New Continuity of Support Information

New Continuity of Support information has been released by the Commonwealth Department of Health. The Continuity of Support program will support people aged 65 and over, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over who are receiving state and territory funded disability supports and therefore not eligible for the NDIS. These arrangements are designed to ensure you receive support that is consistent with the support you were receiving before the NDIS rolled out in your area.

Continued support will be provided by a new Commonwealth Continuity of Support (CoS) Program administered by the Department of Health. Phasing arrangements begin from December 1, 2016 and continue in stages depending on where you live, with full implementation across the country by June, 2019.

The Department of Health will be releasing a Continuity of Support manual and guidelines shortly. Up until now there has been very little information available on how Continuity of Support will be administered and how it will affect people’s programs as they are transitioned out of their current state and territory support packages.

The new details at least provide some certainty in how CoS will be managed. Current support arrangements will continue with new contracts to be developed with the Department of Health. Significantly, the details also provide certainty for clients living in group homes. They will be able to remain where they are under CoS: “This includes clients who are living in a house where there are also people under the age of 65 who will be receiving support under the NDIS.”

Continuity of Support will cover 8500 clients around the country once it is fully implemented. We will have to wait for the guidelines to be released to find out further details on support arrangements – the devil is always in the detail. The following link on the Department of Health website provides general details on the program: continuity of support programme

For anyone concerned about these arrangements and to ensure your voice is heard in the development of the new support arrangements, it’s important that you contact the federal ministers’ offices below:

Responsibility for the Department of Health and My Aged Care

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Sussan Ley
Suite M1 41, Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: (02) 6277 7220

Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt
Parliament House, Suite R1 16, Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: (02) 6277 4707

Responsibility for the NDIS

Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: (02) 6277 7560

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, Jane Prentice
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: (02) 6277 4426

The NDIS website includes some general information on continuity of support, which can be accessed here: NDIS disability continuity of support

Bilateral Agreements between the Commonwealth and state and territory governments on the implementation of the NDIS, including details on Continuity of Support can be found on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) website


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