With the federal election looming, lobby groups are campaigning for the National Disability Insurance Agency to reduce the waiting times for NDIS participants wanting to access specialist disability accommodation (SDA). Both the Labor and Liberal parties are currently being targeted in the ‘Down to 10 Days’ campaign.
Current SDA application approval delays
SDA property is reserved for NDIS participants with the highest needs. However, many SDA applicants are currently facing delays in having their accommodation approved for a range of reasons, including:
- the bureaucratic application and approval process, and
- a lack of supply of SDA in some locations across Australia.
The average waiting time for an SDA application to be assessed is between five and eighteen months. The end result is that many SDA applicants are being:
- forced to live with their ageing parents for longer, or
- confined to hospital beds for longer, or
- forced prematurely into aged care/nursing home facilities regardless of their age. Some even die while they are waiting for their applications to be approved.
By comparison, application approvals for aged care funding are much faster. As the name suggests, the ‘Down to 10 Days’ campaign is attempting to reduce the approval time for SDA approval down to 10 days so that it’s comparable with aged care funding application times.
More than 1100 NDIS participants were confined to national hospital beds in October last year, despite being medically cleared to be fit enough to leave if their SDA applications had been approved. These unnecessarily long hospital stays come at a significant cost to taxpayers.
In addition, the most recent figures nationally show there are more than 3,600 people aged under 65 living in residential aged care in Australia in 2021, with the majority being on the NDIS. The federal government has set a goal of no Australians under the age of 65 living in residential aged care by the end of 2025, except for exceptional cases.
How the SDA application approval delays can be fixed
The two ways that the current SDA application approval delays can be fixed are:
1) reducing any unnecessary bureaucracy in the application process, and
2) increasing the supply of SDA in areas across Australia with the highest demand.
Ending bureaucratic delays is the fastest way. It’s important to note that there are different types of SDA, and not all locations are in short supply of all types. The four different types of SDA are:
- improved liveability,
- fully accessible,
- high physical support.
Each type of SDA caters to eligible recipients with different care and support needs.
You can support the ‘Down to 10 Days’ campaign by signing the petition here.
If you’d like to learn more about how investing in SDA property can help boost the supply of desperately needed homes, please get in touch. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.