Price limits for National Disability Insurance Scheme supports will rise nine per cent from next month, in a decision the Labor government is framing as a win for participants and providers.
As much as $514 million will also be made available to registered providers to help cover "significant" costs of keeping participants safe, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, following the release of the scheme's latest annual price review.
The NDIS publishes a new price guide ahead of the start of each financial year. It sets the maximum amount that can be charged for supports.
From July 1, the price limits for all NDIS supports will rise 9 per cent.
A statement from NDIS Minister Bill Shorten said the increase took into account a range of factors, including the cost of providing support during the pandemic, investment in quality and safeguards, the Fair Work Commission's decision last week to raise the minimum wage 5.2 per cent and the introduction of new shift allowances.
Participant budgets will automatically increase to account for the new limits, the statement said.
The minister's statement said the changes had already been factored into the scheme's cost projections.
The scheme is forecast to cost almost $30 billion this financial year, growing to $44.5 billion in 2025-26.
In the statement, Mr Shorten cast the annual price decision as win for support workers and the scheme's almost 520,000 participants.
"These improvements will better support participant outcomes and reduce workforce turnover by funding better conditions for NDIS workers," he said.
The pool of up to $514 million will be made available to providers who support participants with daily living and community activities - services which had become more costly and challenging amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A "robust" audit regime will be set up to ensure the payments were being used to cover actual costs.
Mr Shorten has made cracking down on fraud in the scheme a key priority in his first weeks in the role.
"Providers should be commended for improving rostering systems and reforming their business models to prioritise high quality support for participants and retain workers to reduce future cost by improving outcomes for participants," he said.
"This price review finally recognises the true cost of continuity of support, keeping participants safe and improving systems to drive productivity."
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