The Australian Bureau of Statistics describes a disability as ‘any limitation, restriction or impairment, which has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least six months.’ According to their 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC), more than four million Australians are affected by a disability. That equates to 18.5% of the population or nearly one in five people living in Australia.
The Coalition’s conditional support for the Labor proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has sparked media frenzy and has dominated domestic news headlines this past week due to the wide and deep affects this will have on the community at large. The scheme, funded in part by revenue raised through an increase in the Medicare levy, represents a tax hike of 0.5% to the average taxpayer. However, for the 410,000 Australians and their families suffering from a congenital or acquired permanent disability, the NDIS embodies the much-needed lifeline that will assist in alleviating the financial burden imposed by their disability.