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The folloiwng information is provided by Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, Queensland.
The Queensland and Commonwealth Governments have agreed that North Queensland will have an early launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in early 2016.
The early launch will be available to those who meet eligibility requirements and is not just for people who currently receive a disability support service through the Queensland Government.
Around 1,600 people are expected to be eligible for the NDIS in the early launch group, with 600 of these expected to be receiving their funded packages from April 2016.
The early launch group includes:
Townsville and Charters Towers young people aged under 18 years
Palm Island all eligible people with disability.
The remaining 1,000 eligible people from the launch will receive their funded packages from July 2016. The process will just keep rolling through.
Eligible people entering the NDIS from 1 July 2016 will be required to go through a planning process before they commence receiving their benefits. This process could take up to 3 months.
The combination of Townsville, Palm Island and Charters Towers offered the best opportunity to test the rollout processes in a regional city, rural centre and an Indigenous community.The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has already established an office and presence in Townsville. We wanted to build on their existing relationships in choosing our preferred launch site location.
Charters Towers is a rural community with close links to Townsville.Palm Island provides the opportunity to launch in an Indigenous community located reasonably close to Townsville and Charters Towers. Given Palm Island's size, it is an opportunity to include all eligible people with disability in the early launch.
It was also important to develop a proposal with clearly defined boundaries to minimise confusion about who was included in the early launch site.
We are starting with a small group of people in each site, rather than all people with disability in the area, so we don't overload the scheme in its early days. Young people are the preferred group given the strong evidence supporting the benefits of early intervention.
The Queensland Government has been working for many months to negotiate a fair and reasonable Bilateral Agreement with the Commonwealth Government that will set out the timing and process for the NDIS rollout in Queensland. The Agreement will also include information about financial arrangements, quality and safeguards, workforce arrangements, continuity of supports, sector and system readiness and performance reporting.Once the Bilateral Agreement is finalised, we will be able to communicate about when people will be moving to the NDIS in each area and, in partnership with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), we will work closely with communities, people with disability, their families and carers and service providers to ensure the transition is carefully managed and well supported.
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I currently receive services funded by the Queensland Government What does an early launch mean for me?
The most important thing to remember for current clients of the Queensland Government is that we will work with people with disability, their families and carers, and providers to ensure service delivery and support continues smoothly during the transition to the NDIS.
If you are a person with disability and you meet the NDIS eligibility criteria (outlined at www.ndis.gov.au/ndis-access-checklist) you will benefit from the NDIS.You do not need to be registered with Disability Services or any other Queensland Government department to participate in the NDIS.
If you need specialist disability support or services before the start of the NDIS in Queensland, you should contact Disability Services on 13 QGOV (137 468).