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Media release

Defrauding the NDIS of millions is appalling

NDS has today welcomed the arrests of five people arising from allegations of attempts to defraud people with disability

FACS confirms ongoing SDA eligibility for former NSW group home residents

Colourful apartment buildings in a row

1/03/2019

The NDS NSW State Committee met with Paul Vevers (Deputy Secretary, Southern and Western Cluster of Districts, Disability Operations and Housing Statewide Services), and Jim Breen (Director, Service Delivery Transfer) on Thursday 14 February to continue NDS’ advocacy on behalf of accommodation providers operating group homes under deed of license (DoL) from FACS or CHP leases from the Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC). Providers have identified ongoing concerns that participants who were living in supported accommodation prior to the NDIS would have their eligibility for SDA reviewed should they change providers, and/or move address. To date, the NDIS SDA rule and information from the NDIA have indicated that these participants would have their eligibility for SDA tested with the outcome being that some participants may lose their SDA eligibility. This would effectively lock them out of accessing any group homes owned by the NSW State Government who have based their rent calculations on 100 per cent occupancy by participants receiving SDA. At this meeting, both Mr Vevers and Mr Breen confirmed that S 71 of the Updated SDA Pricing and Payments Framework released on 8 February would mean that any participant who resided in supported accommodation has been deemed eligible for SDA and as such would be covered by this section. S 71 states: “Given participants will be found eligible for SDA if they cannot live in mainstream housing because of an extreme functional impairment or very high support needs, or because their needs are most appropriately met by an SDA response, it is not envisaged that a participant, once found eligible for SDA, would lose that eligibility.”FACS reconfirmed their willingness to individually work with the NDIA to address any issues with SDA not being included in the plans of existing group home residents. This includes situations where new participants are experiencing significant delays in having their SDA eligibility determined, or where participants moving provider or address experience issues with their SDA eligibility.

NDS urges providers to contact Mr Breen on to seek assistance to have any issues resolved.NDS will continue to seek an ongoing variation (beyond the temporary modifications offered by FACS in the Side Deed) to the Annual Rental Formula (Schedule D) in the FACS Lease for Group Homes. We are arguing that this payment should be based on when the resident (whether under the NDIS or the Continuity of Support program) is SDA-funded and that payment is received by the provider.

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