12.31 The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports people with a ‘permanent and significant disability’. Although a person must be under the age of 65 at the time they seek to become a participant in the NDIS, if a person is already in the NDIS when they turn 65, they may elect to remain in the NDIS or enter the aged care framework. It is therefore likely that some older people will be in the NDIS.
12.32 A number of stakeholders noted that at this early stage of the rollout of the NDIS, they have had limited experience with the scheme. Legal Aid NSW and the Law Council of Australia noted that ‘it is not aware of any elder abuse being experienced by participants in the NDIS’.
12.33 The government is in the process of developing a national ‘Quality and Safeguards’ framework, which
will make sure the national scheme will provide good quality supports, and will maximise the choice and control of participants. It will also be important that the rights of people are protected and participants are safe from harm.
12.34 Some stakeholders expressed preliminary concerns about the potential for abuse and sub-standard care under the NDIS. However, the ALRC considers that it is too early to tell whether the scheme is an avenue for elder abuse, or test whether there are effective safeguards against elder abuse in place.
National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth) s 24.
Ibid s 22(1)(a).
Ibid s 29(1)(b).
Office of the Public Guardian (Qld), Submission 173; Seniors Rights Victoria, Submission 171; The Public Trustee of Queensland, Submission 98; Office of the Public Advocate (Vic), Submission 95; Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia, Submission 89; Law Council of Australia, Submission 61.
Legal Aid NSW, Submission 137.
Disability Reform Council, ‘Consultation Paper—Proposal for a National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguarding Framework’ (February 2015) 3.
Office of the Public Guardian (Qld), Submission 173; NSW Ombudsman, Submission 160; Office of the Public Advocate (Vic), Submission 95; Law Council of Australia, Submission 61; Legal Aid NSW, Submission 137.