Last week the Government released the latest NDIS Quarterly Report, which looks at the period between October and December last year.
The Report gives an overview of how the NDIS is performing across several areas and was a mixture of good news and areas where improvements must be made.
Here are three key statistics that stood out to us:
Nearly 340,000 people are now supported by the NDIS, with around 2,000 more joining the Scheme each week. Importantly, 40% of all participants are receiving disability supports for the first time.
We say: The fact that around 136,000 people are now getting the support they need for the first time, is an incredible feat and highlights just how much of a profound effect the NDIS is having on the lives of people with disability. Importantly as the NDIS grows and supports more people to achieve their goals, intermediary organisations like Plan Partners will have an increasingly important role to play in helping ensure the NDIS remains sustainable and effective.
There has been a 5% increase in Plan Management figures, with around 35% of participants now using a Plan Manager to help them manage their NDIS funding. While this is indeed a promising trend, Plan Management uptake amongst children remains low, with most of such plans being self-managed.
We say: Plan Management helps people to get the most out of their NDIS plan, so it’s very encouraging to see more people utilising it than ever before. The low rates of Plan Management amongst children is something that we’d like to see turn around in the very near future, as the support of a Plan Manager can be particularly beneficial for parents, who already are often overburdened.
Plan utilisation refers to how much of a participant’s allocated budget is used on supports. The current rate of 69% is a small increase on previous figures, but it still means that participants on average are missing out on just over 30% of the supports they're entitled to. Utilisation rates were lowest amongst participants on their first plan, who used only 52% of their budget.
We say: The low utilisation rates amongst people on their first plan suggest the problem is caused by a shortfall in education, confidence, and guidance. While a 100% utilisation rate might not be possible, more needs to be done to help participants get the support they need. Through our team of experts and tools such as our Customer Dashboard, Plan Partners are helping our customers to bring their plans to life, navigate the NDIS with confidence, and most importantly to achieve their life goals.