This year we continued to work in collaboration with other WA disability agencies to provide a specific advocacy support appeals service for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) applicants and participants engaged with the scheme. Our NDIS appeals advocate provided assistance at both the internal review and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) external merits review level, gathering evidence, drafting and submitting appeals and providing holistic client support.
Our NDIS appeals advocate developed resources to help both participants and agency peers navigate the NDIS Appeals process and promote self-advocacy. Systemic trends were tracked through national teleconferences with advocates from all jurisdictions in quarterly meetings with both the state NDIS appeals advocates and other NDIS appeals legal teams.
As the scheme rolled out across the state, regional outreach was delivered in the Midwest, with mentoring sessions and relevant training provided in Geraldton. This was followed by a national forum in Adelaide, where the Department of Social Services (DSS) confirmed continuity of the appeals role post 2020. One day of the annual IDAS Forum 2019 was dedicated to NDIS matters and the role of advocates within the scheme. As more participants joined the scheme, the number and complexity of matters increased.
Due to the delayed rollout in WA, demand and client engagement remains very high. IDAS advocates continue to work alongside the NDIS appeals advocate throughout the NDIS lifecycle – from planning to implementation and plan review.