Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service

A recent AAT decision has confirmed:

  • That reports by qualified therapists who have interacted with the participant are better evidence of reasonable and necessary supports than a number of hours allocated by the NDIA; and
  • That practice coaching which is “specifically aimed at building the capacity of (the participant’s) support staff so they may provide their support care for him in an informed and consistent way to improve (his) ability to ….. “co-regulate” his emotions and to minimise his behaviours of concern may be a reasonable and necessary support.
  • That in some instances the AAT will find that funding ALL the participant’s travel is reasonable and necessary.

The matter was run by Nive Achuthan of Victoria Legal Aid, and the decision can be read in full here:

Jake Castledine was the applicant in this matter, and his mother Janice has this to say today:

“We are extremely pleased about what this AAT decision means for Jake and for other NDIS  participants with complex support needs.

Moving over to the NDIS was meant to save us from the old underfunded system which made it impossible for Jake to have a good life. But instead, we have been forced into a three-year fight in review after review, formal complaints, and endless report-writing, while Jake’s progress towards adult life stalled.

We truly admire the tenacity of Victoria Legal Aid and Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service, who together produced such a strong legal case, and VALID who contributed hundreds of advocacy hours from the very first NDIS planning meeting in 2016, all the way through the AAT process. We also want to thank Jake’s allied health therapists and support team, whose credibility and professionalism was tested by the NDIA’s legal team – we couldn’t have done it without you.

We know that many participants with complex support needs are not getting what they need from the NDIS. We hope that this AAT decision gives hope to people in similar situations, and can pave the way for all NDIS participants to have truly individualised supports. “


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