Welcome to this month’s Blog post from Williams OT Driver Assessments and Rehab. This month we discuss the recent changes to the NDIS travel arrangements for providers. If you are on the NDIS and you have been receiving input from us, especially if we have been coming to you, this definitely impacts you. If you are new to the NDIS and driving is part of your goals, you will need to consider this as you move forward with your plans. And if you have received a quote from Williams OT in the past and you are waiting for your planning review meeting, this also impacts on you as your quotes will now be out of date.
So what has changed?
Watch the video below to hear about the changes to the funding of travel. Previously Williams OT has been able to assist clients by charging NDIS for travel to clients to provide driver assessment and rehabilitation/tuition services if it was in client’s plans. In the videos below, I explain how this has changed for 2018/19.
So what does it mean for moving forward?
Over the past couple of weeks, Brad, Director of Williams OT has been back and forth from NDIS trying to get answers for you. When we ring the provider helpline we get a different answer every time. Frequently, in these early stages of the change, the provider helpline staff are not aware that there have even been changes to the travel arrangements. Despite this, we have been able to escalate the matter and we are expecting to have feedback as to whether travel arrangements will change back or look different into the future. Until that time, we have had to make changes.
- If you are an NDIS participant and a current client with us and you have a signed service agreement for services this will be valid until the service agreement is no longer valid. We will be getting in contact with you to discuss new service agreements as they come around.
- If you are an NDIS participant and a current client with us but do not currently have a signed service agreement with us and you are in between services, if we have not already been in contact with you we will be in contact with you very soon. We will issue new service agreements that better represent the new NDIS changes.
- And, if you have a quote from us for NDIS intervention around driving and rehabilitation, please get back in contact with us to have your quote involved travel and get yourself an updated quote before your next planning meeting. We will do our best to update these as best we can and get in contact with you, but please contact us immediately if your next planning meeting is around the corner.
What does Brad say about the future?
“As the Director of Williams OT, we hope that we can continue to work with the NDIS to find a viable solution for our clients, especially those outside of 20 minutes from Fullarton where our rooms are situated. Once we get and an answer or if things change, we will post an update here and be back with you asap.
In the meantime, we are doing our best to update our clients/participants of the changes and how this will impact them moving forward. We expect that we will have a downturn in assessments. We expect there will be an even bigger downturn in regular driving lessons with our specialized driving instructor. We find this very disappointing as this means that more people will remain dependent on services as independence and freedom will remain restricted. We feel this goes against what the NDIS was actually set up for in the beginning.
Williams OT remains the only SA addressed registered provider for specialized driver training with an actual specialized driving instructor. Furthermore, Williams OT is one of only a few (literally one or two others) registered Driver Trained OT service in SA (according to our research of the registered NDIS providers). That means that no matter where you live in SA (or Broken Hill) we remain you closest provider for specialized driving lessons, Occupational Therapy Driver Assessments and vehicle modifications.
Therefore, and unfortunately for participants, there is no other closer registered providers with the skills set required to assist NDIS Participants with a driving goal. With the changes to the NDIS travel arrangements, it is now no longer viable to travel to participants unless they pay for this travel out of their own private funds.
If this impacts on you, we suggest that you take it up with your plan manager or local area coordinator. If you don’t get the answers that you desire from there, I suggest that you raise it with your local area coordinator.
As director, and on behalf of the Williams OT team, I would like to thank participants for their patience and the understanding around this change in our business structure and understand that it is in reaction to the changes put forward by NDIS and not our choice. We will continue to provide the best possible service for clients and hope to provide freedom and independence through driving in alignment with the NDIS structures. Despite changes, we hope to assist many more NDIS participants with their driving and community mobility goals into the future.”
Williams Occupational Therapy – Driver Assessments and Rehab
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