More than 472,000 Australians now receive support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme, according to an NDIS update released earlier this week for the month of July.
The NDIS recorded an increase of 6,020 new people receiving support from the insurance scheme that month, and this took the overall total of people receiving some form of assistance from the NDIS to 472,639.
This is an increase in the number of participants that were involved in receiving benefits from the NDIS at the same time in the previous year, with the scheme recording a total of 398,960 participants in the NDIS in July 2020.
Payments of participant supports hit $2.15 billion and this represents an increase of 18 per cent on the amount paid out to participants at the same time in the previous year.
The $2.15 billion total was also three per cent more than was originally forecast in the Annual Financial Sustainability Report.
NDIS participants were on average paid $53,000 in annualised paid supports during July and this is three per cent higher that the amount paid in annualised supports at the same time last year.
Senator Linda Reynolds, the minister for the NDIS, said the government was trying to ensure the scheme was one that Australians are able to rely on.
“We know that the NDIS has already transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians and that of their families,” the minister said.
“But we also recognise that the scheme needs to continue to improve, so that it can be fairer and more consistent for the future.”
Reynolds observed that the costs of the NDIS were clearly higher than forecast and that there were challenges in funding, and that the monthly updates provided by the department on the growth of the NDIS and increased spending ensured the state of the program was transparent.
“By making this data available on a monthly basis, all Australians will be able to see and track the scheme’s growth, ensuring that everyone is informed,” Reynolds said.
A meeting of disability reform ministers was held over the past month and it was agreed that a work plan to deal with the issues of funding sustainability would be developed and then tabled for consideration by the disability reform ministers later in the year.