Top of page

After More Than 1200 People Die Waiting for Disability Support, Govt Publishes Unsatisfactory Report

NDIS building
Photo: Dreamstime

In a desperate act of political damage control, the Liberal-National Coalition government  belatedly released an official review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the World Socialist Website reports.

The report offered a series of limited recommendations intended to quell the “dissatisfaction” and “anger” among NDIS applicants and recipients.

The “independent” review, conducted by former finance department secretary David Tune, was handed to the government in December. It sat on the report until widespread outrage erupted after statistics revealed that more than 1,200 people had died while waiting for NDIS support packages.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the government department responsible for the NDIS, responded to a question on notice to Senate estimates in early January. It admitted that 1,279 people had died from July 2016 to September 2019 “between submitting an access request and receiving supports under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.”

This equates to more than one person a day dying since the national rollout of the NDIS in July 2016. Of those who died, 35 were children under the age of six and 40 were between the ages of seven and 18. In the first nine months of 2019 alone, 369 people died.

One of the key factors in the deaths is the protracted wait times between requesting services from the NDIS and receiving support. It was revealed that the national average wait time was 121 days for children under the age of six and 152 days, or five months, for those aged seven or older. Disabled people, carers and their families were left with next to no support services for months.

Last year it was reported that a 32-year-old Tasmanian man, Tim Rubenach, died of pneumonia in May 2018. He had severe epilepsy and suffered bleeding stomach ulcers that required a tilt bed. The NDIS approved the bed, but it was delayed for months and only arrived the day before he was buried. His parents, both in their 70s, described the scheme as “abuse.”

You might also like

Young businesswoman in wheelchair uses access card to enter the office. Young businesswoman in wheelchair uses access card to enter the office.

New job platform to address low employment of persons with disabilities

An innovative online job-matching platform that aims to link jobseekers…

people on flooded street, inclusing a wheelchair user people on flooded street, inclusing a wheelchair user

Persons with disabilities and carers at more risk of homelessness after floods

People with disabilities and their carers experienced profound impact and…

blind surfer with trainer blind surfer with trainer

Hireup launches the Good Life Awards

Hireup, Australia’s largest NDIS-registered platform for people with disabilities to…

Prisha Chopra learning with Caitlin O’Connor Prisha Chopra learning with Caitlin O’Connor

Inclusion grants supporting persons with disabilities in Queensland

Autism Queensland will be funded for the first time as…