NSW Secures Landmark Disability Funding Deal That Will 'Change Lives For The Better'

More than 84,000 people living with disabilities in New South Wales are already benefiting from the scheme.

What you need to know
  • Malcolm Turnbull announced a "landmark" agreement between the federal government and NSW
  • It ensures the full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in NSW
  • More than 84,000 people in NSW are expected to tap into the scheme

NSW has become the first state to sign up to the government's full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), in a move that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says will ensure people with disabilities, their families and their careers are "better off".

"This is a significant milestone in the delivery of one of the most important social reforms in our nation’s history," he said on Friday.

"It places people at the centre of the system, and gives them choice and control over the services they receive."

Malcolm Turnbull told reporters today that the deal was an expression of love and respect. Source: ABC.

The agreement will allow NSW to access $3.1 billion in funding payments between 2018-19 and 2023-24. In turn, the NSW Government has agreed its annual funding contributions to the NDIS, which exceeds $3 billion in 2018-19, will be escalated by four percent per year to keep pace with population and price increases.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was proud NSW was the first state to sign up to the scheme, saying it will "change lives for the better".

"We believe strongly in supporting people with a disability, but more importantly, ensuring they have greater choice and control over their lives, through their carers and through their advocates," she told reporters on Friday.

"It's extremely humbling today to be able to do this, because not only does it secure the funding, but it also makes sure that transition continues to be as smooth as possible."

More than 84,000 people in NSW are already benefiting from the program, with the NDIS expected to eventually support about 140,000 people with disability in the state.

It comes days after the autism community was shocked by accidentally published details on the NDIS guidelines, which would remove eligibility for all but the most serious cases of autism.

Under the list of conditions eligible for access to the NDIS, only those diagnosed as having Level 3 autism -- which requires very substantial support -- were able to apply. People with Level 2 autism, which requires "substantial" support, appeared to be ineligible.

The change was later reported to be in error, and Level 2 autism reappeared on the list of eligible conditions, but there are reports that the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) could still be intending to follow through on changes in a cost-cutting method.

The NDIS full scheme agreement for NSW will take effect from July 1, 2018.