3.1 Disability services and the NDIS

Disability advocacy Issue Disability Services and the NDIS
Number 184 people on average per quarter
Trend increasing
Rights under the CRPD


Governments will ensure:

  •  persons with disabilities have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community, and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community (article 19)
  • access by persons with disabilities to quality mobility aids, devices, assistive technologies and forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including by making them available at affordable cost (article 20)
  •  they take effective and appropriate measures, including through peer support, to enable persons with disabilities to attain and maintain maximum independence, full physical, mental, social and vocational ability, and full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life (article 26)
  •  access to appropriate and affordable services, devices and other assistance for disability-related needs (article 28)
  • access by persons with disabilities and their families living in situations of poverty to assistance from the State with disability-related expenses, including adequate training, counselling, financial assistance and respite care (article 28)
Commitments in the State Disability Plan The Victorian Government will:

  • provide timely information, resources and capability building to people with a disability and their families and carers (action 14)
  • work with the NDIA to help develop streamlined access and planning processes for Victorian clients transitioning to the NDIS (action 15)
  • foster a partnership approach with people with a disability in transition to the NDIS, including through opportunities for active participation in consultative processes (action 16)


There is a notable increase in cases relating to disability services and the NDIS in the final year of data. The number of reports increased by 70 per cent in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years, averaging 231 reports each quarter, compared with 136 on average over the previous two years.

The timing of this increase is in line with the introduction of the NDIS.

Feedback from services operating in the Barwon NDIS launch site indicates an increased demand for disability advocacy services, and we anticipate demand will grow similarly across the state as the NDIS continues to roll out across Victoria. Independent advocacy can help people navigate the NDIS rollout, understand their rights and entitlements, assist in preparing for NDIS planning, and help access internal and external review processes. Consumers have consistently reported that when an advocate was available to assist, it contributed to the successful outcome and their positive experience of the planning process.


Figure 8: Reports of Disability Services/NDIS Issues


Case study: Securing eligibility for the NDIS

Dale* lives in near the border of trial site of the NDIS in Victoria.  Dale was attending rehabilitation in the trial site and told that he was NDIS eligible.  His social worker, therapist, relatives and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) checked this with the NDIA who confirmed he met the criteria. An NDIS application was done by therapists while in rehabilitation, and Dale was sent home due to NDIS support being imminent.

Months later Dale was informed he was not within the region and was declined NDIS entry until 2018. The key issue was that the NDIA had repeatedly given incorrect information, resulting in an incorrect application.

The advocate submitted an application to NDIA for a ‘review of a reviewable decision’, despite this not being an eligible ‘reviewable decision’.  The advocate explained the disadvantage caused by the incorrect information given to the client and asked they take him on under NDIS despite being outside their region.

The advocate also provided ongoing follow up due to slow responses, and provided extra information to the manager in charge of complaint. NDIA took responsibility for the issue their staff had caused, and accepted him as an NDIS participant.

They said they would be providing further training to staff in the Geelong office, and acknowledged the actual impact of the actions taken.

* names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals