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  • Writer's pictureJacqui Grant

NDIS Providers & Participants - Changes and Challenges

Connect and Grow Magazine - Edition 7 - March 2024


Everyone deserves to be treated with respect!



How do you feel about your business, the services you provide, and, as a participant, the services you currently receive from NDIS?







Both providers and participants are requiring adapting to what feels like constant changes!









Last month, we discussed the changes in the Disability Services and Inclusion Act 2023 and how they are impacting businesses. I want to touch on it again, as I am hearing from so many providers that they are being asked for their policies and procedures, that they have their business framework and infrastructure in place, and yet they do not know what that means.

When it comes to providing services to a person with a disability, regardless of whether there is payment or not and regardless of where the money to be paid may come from, everyone is to follow and implement the requirements in the Disability Services and Inclusion Act of 2023, that includes a sole trader that may only provide a service to one person. Why? Because it is the law under which the individual or business is working, just as you are required to pay tax and declare your earnings.

 

We have put together some resources on our website where you can read the legislation/act the easy version and we have even developed templates of the documents, policies and procedures for any business to purchase and then implement to meet compliance.

 

Why is this so important?

 

Well, in simple terms, there are regulations that the government sets out, and those regulations apply to different businesses and individuals; they are there for a variety of reasons, often for safety and accountability for both the business and the people accessing those services.

 

Many people who start a business as a sole trader working with people with an NDIS plan take what they hear on social media and other individuals' opinions, not so much the actual legislation/act, which is the governing regulations.

 

Even the NDIS is to adhere to the legislation!




The NDIS has been in the media a lot over the past year, and it seems like every week, there is a new article about fraud or abuse.

 

I am constantly hearing from providers, mainly sole traders, who are asked by the NDIS to answer complaints or questions. The reasons are varied, and they cannot answer those questions as they do not have the framework already established in their business.

 

Yes, we provide cookie-cutter templates for documents, policies and procedures, and we have put a lot of work into them as TEMPLATES with a guide to help you create a solid framework for YOUR business. I share this because you, the reader, know that there are ways and supports available that do not cost a fortune to assist you with setting up your business. We have different price points for these including a guide to writing policies and procedures.

This can actually be easy, and it is part of being a business owner.

 

 

When you start a business, you are to follow the regulations as a business, and you are a business if you have an ABN, even if you have no clients. Therefore, all the regulations in that industry apply to you and the ATO regulations.



A person with a disability who is living with a disability long term and who has an NDIS plan may tell you that you don’t need all that; however, as a business owner, you have legal responsibilities. I am aware that I may sound blunt, but that is because this is serious, and it is NOT and should NOT be taken lightly.

 

The task force established to define the registration pathway will present its recommendations in July 2024, and we will then learn the next steps regarding registration.


In my 36 years of experience in health and disability, I have seen many changes, some of which have been great and worked, and others haven’t. It appears that more changes are coming in response to the Royal Commission and the NDIS review reports. The government will also, at some point, give us information on Foundational Supports. Reviews are taking over 4 months to be heard, people are noticing their plan's funding has been decreased, and some are running out of funds well before their plan ends. All of this is being reviewed.

 

As you enter the disability sector, consider your long-term approach. You will be working with people who want consistency and reliability.  They want to be treated as a person, not a person with a disability. They don’t want to worry about whether a worker can come and support them each time; they also want to know that their plan funding will last for the entire day, as going to review is a stressful experience for many people. If you are choosing to have a business in the disability sector, think about the entire picture and create a business plan that also has the implementation of policies and procedures to safeguard everyone.

 

People with a Disability – with a NDIS plan



Your NDIS plan is YOUR Plan with funding to hopefully make your life easier and ensure you have the right support, which is there for you, and they are working with you to achieve what is important to you, which is related to your disability.

 

NDIS refers to reasonable and necessary as well as choice and control. These two statements imply, as far as the agency is concerned, that the funding you receive for services is related to your disability and designed to help you be part of the community instead of isolated and separate from it.

 

 

Being paid with NDIS funding.

 

The NDIS has a page dedicated to how to invoice and what supporting documentation may be asked for as evidence, also how to submit an invoice for payment.

 

You can find that information here and it also covers self-managed participants.

 

 

 

Communication is extremely important to the long-term success of both those who require a service and the service provider. A human rights approach that includes respect, integrity, honesty, and a willingness to be person-centered and inclusive is also important.

 

When both parties can be heard and treated with respect and honesty, life can become much easier for everyone.

 

  

 

Written by Jacqui Grant


If you are looking to set your business in the disability sector up properly and would like our support you are welcome to take a look at our website:




(C) 2024 Break Free Consultancy - Connect and Grow Magazine


Disclaimer: All information is accurate at the time of publishing and that it is general information and not specific to any one type of business. Always seek professional support for your business, situation.

 

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