Apr 28, 2022

Pressure mounts to expand NDIS coverage to over 65s

Pressure for NDIS to expand coverage to over 65s

There is growing support among the Greens and Independents for older Australians to be covered by the NDIS, which delivers higher funding to recipients but is currently only available to people under the age of 65.

Independent candidates and MPs, including Rebekha Sharkie, Zali Steggall, Andrew Wilkie and Helen Haines, have signed a proposal that would allow senior Australians to be covered by the scheme, according to a report in The Australian Financial Review.

The Greens and Rex Patrick have committed to supporting the plan in the Senate.

The cost of the NDIS is due to rise to $41.4 billion by 2024-25, climbing to $59.3 billion by 2029-30. The recent federal budget provided another $40 billion to the scheme over the next four years.

Including over 65s in the NDIS would add billions to the scheme’s cost.

Some over 65s are covered by the NDIS if they entered the scheme before the age cut off and continue to receive care. Their average payout was more than $65,000 in the year to June 2021.

By comparison, a level 4 home care package provides care worth $52,000.

The aged care royal commission recommended parity in funding of disability and aged care recipients by July 2024.

The rules governing access to NDIS funding included changes to age discrimination laws.

Mayo MP Rebekha Sharkie told The Australian Financial Review the rules around access must be changed.

Warringah MP Zali Steggall told the news outlet, “Let’s be clear, this is age discrimination that puts older Australians with a disability at an even greater disadvantage.”

Independent MP Helen Haines said, “The aged care system is simply not designed to cope with the significant disability care requirements that would enable people in this circumstance to live with dignity and have the supports required to live a reasonable quality of life,” the The Australian Financial Review has reported.

Clark MP Andrew Wilkie told the newspaper, “Everyone should be able to receive the same level of support, regardless of age.

“It’s disgraceful that older people with disabilities are so often condemned to a poorer quality of life.”

Kooyong independent candidate and paediatric neurologist, Monique Ryan, told the media outlet she is “very supportive” of moves to extend the NDIS age limit and that the existing age limits are “discriminatory and unjustifiable”. 

Nicolette Boele, an independent candidate for the seat of Bradfield, told the AFR the aged care system has not been set up for disability care and called for a review.

The Greens have also committed to removing the age cap if it secures the balance of power in the upcoming election.

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  1. This is will be amazing if National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can and will include people aged 65 and over. It is so sad that in country like Australia disable people all ages especially from 20th to the 100 years old are suffering from neglect. It is very sad to see people especially with mental disabilities are safer ing from neglect and insensitivity. Age discrimination must to be STOP It’s disgraceful that older people especially with mental disabilities are so often condemned to a poorer quality of life and care about them. Especially when they became older and they parents a gone and can’t protect and care about them. If Country can’t provide good care and protect vulnerable especially people with mental disability – it is very sad. Because if no one care and can’t protect vulnerable people, how this Country can have care about they citizens?! It is terrifying go older in Country like that and we are Wonderful Country! Let’s start do something about to get good care about mentally disable, disable and just old people better! So we can all grow older an can live and die with dignity.
    Sorry if I sad something not correct, English my second language!

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