'No carer should be worse off' as NSW transitions to NDIS

27 March, 2015

In the lead up to the NSW State Election, Carers NSW is calling upon candidates to commit to continuity and support for carers in NSW as we transition towards the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Services are currently undergoing massive upheaval to make way for the NDIS, which aims to give people with disability and their carers more choice and control. However in many cases, carers are losing out.

CEO of Carers NSW, Elena Katrakis has said: "Carers are not the focus of the NDIS, but they will still need to provide ongoing support to many participants. If the NDIS is going to succeed, it is essential that carers are on board. The NSW Government must gain carers' trust, and ensure they are supported to continue to care sustainably into the future."

In order to make sure no carer is worse off as NSW transitions, Carers NSW has called for the following:

People with disability or a mental illness to continue to have access to the services they need

In 2018 the NSW Government will stop providing disability services and the NDIS will take over. But the NDIS will only provide funded support to around 140,000 people in NSW who meet its specific criteria. There are more than 400,000 people with disability under 65 in NSW who need assistance.

The NSW Government to remain a provider of last resort for disability services

The NSW Government is a guaranteed service provider for those who have been locked out of other services. The cessation of government funding of disability services in NSW creates the possibility that those deemed 'high risk' will be refused service, forcing carers to take on a more intensive caring role.

Carers to continue to have access to funded supports and services in their own right

Services for carers which are currently funded by the NSW Government will no longer exist once the NDIS is fully rolled out in 2018, and there is no guarantee that equivalent services for carers will be funded under the NDIS. Carers need to access information, emotional support, advocacy, respite, return to work/education programs and peer support groups.

Carers to be provided with targeted support to help them adjust to the new system

Carers have told Carers NSW that they feel unprepared for the new disability system. Ongoing funding for targeted education, training and advocacy will be critical in the transition.

These and other recommendations are part of Don't be careless Carers NSW campaign to raise awareness of carers for 2015 NSW State election. Don't be careless aims to get all candidates to commit to better support for carers, and Carers NSW wants voters to get involved and show their support for carers.