients will be complete by 31 December, 2018 and that planning for Commonwealth clients will be complete by 30 June 2019 as originally scheduled.
The South Australian governments has agreed that they will maintain current funding arrangements to their clients and providers until participants receive an approved NDIS plan to access NDIS providers and NDIS funding.
The Commonwealth will continue to fund its programs in line with the scheduled transition of Commonwealth clients into the NDIS funding during 2018-19.
This means people will continue to receive support from the South Australian and Commonwealth governments until they have a planning meeting and approved NDIS plan with NDIS funding and with a NDIS provider.
It is important to reinforce there will be no loss in continuity of service.