Adjudicating reasonable and necessary funded supports in the National Disability Insurance Scheme: A critical review of the values and priorities indicated in the decisions of the Administrative Appea
Alyssa Venning, Eloise Hummell, Michele Foster, Kylie Burns & Susan Harris Rimmer
Beyond the initial euphoria of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), tough choices will be needed for sustainability. Although the spirit of the NDIS is to deliver choice and control, the Australian government's objective is to ensure that rights and aspirations are proportionate to expectations of best practice, aptness of mainstream services and cost effectiveness. The position in this paper is that this test of ‘reasonable and necessary’ when determining funded supports, raises value dilemmas for government and citizens. The objective is to demonstrate this through a critical scrutiny of the reviews and decisions regarding reasonable and necessary funded supports of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). In this paper, a synthesis and critique of 35 appeals to the AAT and one Federal Court Appeal are used to make explicit the decisional ambiguities and contestations in the scheme and the values and priorities that are currently dominant in the allocation of reasonable and necessary support. This in turn is used as a basis for a discussion about the operation of rights in the scheme and what counts as legitimate support. The benefit is for scheme transparency and fairness but also broader debate about core principles and values to inform decisions about scarce resources in society.