Thanks to the work of ASU members, the NDIS has announced a 9% increase in NDIS prices to cover wage rises and better working conditions for disability support workers. This new funding recognises that the NDIS prices needs to change the way it operates to keep skilled, professional disability support workers.
How does the NDIA set NDIS Pricing for Disability Support Work? And how does that affect DSWs, participants and providers?
The NDIS sets prices by for disability support work by starting with the SCHDS Award rates of pay. To set the price for a service, they look at the wage rate for the relevant classification and then add on the additional costs associated with providing that service. This includes Award entitlements and certain amounts to cover the provider’s oncosts and overheads (such as training, supervision and support staff). The NDIS calculated these costs by referring to a model of an ‘efficient provider’
In the current model, there was insufficient funding for supervision, training and assumed that a disability support worker would spend almost every minute of the day working directly with a participant. Worse, the prices didn’t include funding for all award entitlements. This made bad employment practices (like over-using casuals) more attractive to employers than good practices (secure, stable professional jobs). Bad pricing decisions promoted short-term thinking and drove many dedicated disability support workers away from the sector.
In 2021, ASU members won new minimum payments and rules around broken shifts, which need to be included in pricing.
ASU members worked with participants and providers to change the way the NDIA sets prices. Now, we’re seeing the results of that hard work.
From 1 July 2022, the NDIS will increase price limits for disability support services by 9%. This includes:
- 1.7% increase to base prices to support sustainable service delivery during COVID-19;
- 2% temporary loading to support providers to implement the new SCHDS Award conditions;
- 4.6% for wage increase; and
- 0.5% for the new 10.5% super rates.
Other changes include:
- SACS Stream Level 2 was accepted as the minimum rate for entry level DSW work.
- Fairer rules about charging clients for short notice cancellations;
- More clarity about when a provider can charge for high intensity supports;
- Fairer rules for charging travel time, including return travel and a process to divide the cost of travel time between multiple participants in a region.
These changes don’t fix everything that’s wrong with NDIS pricing, but its firm step in the right direction.
Pass this important news to your colleagues who aren’t in the ASU and ask them to join at www.asu.asn.au/asujoin