Better outcomes for providers & participants

Advocating for a better NDIS

Occupational therapists are a critical part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), providing a wide range of supports and services to help participants maintain and improve function, build their capacity to participate in community life, education and employment, and to access vital assistive technology and other supports.


OTA has welcomed many of the changes resulting from the rollout of the NDIS across Australia, and supports a strong, sustainable and effective NDIS. However, the Scheme’s introduction was accompanied by a range of issues that continue to negatively affect the experiences of participants and providers.

OTA has heard from OTs that your clients face long and frustrating delays in the approval of plans and, as a knock-on effect, long and dangerous delays in the delivery of supports, including vital assistive technology. OTs report that assessments and reports provided to NDIA staff may be rejected without adequate justification, or require extensive clinical justifications, with negative impact on clients.

OTs have reported that funded hours may not represent actual time spent with complex or vulnerable clients who require extensive advocacy and engagement with NDIA and coordination services to achieve basic outcomes for clients. Some providers are finding these demands unsustainable and as a result are walking away from the scheme, leaving clients with reduced choice of providers.

OTA is working to raise awareness about the vital NDIS services that OTs provide for people with disabilities, and advocate for vital system changes to ensure that participants can get the supports they need and OTs can provide efficient, effective and value-for-money services.

Taking Action

Update on the NDIS Bill

In late March NDIS Minister, Bill Shorten, introduced a new bill entitled the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Getting the NDIS Back on Track No. 1) Bill 2024. This bill is the first tranche of legislative reforms that lay the foundation to give effect to some of the NDIS Review recommendations. OTA has compiled a submission on the bill.

Members can access the following resources to support their understanding of the bill:

  • A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the NDIS Review and the proposed NDIS bill – available here.
  • A recording of the free online OTA member update which included discussions on key NDIS Review recommendations and the new NDIS legislation, and impacts on the profession - available here.

Members can access OTA's submission to the proposed Bill here.

Information about how you can advocate for this issue is available here.

Update on NDIS Pricing

OTA continues to advocate for pricing arrangements to ensure that occupational therapists can provide quality and sustainable services to NDIS participants. In April 2023 OTA made a submission to the NDIA Pricing Review which advocated for a minimum 18% increase in the ‘Therapy Supports’ maximum price, to address the rising costs of business, and address the effective price reduction that has resulted over the past 4 years from rising inflation and freeze on NDIS pricing. Read OTA’s submission here.

In June 2023 the NDIA announced there will be no change to the ‘Therapy Supports’ NDIS item price limit for 2023, which remains at $193.99. OTA is disappointed with the outcome and will continue to pursue improvements in pricing arrangements in the NDIS Independent Review.

NDIS Independent Review

OTA is participating in the current review into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) on behalf of members to ensure that occupational therapists are supported to provide vital services under the scheme.

The review was launched in late 2022, and is led by Co-Chairs Professor Bruce Bonyhady AM and Ms Lisa Paul AO PSM. The Review Panel is tasked with providing a report to Government by October 2023, and has been given a wide-ranging terms of reference which will inquire into the NDIS in two parts:

  • Part 1 of the NDIS Review, which will be led by Dr Bruce Bonyhady AM, will examine the design, operation and sustainability of the scheme.
  • Part 2 of the NDIS Review, which will be led by Ms Lisa Paul AO, will analyse ways to build a more responsive, supportive, and sustainable market and workforce

More information is available on the NDIS Review website.

OTA conducted a member survey in December 2022 to identify key issues and concerns held by occupational therapists, which saw 320 members provide their valuable insights and ideas. These responses have assisted OTA to advocate strongly on the issues that matter to members throughout the review.

OTA's NDIS Review Submissions

OTA has made several submissions to the review to date:

OTA has also met with the Review Secretariat on several occasions and has participated in several policy forums. OTA will continue to represent members interests as the review progresses.

Response to recent media on NDIS OT fees

On 7 October 2022, OTA wrote to Bill Shorten, Minister for the NDIS, in response to media reports that suggested that allied health service providers engage in ‘price gouging’ for NDIS participants. Read more about our response.

Rejection of Independent Assessments

After concerted lobbying efforts in 2021, by OTA and other allied health industry peak bodies through our membership of the Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA), the Federal Government abandoned a proposal to introduce Independent Assessments for new entrants to the NDIS. The government had proposed to introduce Independent Assessment tools that would remove the need for clinically appropriate functional assessments by appropriately qualified professionals like occupational therapists

Recent Submissions

OTA works on behalf of members to produce submissions and policy positions on important issues relating to the NDIS. OTA also provides input on behalf of occupational therapists to Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA), the peak body representing the Allied Health sector in Australia, on NDIS matters.

OTA has engaged in the recent reviews of the NDIS and provided submissions on behalf of members:

Also in this Section

NDIS Review

Get the latest update from OTA about NDIS Review that covers the many planned changes for the NDIS and the disability ecosystem in Australia...

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