Price limits for support as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme will increase from next month.
The NDIS sets maximum prices registered providers can charge people for disability support and services to ensure participants receive value for money.
The limits will rise by nine per cent from July 1.
The decision comes following an annual pricing review of the scheme, with all current NDIS plan budgets rising as a result of the changes.
The limit increase will also include a two per cent temporary loading during the 2022/23 financial year.
NDIS Minister Bill Shorten said people using the scheme would have better access to support as a result of the increase.
“These improvements will better support participant outcomes and reduce workforce turnover by funding better conditions for NDIS workers,” Mr Shorten said.
“This price review finally recognises the true cost of continuity of support, keeping participants safe and improving systems to drive productivity.”
The increase will take into account the changes to deliver support following the COVID-19 disruption as well as the introduction of a minimum shift and broken shift allowance for workers.
The recent rise in the minimum wage as put forward by the Fair Work Commission and the superannuation guarantee charge increase was also taken into account.
Mr Shorten said the financial impact of the changes was within the current budget projections.
“There is a reasonable chance that the forecast cost of the scheme won’t quite be as high as put down in the March budget of the old Morrison government,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“There’ll be some, I think, modest improvements to the bottom line in terms of going forward.”
The increase to the NDIS has been welcomed by disability peak bodies.
National Disability Services chief executive Laurie Leigh said the rise was worth the wait.
“This is a very welcome response from the new federal government, which recognises the additional costs service providers have had to bear during the pandemic,” she said,
The minister said there would be an audit and assurance regime that would sit around the new payments.
“The government will continue to work with the sector to ensure the NDIS better supports participants,” Mr Shorten said.
An extra $514 million will also be made available to registered providers of the scheme for daily living activities and community participant support.
Mr Shorten said the new funds to registered providers recognised the cost in transitioning services.
“It’s good news for people with a disability, it’s good news for the workforces, and it’s good news for the service providers,” he said.
The minister is set to meet with state and territory counterparts next month.
The meeting is set to focus on reducing the waiting time for people to access the NDIS who are still in hospital.
“I’m appalled that there are people eligible for NDIS payments who are still in hospital beds, hundreds of days after they have been deemed eligible,” Mr Shorten said.
(Australian Associated Press)