People with disability interact with every aspect of social policy and programs in Australia. They access both specialist and mainstream services across a wide variety of areas. Many also receive support through informal carers.
A variety of government and non-government services are available to people with disability in Australia. Government-funded services have commonly been provided under National Disability Agreement (NDA), but many of these will progressively transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) over time.
Data on the services provided under the NDA are collected in the Disability Services National Minimum Data Set (DS NMDS) held by the AIHW, and released annually on the AIHW website. Eligibility requirements for NDA services vary between jurisdictions, and the actual service a person can receive is largely subject to the availability of services (for example, based on the number of available places in particular programs). Funding is generally allocated directly to service providers to deliver services.
Data on the NDIS are collected by the National Disability Insurance Agency and are available on the NDIS website. The NDIS aims to help people who have a significant and permanent disability and who need assistance with everyday activities. The scheme is based on an insurance model, and each person seeking access is assessed according to a common set of criteria. People who are deemed eligible receive a package of funding to buy the services identified in their individualised plan.
Many existing NDA service users are expected to move to the NDIS as the scheme is progressively rolled out across Australia. Governments have put in place ‘continuity of support’ arrangements to ensure people are not disadvantaged in the transition. More information can be found in the bilateral agreements between the Australian Government and the individual state and territory governments.
The AIHW continues to work towards improving the quality and availability of national data on disability services, including the development of a standardised disability flag. The flag will enable nationally consistent collection of information about the disability status of people encountering mainstream services (that is, services that are not disability specific).
16 Sep 2020
22 May 2020
5.9% of service user deaths were caused by spinal muscular atrophy
Service users were 4.7 times as likely to die before aged 65 compared with the general population
6.3% of service user deaths were caused by perinatal and congenital conditions
About two-thirds (67%) of service users had an informal carer, most often their mother (65%)
In 2018-19, about 230,000 people used disability support services under the National Disability Agreement (NDA)
Around three-quarters (77%) of service users aged 15 and over who were in the labour force were unemployed.
More reports and statistics on disability services can be found under Disability.
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