Misnomer of NDIS as a form of insurance is concerning – ALA

12th Aug 2013

“A potential misunderstanding that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a form of insurance has prompted some underwriters to warn that the scheme, now called DisabilityCare, does not safeguard families from economic loss resulting from death and incapacity,” the Australian Lawyers Alliance said today.

“TAL’s Head of Product – Group Life & Investments, Gavin Lai, says in a recent opinion piece that the NDIS has caused confusion because it was not insurance as its original name suggested,” ALA National President, Geraldine Collins said.

“It appears from his comments that insurers are starting to be concerned that there will be a slump in the number of people taking out life insurance because they believe DisabilityCare will now adequately cover them,” Ms Collins said.

“The ALA shares Mr Lai’s concerns about the lack of clarity of the scheme as well as rules about implementation, rights of appeal, and inclusion,” she said.

"As Mr Lai points out the term ‘insurance’ should never have been used to describe a scheme paid for by the taxpayer.

"And while the concept of the NDIS as a protection for all is a good one, ALA fears it will not be as comprehensive as the government has suggested,” Ms Collins said.

“The NDIS will provide assistance for support and care, not for income. Therefore, a person suffering a disability which enables assistance from DisabilityCare will be provided with necessary and reasonable assistance for equipment, care and support. There is no funding for loss of income,” she said.

“It is vital that the public understand that DisabilityCare does not provide funding for a lost capacity to earn. A person suffering a disability without access to common law rights and without private insurance will be forced to access Centrelink benefits.

"At a time when people are seriously considering their vote for the upcoming federal election, it is important for the government to close the information gaps surrounding DisabilityCare. Issues such as rights of appeal, long term sustainability, the right not to seek action within a given time frame and how the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS) will operate along side DisabilityCare still need to be answered,” Ms Collins said.

“It is very important that common law right of compensation for harm caused by another is maintained under both schemes,” Ms Collins said.

Tags: Disability NDIS