NDIS rorted and defrauded

Over many years, we’ve warned that the enormous pot of money on offer under the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) would spawn a whole range of middle-men and providers seeking to cash in, leading to significant waste, or worse fraud.

We’ve seen this before with the rorting of the private Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, rorting of childcare subsidies, and rorting of the Pink Batts Scheme.

Two months ago, The Guardian reported that “allegations of fraud within the national disability insurance scheme have surged dramatically” with 25 dodgy former childcare operators to be booted from the scheme:

New data showed a “marked increase” in reports of potential fraud, with authorities receiving 2,293 tipoffs in the eight months to February, a 48% increase on the 1,553 recorded in the entire 2017-18 financial year…

It comes after a 2016 audit identified a lack of checks and balances within the $20bn scheme, while media reports had uncovered dozens of NDIS providers had chequered histories as family daycare operators.

Today, we’ve gotten another taste of this rorting:

The texts were among many read aloud by Justice Peter Garling, who presided over Ms Hilmi’s bail application…

She and Mr Rifai sit behind bars on charges of defrauding the National Disability Insurance Agency while their now 10-month-old son is cared for by his grandmother.

It’s alleged the Sydney couple were part of a syndicate that variously sat at the helm of three registered National Disability Insurance Scheme providers, which offered services such as nursing, cleaning, transport and home fit-outs to people supported by government-subsidised disability plans.

Police allege the south-west Sydney group of six fleeced the public by almost $3 million by lodging over-inflated invoices, falsely drawing from an individual’s disability plan so that the person was unable to make further claims.

History never repeats, but it sure does rhyme.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. This is why I feel, in a Grattanesque fashion, I can never really pay enough tax.
    Worthy schemes which inevitably lead to fraud and waste on a massive scale. How good is it?

    • HadronCollisionMEMBER

      Spend more on compliance/audit. That goes for Medicare too (which by the way in some areas is very grey – lacks explicit rules for what is and is not allowed. Intersection with public hospital depts a good example_)_

      • How about spend less on running it publicly, where no profit is taken or required. You know, how it used to work when it actually worked.

    • One of the Big 4 is managing a $33m grant program! Their noses are well entrenched in the trough.

    • Well not if they are privately run like it is alongside everything else the idiot government believes they should outsource.

    • Bingo.

      When all is said and done, more is spent administering and policing these schemes than actually reaches the cause itself. What a total fvcking croc.

      I told the Lifesavers the other day I couldn’t donate because they have a 75% expense ratio. More than 25% is unacceptable. Most charities are just vehicles to provide jobs for those who work in them. Good causes? Lol

  2. Based my personal experience, I would suggest that one of the major issues with the NDIS is providers making very good money doing easy jobs and supplies, whilst leaving those with greater needs languishing because they are not easy.

    My son’s needs are severe, and we have been ignored and neglected by suppliers and therapists time, and time, and time against, whilst they focus on easy, high volume, higher margin opportunities…weeks and months between correspondence and appointments, despite many persistent follow-ups and cries for help.

    There is virtually no accountability; it is a gravy train.

    • Yes, we have found you are sort of on your own. We try to source provision from private people and niche therapists. Not being a professional you are bound to make mistakes but you can only go with your own research.

      We are finding the same with aged care and medicine now as well………..you can get the money or already have the money, but no one will take responsibility for directing your efforts.

      I think with all these things now if you are one of the 97% that fits the stock answers you are fine but if you are one of the remaining 3 % you are increasingly on your own.

    • 60% of NDIS service providers are operating at a loss. The sector is at major risk of service providers folding, creating a ‘thin market’ where participants have a lot of $ in their plan but there are no providers within easy reach to deliver upon their plan. A major risk in the regions …

    • Yes, its very easy to charge your account $55 and then pay a cleaner $25 for an hours cleaning but the type of people running these cowboy operations are street wise hustlers (LNP types), not care providers.. My sister has been smart enough to self manage her NDIS , suffers from MS so will get more benefit, like chosing the right type of therapists as well as control over home help etc and and at the same not putting quite so much tax payers money into the pockets of a parasite. Is there some way you can self manage, not sure how it works.

    • Thats the problem with putting things in a marketplace. The only things that get done are the profitable ones. Anything difficult is unprofitable and of no interest to anyone to provide privately. Does that sound like a sensible way to run health or any essential services? Yet it is the way we are headed for everything.

    • What about the cvnts that alledgedly rort it like Ms Hilmi and Mr Rifai?
      Are they just misunderstood clappers having a go?

    • It’s OK reusa, your taxes are going to the lifters running NDIS services, not those smelly leaners wanting the services.

  3. And the fake left says “job guarantee”.

    As if a “job guarantee” will not be rorted like every other government program.

    Pink batts, school halls, novated leasing, childcare rorts, immigrants pretending to live in a rural area, immigrants cheating in exams, immigrants buying houses illegally.

    • There isn’t a single Govt scheme that hasn’t been rorted blind. Why? Because the people in charge of ‘executing’ are generally useless – totally out of their depth. They are not qualified to do what they do.

      Add to the fact they have zero skin in the game i.e. they suffer no financial loss for failure and very rarely will they lose their jobs when they c0ck it up.

      That is the bald truth.

      • Lenny Hayes for PMMEMBER

        Is that their fault or the naive 25 year old adviser in a Minister’s office that thinks this stuff up ?!.

        • You mean, perhaps they should get a free pass for at least having a go?

          I’d be keen to be an anaesthetist for a day – I may kill a few people in the process but at least I was giving it an honest crack. So that makes it okay then.

          The issue is that people who are not qualified to do something should not be allowed near the thing — the reason it happens is because they are risking other people’s money, not their own, and failure therefore is all but assured.

          Google the debacle that is (was) the new Berlin airport. It’s cost billions of dollars of taxpayer money, should have been opened in 2012 but is still unfinished, absolutely plagued with problems which they keep trying to patch up and now they are considering demolishing the whole thing and starting from scratch. The cause? Local gubbermint decided they would project manage the thing. It ls a textbook example of why these clowns should not be allowed to do anything more complex than break an egg.

          • I’d be keen to be an anaesthetist for a day – I may kill a few people in the process but at least I was giving it an honest crack.

            That’s the sort of talk I like, someone willing to have a go. Good on you!

  4. My friends experience with ndis and a very handicapped child was disastrous.
    I mentioned it to LVO when he was detailing his own experiences.
    They were denied self management, l suspect because of postcode( they live in Preston)
    – father in it
    – mother a speech therapist who had headed a disabilities service team( lots of hands on work) for seven years before this child was born.
    They were drowning.
    I was feral.
    I rang the office of their local member of parliament, who have a dedicated staff member dealing almost full time with NDIS stuffups.
    – they were excellent.
    – they needed a letter of support, and that was right up my area of expertise( written countless letters to govt, court reports, grant submissions, you name it)
    I wrote an absolute ripper, if l say so myself, fuelled by rage.
    The end result was a really positive outcome overall.
    Although this child is getting ready to walk( aged 41/2), and they won’t fund a walker because they funded a wheel chair last year. You’d think a bit of progress would be seen as a good thing. Let alone that children grow, even disabled ones, and needs change.
    Cognitively, despite more kinds of atypical epilepsy than l have ever seen in one child, cognitively she is in good shape for her age, with a great sense of humour.

    • Good one. People need to get angry about these things, put more pressure on the govt to stop their ‘private’ is always better wet dreams.

  5. The charging is ridiculous as well. One of our friends has an Autistic child. Therapy that used to cost $30 or so (group therapy) has turned into a “Oh – you have $6000 worth of NDIS funding? Great – thats 10 sessions worth”.

    $600 per person, for group therapy for an hour once a week…..

    • do we not have authorities to curb this, assumed no change in quality of the support yet a 2000% increase in cost, absolutely disgusting.

    • One of the driving principles of NDIS is choice and control. Participants can say no and go to a different provider. If they feel they are being fleeced, they have to exercise their choice and control. Don’t blame the service providers … take ownership of the plan.

      • Information asymmetry is a known problem in healthcare “markets”. Why would the NDIS want to use an untested model when workers’ compensation schemes, life insurers and increasingly health insurers use preferred approved providers? Fraud, billing and quality of service are all addressed with a preferred provider model.

  6. I’m sorry, but this was one of the two great reforms of Strong Leader Gillard, who has been canonised, and therefore, no criticism will be permitted. The other great reform? Something needs based, something sector blind.

    • Yep. And she gave 457 visas to KFC.

      Just look at the Democrats in USA. They want unfettered immigration.

      No wonder the ALP and the Democrats keep losing elections.

  7. Australia is simply one giant ATM for these vibrant’s to loot at will, for example, the Vocational Education regulator ASQA had 127 adverse decisions it made as of September 2018 go to appeal at the AAT , 97% of the appellants were all from the one demographic…….it really makes you think.

  8. Jumping jack flash

    NDIS and pensions are a sacred cow. Their primary purpose is to hide long term unemployed.
    Looking after the sick and elderly is a close second.

    Howard redefined their usage and porked the heck out of it during his economic miracle of getting unemployment down from 11% to 5%. Around half went to the pension. It was expertly kept out of the media at the time, but occasionally an article or two would slip through about soaring numbers of pensioners, and pensioners finally outnumbering the unemployed, and the amount of money spent on pensions finally dwarfing the total unemployment benefits, all over a couple of years’ period.

    My brother was one of the long term unemployed to be swapped over to the DSP by his GP, for absolutely no reason. He didn’t ask to get put over. In fact he was embarrassed about it for a long time.