How do you stay financially sustainable in the NDIS?

Nov 18
Author:Ash Natesh
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Share on FacebookEmail to someone

Disability groups are seeking clarity from the government around future funding for the NDIS schemes.

National Disability Services CEO Chris Tanti said the sector needed more assurance about funding so it could plan for the growth needed for providers and participants under the scheme.

“It’s not fair to people with disability, their families, carers and disability service providers to keep creating uncertainty about the scheme, which has such overwhelming support in the community.” – Chris Tanti

The NDIS has ambitious social missions focused on lifetime values for participating individuals. It seeks to maximize opportunities for independence, for young individuals to get out of aged care, and social and economic participation with the most cost-effective management of resources.

However to achieve all the above and to continue to be offered to the consumers, the NDIS needs to keep financially sustainable.

Financial sustainability for the NDIS is defined as the scheme being successful across a range of measures, including:

  • economic and social participation of participants
  • independence of participants
  • participants accessing enough money to buy goods and services that allow them reasonable access to life opportunities

Financial Sustainability also requires NDIS providers to confirm that the scheme is:

  • affordable
  • under control
  • represents value for money and that, therefore, they remain willing to contribute

The three year Trial Scheme, which ran from 1 July 2013 saw 30,281 participants with an approved plan and $2.4 Billion committed so far.

The revenue received during the trial (from both the Commonwealth and State/Territory Governments) and the amount of support used by participants, resulted in a small surplus (approximately 1.5%) over the three years.

The cost pressures on the scheme include:

  • Higher than expected number of children entering the scheme
  • Increasing package costs over and above the impacts of inflation and ageing
  • Potential participants continuing to approach the scheme
  • Lower than expected participants exiting the scheme
  • A disconnect between benchmark package costs and actual package costs.

In response to the cost pressures management has come up with two specific schemes the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach and the reference package and first plan approach.

The Early Childhood Intervention

The ECEI approach provides a gateway to the NDIS for children 0-6 years. It aims to ensure only children meeting the eligibility criteria for NDIS can be participants. This approach is being rolled out progressively. There is also a gateway program for those children that don’t meet the criteria.

The Reference Package and First Plan Approach

The reference package and first plan process is a method for aligning the level of function and need with the appropriate support packages for participants when they enter the scheme.

The funding requirement for the NDIS is estimated by the Scheme Actuary’s analysis of reasonable and necessary support need.

The aggregate funding requirement comprises resource allocation at an individual and subgroup level and is continually tested against emerging experience.


Learn how you can Strengthen your financial & organisational performance from expert voices including Torrien Lau, Chief Executive Officer Focus ACT at the NDIS Sustainability Intensive & Financial Sustainability Masterclass.


Submitted by Ash Natesh

Ash Natesh

Ash is the Content Marketer at Criterion Conferences. Writing and sourcing content is all part of her day to day routine. She can’t stop drinking coffee, other than coffee her interests lie in Music, long walks amidst the mountains, Dance, Anime, Science Fiction and all things nerdy!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other blog posts you may enjoy: