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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

1st July - NDIS expands to Maitland, Blue Mountains areas

1st July - a major date for the implementation of government initiatives, new regulations and changes to existing programs.

Today sees the expansion of the National Disability Insurance Scheme trial site in the Hunter (to the Maitland LGA), and its beginning in the Nepean/Blue Mountains region of NSW.

NSW Council on Intellectual Disability recommends that potential new participants the NDIS in the Nepean Blue Mountains area pages on the NDIS website.

2000 children set to benefit from NDIS in the Nepean and Blue Mountains region
Rachel Browne, Sydney Morning Herald, 30th June 2015
... Initially available for 2000 children and teenagers, the scheme launches on Wednesday, with support packages available from September ...

... Early intervention is a priority for the scheme, which will be gradually phased into the Nepean and Blue Mountains region ...

... An information office will open in Penrith on Wednesday, followed by other shop fronts in the Nepean and Blue Mountains area. Staff from the NDIA, which is implementing the scheme, will be available to answer questions on the types of support which will be available.

National disability insurance scheme expands to Maitland 
Michelle Harris, The Newcastle Herald, 30th June 2015
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is set to roll out in Maitland from Wednesday, opening it up to 5000 more residents in the region two years after the NSW trial of the reform was launched in the Hunter ...

Independent Reviews of NDIS Decision Key to NDIS Success
Disability Advocacy NSW (DA), 29th July 2015 (media release)
With the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) trial beginning in Maitland, Disability Advocacy NSW (DA) is asking more people to seek reviews of NDIS access and care plan decisions as a way to make sure the Scheme works well in practice. So far the Hunter trial has had the highest ineligibility rates but very low review rates.
“Often people are disadvantaged by their care plans or are denied access to the NDIS but don’t know they can get free help from us to challenge decisions made by the Scheme. We have also found that many people with a disability and their families are just too exhausted to ask for a review and take what they are given” said Ms. Mtonga, Advocacy Coordinator. 
“Seeking an independent review of an NDIS decision is about making the Scheme better in the future not trying to harm the Scheme itself. The NDIS is a whole new ball game with new legislation and a new bureaucracy. One way to make it better for people with disability is to put decisions to the test at an independent tribunal”, said Ms. Mtonga. 
“As advocates we understand that it is sometimes hard for people with a disability to make a stand but doing so can make the system better for all who follow. At DA we can make the process easier by supporting the person, obtaining free legal help and assuring people that they have nothing to lose by challenging decisions they think unfair” said Mr Hamilton. 
“If people are unhappy with an NDIS decision the first step is to give us a call on 1300 365 085 so we can discuss the free support options Disability Advocacy NSW can provide” commented Mr Hamilton. 
Ndinawe Mtonga and Ben Hamilton are experienced disability advocates with DA’s External Merits Review Support Program.

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