Understanding Independent Assessment
The roles of independent assessors will be crucial and play a critical role with the new NDIS process. It is expected that starting mid this year, independent assessors will replace the roles of allied health professionals in providing functional capacity assessments for participants. An independent assessment will now be the determining factor for the NDIA to allocate funding to ensure that you get the right supports and services to achieve your goals. It does not focus on your diagnosis but more on the impact of your disability in terms of functional capacity – how does your disability impact your work? Your education? Your social and community participation? The result of the assessor's functional assessment will then dictate the funding allocation of your plan. The draft of your plan will then be given to you prior to the plan meeting.
Who are Independent Assessors?
It is important to note that an independent assessor should not in any way be related to the participant meaning, it should not be someone who is treating or managing the participant. An independent assessor is an allied health professional on the independent assessor panel. Your GP or any allied health professional will still have a role since the information coming from him or her about your condition will still be needed.
Who needs an Independent Assessment?
· Participants aged 7 years and above
· Participants due for a Plan Review
Advantages of the new process :
Independent assessment is paid by the NDIA so it does not cost anything to the participant.
The draft plan is given prior to the meeting.
This gives a great opportunity to the participant to reflect on his or her supports and services initially designed and may raise questions during the actual plan meeting
The plan will be programmed for up to 5 years.
Participants no longer need to organize an assessment to collect proof of disability as this becomes the role of the NDIA.
The NDIA is making these changes with the efforts to make the NDIS more easier and flexible to all NDIS participants. Expected that mid this year will be a start of a new chapter for all those living with disabilities to enjoy the benefits of being a participant and focusing on reaching their NDIS goals.