‘Expiry’ of NDIS plans challenged in Federal Court
‘The question of whether plans written under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) expire will go to the full Federal Court, in an appeal that advocates say could have implications for participants’ ability to challenge agency decisions. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) lodged an appeal against a court ruling that required it to reassess the level of funding and support owed to a 13-year-old Aboriginal boy in Tennant Creek.
Late last month the court ruled that the Administrative Appeals Tribunal erred in deciding not to review a $60,000 cut to the boy’s plan because it was about to expire. The court held that plans do not expire or cease to operate when they become due for review, and ordered that the agency reconsider the boy’s matter. A spokesperson for the NDIA said the agency had elected to appeal the decision in order to clarify aspects of the scheme’s operation under the act.
If leave to appeal is granted, it will be just the second time the full Federal Court weighs in on the running of the NDIS, according to Shelley Landmark from Northern Territory Legal Aid. Ms Landmark, who is representing the boy, known legally as SSBV, said the court’s decision last month affirmed participants’ rights to appeal planning decisions to the tribunal. “It’s really important, particularly in the early stages of the scheme … that people do have a right to have decisions of the NDIA reviewed by independent bodies,” she said.’