NDIS payment system error leaves providers, participants unpaid for three weeks
A breakdown in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) payment system has left providers and participants unpaid for the past three weeks.
Lack of an election result has complicated the process for fixing the problem
People with disabilities were being left in crisis as a result, Kelly Vincent says
Providers could be deterred from offering services if they continue to be unpaid
NDIS providers and participants have been unable to access the new website to process payments for care workers.
Kelly Vincent, South Australia's Dignity for Disability MP, said the lack of an election result was complicating the process for fixing the problem, as government departments remained in caretaker mode.
She said people with disabilities were being left in crisis as a result.
"Essentially what's happened is that the NDIS has switched to using a new website for participants in the NDIS to claim against their funding so that they can pay for services like physiotherapy, [occupational therapy], or disability support for example... on the 1st of July," she said.
"Two weeks prior to that, participants were forewarned that the old system would be down and they wouldn't be able to claim and yet here we are ... three weeks where people haven't been able to pay for services that they've used.
"And the people providing those services are disadvantaged because for three weeks they haven't been able to be paid for their job."
Ms Vincent said in particular, the people who self-manage their funds have not been able to claim against their funding packages.
"So businesses, small businesses, individual support workers for example, and people with disabilities, have not been able to access funding for services that they need or services that they provide."
Government caretaker mode has 'not helped'
Ms Vincent said the fact government departments had been in caretaker mode for the past nine weeks had made it difficult.
She said that they wanted the NDIS to explain how the situation had happened in the first place and explain why the new website "apparently wasn't tested enough before it went live".
"And to make sure that we have measures in place in future so that people don't find themselves in this disarray again."
Ms Vincent said they needed funding to be provided in the interim to ensure people would receive access to the services they required.
She said that if people were unable to access the funds needed to pay for services, then providers would likely be less willing to provide them.
"And so there are disadvantages enormously both for people with disabilities who need those services and the workers providing those services," she said.
"I think its grossly unfair and unrealistic to expect people to continue to turn up for work and provide services if they know for at least three weeks they're not going to be paid."
The National Disability Insurance Agency said it had been in contact with people having difficulties using the new website, and work was being undertaken overnight to fix system issues.
Source: ABC News