Continuity of Support

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
Email: Minister.Ley@health.gov.au

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

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
Email: christian.porter.mp@aph.gov.au

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
Email: jane.prentice.mp@aph.gov.au

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

Contact Details for Relevant State Ministers

Details for the relevant state Ministers have been provided below for your reference:

ACT Minister for Disability and Minister for Veterans and Seniors
Chris Bourke

You can use the following details to post a hard copy letter to Chris Bourke:

Mr Chris Bourke MLA
Minister for Disability, Minister for Veterans and Seniors GPO Box 1020 CANBERRA ACT 2601

Alternatively, you can contact Minister Bourke’s office by email at:
Contact My Minister

Or you can contact Minister Bourke’s office by phone on (02) 620 52244.

NSW Minister for Aging and Minister for Disability Services
John Ahaka

You can use the following details to post a hard copy letter to John Ajaka:

The Hon John Ajaka MLC
Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability Services
GPO Box 5341 SYDNEY NSW 2001

Alternatively, you can contact Minister Ajaka’s office via email at:
office@ajaka.minister.nsw.gov.au

Or you can contact Minister Ajaka’s office by phone on (02) 8574 6400.

Northern Territory Minister for Disability Services
Johan (John) Elferink

You can use the following details to post a hard copy letter to Johan Elferink:

The Hon Johan Elferink MLA
Minister for Disability Services
GPO Box 3146
DARWIN NT 0801

Alternatively, you can contact Minister Elferink’s office via email at:
minister.elferink@nt.gov.au

Or you can contact Minister Elferink’s office by phone on 08) 8928 6615.

Queensland Minister for Disability Services and Minister for Seniors
Coralee O’Rourke

You can use the following details to post a hard copy letter to Coralee O’Rourke:

The Hon Coralee O’Rourke MP
Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors
PO Box 15397
CITY EAST QLD 4002

Alternatively, you can contact Minister O’Rourke’s office via email at disabilityandseniors@ministerial.qld.gov.au

Or you can contact Minister O’Rourke’s office by phone on (07) 3719 7170.

South Australia Minister for Disabilities
Leesa Vlahos

You can use the following details to post a hard copy letter to Leesa Vlahos:

Leesa Vlahos MP
Minister for Disabilities
GPO Box 1838
ADELAIDE SA 5001

Alternatively, you can contact Minister Vlahos office via email at:
minister.vlahos@sa.gov.au

Or you can contact Minister Vlahos office by phone on (08) 8303 2926.

Tasmania Minister for Human Services
Jacquie Petrusma

You can use the following details to post a hard copy letter to Jacquie Petrusma:

Jacquie Petrusma MP
Minister for Human Services
Level 8, 10 Murray Street
HOBART TAS 7000

Alternatively, you can contact Minister Petrusma’s office via email at:
jacquie.petrusma@parliament.tas.gov.au

Or you can contact Minister Petrusma’s office by phone on (03) 6165 7770.

Victoria Minister for Disability and Aging
Martin Foley

You can use the following details to post a hard copy letter to Martin Foley:

The Hon Martin Foley MLA
Minister for Disability and Aging
GPO Box 4057
MELBOURNE VIC 3000

Alternatively, you can contact Minister Foley’s office via email at:
martin.foley@parliament.vic.gov.au

Or you can contact Minister Foley’s office by phone on (03) 9096 7500.

Western Australia Minister for Disability Services Donna Faragher

You can use the following details to post a hard copy letter to Donna Faragher:

The Hon. Donna Faragher MLC
Minister for Disability Services
7th Floor, Dumas House
2 Havelock Street
WEST PERTH WA 6005

Alternatively, you can contact Minister Faragher’s office via email at:
Minister.Faragher@dpc.wa.gov.au

Or you can contact Minister Faragher‘s office by phone on (08) 6552 5300.

The following documents outline the general provisions for continuity of support in each state and territory (WA and ACT will be added when we find them):

Do you have any more information about the current arrangements for continuity of support? We’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to get in touch!

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