POLICY BULLETIN 5 - NATIONL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME: Commonwealth Financial Arrangements Up To 2019-20
The financial arrangements for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) are crucial to the successful implementation of the Scheme. The NDIS is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and the States and Territories. The DisabilityCare Australia (DCA) levy (0.5% of income) was introduced on 1 July 2014, when the NDIS itself was only being introduced at trial sites. Consequently, most of the levy is being accumulated in the early years of the NDIS to meet future commitments of the Commonwealth and the States and Territories. How long will the accumulated balances of the levy survive if they are used to fund NDIS expenses as they increase? This paper attempts to answer this key question for the Commonwealth Government portion of the NDIS’ finances.
Information sources are patchy, but the Commonwealth Budget Papers for various years provide base information. The estimates are complicated by impacts on a range of existing Commonwealth programs to support State and Territory disability support services and also services supported by the Commonwealth itself. Assumptions are unavoidable, and are fully set out with the rationale; the accuracy of the estimates depends on the assumptions. But the assumptions do not affect the overall picture that emerges.
POLICY BULLETIN 3, 2014: NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME: Impact on the Commonwealth Budget to 2019-20
NDIS expenses are entirely paid by the Commonwealth, through the NDIA. Funds are provided by Commonwealth appropriation.
From 1 July 2014, the Commonwealth collects the DisabilityCare Australia (DCA) levy, 0.5% of taxable income. The levy is an extension of the Medicare levy (1.5%). The DCA levy is paid into the DisabilityCare Australia Fund (DCA Fund), which is invested by the Future Fund Guardians. $825M of the DCA levy proceeds (just less than 25%) is reserved in 2014-15 to assist the States and Territories meet their NDIS obligations over time; this amount will be indexed in future years at 3.5% per annum.
The Commonwealth releases this funding to the States and Territories as they meet their obligations in relation to the NDIS.
The Commonwealth/State agreements provide for the States to make payments to the Commonwealth to offset the Commonwealth NDIS expenses.
The Commonwealth/State agreements for initiating the NDIS provide for the States to repay a portion of their Specific Purpose Payments (SPPs) received from the Commonwealth in respect of disability, as the NDIS progressively reduces the proportion of services for people with disability that are financed through the existing arrangements.
The paper gathers detail from across the 2014-15 Budget papers 1 on each of these sources of financing, over the period of the Forward Estimates (2014-15 to 2017-18) and for 2018-19 and 2019-20. It also draws on the Bilateral Agreements for NDIS Launch between the Commonwealth and various State and Territory Governments and the Heads of Agreement between the Commonwealth and the various State and Territory Governments on the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Estimates made by the Australian Government Actuary are also used.
POLICY BULLETIN 2, 2014: CROSS SECTOR SERVICE COORDINATION for people with high and complex needs: Harnessing existing evidence and knowledge
People with high and complex needs will generally need an array of supports to enable social and economic participation as envisaged by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). As participants, these people will receive funding from the NDIS to purchase services and supports from a range of different disability sector providers, but will also need to access various 'mainstream’ services including health, education, housing, justice and transport in order to pursue the life they choose. The complexity of the services system, and the interfaces between sectors, create gaps and barriers that are challenging for participants, service providers and for policy makers alike to navigate.
Cross-sector coordination is a critical scheme design element to ensure that NDIS participants get the range of services and supports they need to pursue their goals and participate in society and the economy. Any failure of other sectors to provide access to quality services will increase the costs of disability support and risk the sustainability of the NDIS. Coordination can thus also be seen as a way of addressing this fundamental risk facing the NDIS. For these reasons cross-sector coordination should be a core element in NDIS design. The disability field is actively discussing these challenges and this paper aims to provide evidence to inform policy directions now being developed.
POLICY BULLETIN 1, 2014: LEFT BEHIND 2014: Monitoring the social inclusion of young Australians with self reported long term health conditions, impairments or disabilities 2001-2012
This Policy Bulletin is the second in an annual series reporting on the social inclusion/ exclusion of young Australians (aged between 15 and 29) with self-reported long term health conditions, impairments or disabilities. In the first Policy Bulletin – Left Behind: 2013 reporting on the time period 2001-2011, we reported that disabled Australian adolescents and young adults were more likely to experience social exclusion than their non-disabled peers, and that the gap between the two actually widened between 2001 and 2011.
This Policy Bulletin updates Left Behind: 2013 by extending the mapping to the year 2012, the latest year for which data are available. Our findings address two key questions:
- How did the social inclusion of young Australians with disabilities compare with that of their peers in 2012?
- Did the gap between the social inclusion of young Australians with and without disabilities narrow or widen over the 12 year period from 2001 to 2012?
This Policy Bulletin describes the implementation and evaluation of the Transition to Retirement (TTR) Program that was examined in a three-year collaborative program of applied research involving university researchers and disability service providers. The Bulletin ends with recommendations for policy and practice based on our research findings and on the practical experience of delivering the program.
The TTR Program offered older people with disability the opportunity to begin to build a retirement lifestyle by joining a general community group for one day a week instead of working on that day. Thus, the program fulfils an important goal of disability policy: the social inclusion of people with disability in Australian community life.
The program involved:
- talking to people with disability about retirement,
- investigating their interests,
- finding an appropriate community group for individuals to join,
- seeking and then training mentors from that group, and
- ensuring the people with disability were actively involved so they could contribute to the group.
POLICY BULLETIN 1, 2013: LEFT BEHIND 2013: Monitoring the social inclusion of young Australians with self reported long term health conditions, impairments or disabilities 2001-2011
Disabled Australian adolescents and young adults are more likely to experience social exclusion than their non-disabled peers. The gap between the two actually widened between 2001 and 2011.
Social exclusion in adolescence leads to poor outcomes, such as lower educational achievement and unemployment, in adulthood. It affects not only the health and wellbeing of the individual; it also impacts on their family and the wider community. The inability of people with disabilities to participate socially and economically is a loss to the whole of society.
This report maps the extent of social inclusion or exclusion of young disabled Australians, aged between 15 and 29, over the years 2001 to 2011. It found that although the social inclusion of young disabled Australians increased on a number of key indicators, the gap between disabled and non-disabled young Australians actually increased over the 11 year period.
On 13 key indicators of social inclusion including employment, living in a jobless household, having support from family or friends in times of crisis and feeling safe, young disabled Australians are now more disadvantaged compared to their non-disabled peers than they were in 2001.