NDIS: Value for money evidence.

Charrington and National Disability Insurance Agency [2022] AATA 1160.

The Charrington review application arose from a plan for a person with impaired vision which did not include funding for specialist disability accommodation (SDA).

The Tribunal noted at [43] that the Support Rules, which amplify section 34(1)(f) of the NDIS Act, provide that the NDIS will not fund rent, even where that would assist in those in housing crises, unless the need arises solely and directly as a result of their disability support needs. The Department of Housing and, in the Applicant’s case, community organisations, have a role in such service delivery to the Applicant.

The Respondent did not dispute the fact that the Applicant is functionally impaired in a range of areas, and that she requires the range of supports that have been funded to date, but submitted that she does not meet the criterial that would permit the funding of SDA.

When addressing the value for money consideration the Tribunal said:

An evidential deficit exists when comparing life with and without SDA because the Applicant has not yet had the opportunity to live with the other funded supports. In the circumstances of this case, it is not possible to compare with real meaning the value for money of the sought support of SDA with other funded supports when both the cost of the home modifications, and the impact that both an assistance dog and suitable modifications to her home may have, is not yet known.

The Tribunal found that the SDA criteria were not met in this case.

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