The introduction of the new advocacy service was a direct recommendation of the state government’s independent security task force, which had the task of examining gaps in supervision and protecting people with disabilities.
Marshall’s Liberal administration has allocated a total of $ 1.2 million to the new service over a three-year period – the first time disability advocacy has been funded since the former Labor administration defused it as a cost-cutting measure in 2007.
Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink said the service is helping South Australians navigate the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and ensure they are receiving appropriate assistance.
“The individual advocacy service is available to all South Australians living with disabilities and their carers, regardless of whether they are currently NDIS participants or have problems accessing the NDIS for the first time,” said Minister Lensink.
“It provides free legal representation and advice, as well as practical assistance such as personal assistance with meetings and medical appointments, or information and referrals to other helpful resources.
“This new ministry means no one has to fight alone without the support they need to live a full life, and we really want to make sure that South Australians know this ministry is up and running and ready to help anyone who needs it . ”
People with disabilities and their families can contact the advocacy service for assistance on a range of topics, including understanding the NDIS and helping to overcome application rejections.
Since the service began on December 9, 2020, 97 people have been assisted, including:
* Support and advice for all 97 customers;
* eight legal representations on behalf of persons who appeal against an NDIS decision;
* Legal advice and personal assistance in attending meetings and medical appointments, resulting in increased NDIS support for 11 people so far;
* Help 10 people in rural and remote areas to gain access to NDIS or make changes in NDIS plans; and
* Referral channels for 20 people who need special support services for non-NDIS related matters.
The Uniting Communities Law Center was selected to operate the service through a bidding process.
Sarah Watson, senior manager of Uniting Communities, said the vital service is helping people with disabilities better access their own communities.
“Any South Australian who has difficulty working through the NDIS and understanding the rights of his or her loved one should give us a call so we can discuss their individual situation and how we can help,” said Ms. Watson.
Disability Advocacy Service
Phone: 1300 886 220
E-mail: [email protected]
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