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Expensive, cruel and ineffective: disability royal commission hears of costly mistreatment in prison

This week the disability royal commission heard tales of abuse and neglect from people with disabilities in youth detention and adult prisons. One woman described being constantly dropped while being moved in and out of her wheelchair and said she was denied physiotherapy to slow the progression of muscular dystrophy. An Indigenous man said he was denied his antidepressants and asthma puffer. A hearing-impaired man said he didn’t have an Auslan interpreter for weeks.

NDIS alarm bells must not go unanswered

Then there are the criminals who prefer more of a hands-off approach, using accomplices such as doctors, pharmacists and accountants to exploit loopholes by variously billing for “clients” who don’t exist, padding invoices and charging for services that are never delivered, relying on poor auditing within the NDIS to go undetected.

The Big Steal

It’s a sad reality of life that some truly awful people walk among us. However, the title of “most despicable” must surely go to members of the organised crime networks who have been targeting vulnerable Australians in order to rip off the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Four arrested over $2 million NDIS scam

The AFP has said the four people arrested have ties to organised crime gangs. Three of the four had posed as disability service providers. Money was allegedly being claimed from NDIS participants for services that were never received. 

Police responses to people with disability

The report finds that often, police responses to people with disability – whether they are witnesses, victims or alleged offenders – are not adequate. This is because policing is the ‘default’ response to people with disability who experience disadvantage, like homelessness, poverty or violence, while there is less and less funding for other social and human services. The recommendations promote community based, culturally safe and trauma informed programs that divert people away from the criminal justice system if they into trouble, like the Cognitive Impairment Diversion Program

What has changed since the tragic death of Ann Marie Smith?

Ms Smith’s death sparked numerous investigations and reviews, including by police, the state government and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. The NDIS Commission’s independent investigation led to 10 recommendations, including that vulnerable NDIS participants should have multiple carers.

Extended crackdown on NDIS fraud

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is extending the NDIS Fraud Taskforce to crack down on dodgy providers and ensure participants get the supports they need.  Minister for the NDIS, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC today announced the Taskforce will be extended indefinitely to protect the integrity of the Scheme and the participants it supports.

Man to serve jail time for rorting NDIS

A Victorian man has been sentenced to jail for rorting the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) of more than $300,000 by billing the provider for fake lawn mowing services.