“New Disability Employment Services From 2018”

Only 2 in every 5 people with a brain injury have returned to work within 2 years of injury.

Information obtained by Brain Injury Australia from the Department Employment shows only 2,200 people with a brain injury, out of 160,000 use Disability Employment Services (DES).

While the total number of participants in DES has risen by 7 per cent since 2011, participants with a brain injury fell by 10 per cent. Brain Injury Australia has responded to a Discussion Paper recently released by the Australian Government aimed at “reforming” Disability Employment Services.

Specifically, Brain Injury Australia welcomes plans to introduce a new funding model with “risk-adjusted outcome payments based on the likelihood of a DES participant achieving an employment outcome…This means that providers choosing to work with clients who have more significant barriers to employment or in more challenging labour markets would be better rewarded for achieving an employment outcome for a DES participant.” It also “removes any incentives to ’park and cream’ – that is to focus on high turnover of easy to place job seekers, while doing little to support those hardest to place.”

Brain Injury Australia also welcomes the Australian Government’s commitment to return choice of DES provider to participants. “The current highly regulated market share allocations mean that providers are guaranteed a proportion of job seeker referrals from Centrelink regardless of their performance.”

Instead, participants will be able to “choose their provider and to change their provider if unsatisfied, with funding following the participant.” Participants will also have “more say in their Job Plans and [receive] better information to empower participants during service planning.”

Read the Australian Government’s Discussion paper here and Brain Injury Australia’s response here.

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