The Commonwealth Continuity of Support Programme

People who were excluded from the NDIS who were already receiving state-funded disability services prior to the roll out of the scheme were promised they would be able to access services under the Commonwealth Continuity of Support Programme (CoS).iii

Unfortunately, there are many people who have been excluded from the NDIS who are not eligible for the CoS Programme, including:

  • people who had not been accessing state-administered specialist disability services prior to transition to the NDIS
  • people who were still on waiting lists for state-administered specialist disability services during transition to the NDIS
  • CoS Programme participants who transition into residential aged care. iv

Even for those who are eligible for the Programme, the situation is still very unclear. The 2019 Shadow Report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities stated:

“While the Commonwealth and State/Territory Governments have agreed to provide continuity of support through disability services outside the NDIS, in practice there is confusion and uncertainty about what services will continue to be provided and/or funded. Some disability supports are not being provided because of unclear boundaries about the responsibilities of the different levels of government.” v

A man in a wheelchair uses a lift to access an accessible vehicle.

Assistive technology is one of the areas where ongoing boundary disputes have arisen between state and commonwealth governments. The 2019 edition of the Commonwealth Continuity of Support Programme manual states:

“… in the first instance, aids and equipment (including vehicle modifications) should be accessed through available State programmes.” vi

Unfortunately, existing state-based aids and equipment programs are also falling short of peoples needs.