This week, NCOSS gave evidence in an Australian Senate inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Transition Mobility Allowance to the National Disability Insurance Scheme) Bill 2016. The Bill proposes to restrict activities for which Mobility Allowance can be claimed for new recipients, before rolling into the NDIS from 2020.
NCOSS expressed concern that removing the Mobility Allowance is a step toward creating a system where people ineligible for the NDIS receive no Federal assistance with the costs of their disability – transports costs being a significant contribution to these costs. We emphasied that support needed to be maintained for transport costs associated with volunteering and job search activities, particularly given the barriers to employment faced by people with disability.
Looking at the broader context of the Bill, NCOSS argued that within the NDIS eligibility for transport, support should be determined based on a person’s individual needs and circumstances, rather than the current approach of three capped amounts. An individualised approach would be consistent with NDIS principles, and recognise factors like the higher costs of transport in rural areas.
A transcript of the hearing is available on the Inquiry’s website.