Until now, plans have generally been reviewed every year, contributing to delays in processing times. The longer plans will be available to participants in stable situations whose needs are unlikely to change. They can still seek a review of their plan in the three-year period if desired.
Another change to the scheme will give participants the ability to access their NDIS plan in a range of accessible formats, including large font, audio, e-Text and braille.
“Being able to read and understand an NDIS plan is key to getting the most out of it, so we have made important changes to the ways participants can receive their plan, in an accessible format that suits their needs,” Mr Robert said.
Data released last week shows more than 310,000 people have an NDIS plan, up from 30,000 in 2016. According to the government, about 500,000 people will be part of the NDIS by 2024-25.
Mr Robert said the NDIS was having a “profound impact” on people’s lives but conceded it was “not always living up to high expectations” and acknowledged calls for greater flexibility in the scheme.
The government is expected to boost the scheme’s focus on covering people with disability in rural areas, Indigenous Australians, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with mental health conditions.
Earlier this year, peak body National Disability Services warned the NDIS risked collapse unless the pricing model, red tape and systemic flaws were addressed.
Labor has also demanded the government scrap a “cruel” staffing cap on the agency overseeing the scheme, saying it was at “breaking point” and needed more workers.