DisabilityCare open for business

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PrimeMinisterKevinRuddwithWendyEvansatthelaunchofDisabilityCareinNewcastleThe Hunter region was the launch site for the national rollout of Labor’s historic reform to disability services.

“The launch sites will provide a strong foundation for the national roll-out.”
– Federal Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin

For the first time Australians with disabilities are getting the funding and authority to choose the support they need, and how that support is delivered, with the launch of DisabilityCare.

DisabilityCare, the national disability insurance scheme, opened for business in four launch sites across the country, including Newcastle in New South Wales, last month.

By July 2019, when the scheme is scheduled to be available across the nation, about 460,000 Australians with disabilities will be benefiting.

The federal Labour government’s 2013-14 budget provided $14.3 billion over seven years, on top of existing disability funding, to extend DisabilityCare nationally.

The scheme is to be paid for by increasing the Medicare levy by 0.5 percentage points.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd received a warm welcome in Newcastle when he opened the local Disability Care office.

He said around 10,000 people are expected to benefit from the NSW launch, which will gradually cover the Hunter region during the next three years.

The federal Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, said introducing DisabilityCare in stages “will help us make sure we get this important reform right, so that people with disability receive the right services for their individual needs. The launch sites will provide us with a strong foundation for the national roll-out.”

She said DisabilityCare would work with individuals to identify their goals and support needs, develop individual plans, consider the supports needed to strengthen caring arrangements, and connect people to service providers and community support.