Funding and prosthetics | Dec 09th
Independent assessments create a complete picture of how you manage tasks and activities in your everyday life. How you do things like school or work, or take part in your community.
An independent assessment will mean that you don’t need to organise an assessment or collect evidence to show the impact of your disability. This new process will save you time and money. Independent assessments will mean you have quick access to internationally recognised tools and qualified health professionals no matter where you live, or what your circumstances are.
From mid 2021: independent assessments will also be required as part of the plan review process. This is part of a new approach to planning that will mean plan reviews are based on life stages, instead of a year or two.
Independent assessments are common, streamlined approaches used by many funding bodies, in fact organisations like Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) have been using them for years.
For a person with disability, functional capacity is a positive way in determining eligibility for the NDIS, as well as to get an indication of the kinds of supports that will benefit you the most. Instead of focussing on everything that is “wrong” with the person and what they can’t do, a functional assessment captures information about what they can do. Functional capacity is the ability to be involved in different areas of life like home, school, work and the community and to carry out tasks and actions. It takes into account other factors in a person’s environment that may impact day to day life. Some examples of questions that might be asked by trained allied health professionals using the validated assessment tools include:
How much difficulty do you have in:
In these examples, the person being assessed is able to answer with “none, mild, moderate, severe or extreme / cannot do” and then may be asked to provide further information or examples.
How will the Independent Assessment approach make things better?
Independent Assessment approach will:
Some people have expressed concerns over privacy with these assessments. The nature of the interview-based assessments mean that the person is able to provide as much information as they are comfortable in doing. They have control over what they share.
Others have stated they feel the assessments will be used to kick people out of the scheme, or will be used to reduce their funding. The NDIS is a world leading scheme that is the first of its kind. After years of lobbying from the disability community, the Australian Government has established a single national scheme that focusses on enabling people with disability to maximise their independence and build their capacity to achieve their goals with reasonable and necessary supports. This once in a generation reform is enabling many people with disability to receive supports for the first time ever. It is not a welfare system, and so of course there are checks and balances in the overall process to make sure that the valuable taxpayer money goes to those who need it most, and that people get the level of supports most appropriate for them. Everyone’s needs are different, even those with the same disability, and these independent assessments will help identify how best to meet those individual needs.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) are committed to working with participants, their families and carers, peak bodies, disability organisations and peer and family networks to make sure they work effectively for participants.
To find out more about this process you can visit the Frequently Asked Questions section of the NDIS website, call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 or contact Limbs 4 Life for more information.
Have your say!
Limbs 4 Life will be providing feedback to the Agency, so if you have any thoughts about the Independent Assessment process please share those with us today, so that we can share them with the Agency.