LASA uses new NDIS comparison to argue for uncapping aged care services – will the politicians agree?

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Average Government funding for aged care residents is around 50% of that provided to NDIS participants accessing specialist disability accommodation – and bottoms out to nearly 70% less when comparing maximum RAC and NDIS participant funding – according to a new report by Leading Age Services Australia (LASA).

Titled ‘Comparing aged care and NDIS support: A funding analysis’, the 24-page paper by LASA’s Senior Advisor for Policy and Advocacy, Troy Speirs, presents a number of case studies comparing aged care and NDIS recipients to argue for the uncapping of aged care funding.

You can download the full report here.

Home Care Package funding around 20-30% less than NDIS

The paper finds that average Level 3-4 Home Care Package funding amounts to about 30% less funding than that provided to NDIS participants with similar support needs.

In one case study, a 63-year-old vision-impaired man on the NDIS receives around $86,000 more in Government funding than an 84-year-old man with similar issues on a Level 3 Home Care Package.

Average level 1-2 Home Care Package funding works out at around 20% less than funding provided to NDIS participants with similar support needs.

In the Commonwealth Home Support Package (CHSP), this gap widens dramatically to about 80% less funding.

“Given CHSP clients account for two-thirds of all aged care recipients, this amounts to a substantially lower level of overall funding being made available,” LASA CEO Sean Rooney said.

“Overall we see less funding per aged care recipient and this results in fewer available hours of care when compared with NDIS participants, plus there are limits placed on funding in aged care for reablement, social engagement, behaviour support, care management and assistive technology,” he said.

One of the Royal Commission’s key recommendations in its Final Report was ensuring universal access to aged care services – in essence, uncapping both Home Care Packages and residential care and removing these limits.

NDIS costs have blown out

But will the Government take it up?

The NDIS was supposed to guarantee anyone aged under 65 with a “permanent and significant” disability to full funding for any “reasonable and necessary” support needs, but the system has been plagued by issues around funding, access and assessments.

Costs have also increased dramatically with the scheme now costing around $94 billion over four years split between the Federal Government and States and Territories.

However, the State Governments contributions are capped at a 4% annual increase – leaving the Australian Government to shoulder the burden.

Are the Federal politicians ready to risk being stuck with another ‘NDIS’?

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About Author

Lauren is the Editor at DCM Group and has guided its range of media including The Weekly SOURCE, The Daily RESOURCE and The Donaldson Sisters since 2016. With 13 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and commentator, Lauren is the only journalist to have attended every session of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, producing 300 issues of the subscriber-only The Daily COMMISSION which offers exclusive insights and analysis of the issues surrounding the Royal Commission and the aged care sector.