What came out of the NDIS Pricing Review 2018?

As of July 1, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will be implementing updates suggested by the annual NDIS Independent Pricing Review. Whether you’re a disability support worker or NDIS participant, there are a number of changes heading your way.

Following the Independent Pricing Review (IPR) which took place over 2017 and the first months of 2018, the NDIA has confirmed new price limits will be in effect from July 1. The new price limits represent an increase from the prior year and will affect all support line items, meaning support providers can potentially increase their hourly pay rate.

A price limit is a monetary threshold that allows the NDIA to monitor the costs charged by Registered Providers and support workers like those on Better Caring. NDIS participants whose funds are plan-managed or agency-managed are subject to these price limits.

Under these changes, if an NDIS participant in NSW, Victoria, Queensland or Victoria receives funding under the support item “Assistance with Self-Care Activities – Standard – Weekday Daytime”, their provider of supports can now charge an hourly rate of up to $48.14. This new amount marks an increase of $3.42 from the 2017/18 NDIS Price Guide.

For NDIS participants in South Australia, Western Australia, the ACT and Northern Territory, new price limits represent a higher increase than those in all other states. The price limit for “Assistance with Self-Care Activities – Standard – Weekday Daytime” will be $49.02 from July 1, 2018.

The significant increase in price limits can be attributed to the new implementation of a new 2.5% Temporary Support for Overheads (TSO) loading fee.

Robert De Luca, CEO of the NDIA, explains the reason for the fee: “price limits will include a new loading, following the IPR recommendation to give providers temporary support for their overhead costs”. The loading fee will also provide “temporary financial relief” for providers as the remainder of Australians receive their NDIS support between now and 2020.

If you’re a support worker on the Better Caring platform and support an NDIS participant who is either plan-managed or agency-managed, you should speak to them to find out how new price limits might affect them. If you’d like to increase your hourly rate in accordance with these limits, you can directly discuss this with your client before you come to an agreement.

Before you and your client agree to a new hourly rate on Better Caring, have a discussion with them about what overhead rates from their NDIS management might apply to them. Also, remember to take into consideration our 5% client service fee which is added to a support worker’s payment amount after support is provided.

The NDIA will be automatically updating participant budgets and service bookings to ensure the increased price limits don’t negatively impact NDIS participants’ funding. De Luca commented that “these adjustments will reflect the additional costs that each individual participant will face”. If you’re an NDIS participant, you can contact the NDIS for more information about your funding or visit the NDIS participant portal.

The NDIA updates NDIS Price Guides annually on July 1 to take into account industry awards and market trends. Click here to access the current NDIS Price Guides.

Looking for a flexible support option that fits in with your NDIS plan? You can connect with independent support workers in your local community on Better Caring. Start searching for support in your area today.

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