Fact sheet - The NSW Ombudsman and the NDIS
The Ombudsman is the independent and impartial watchdog for community and disability services in NSW. This fact sheet talks about:
- What does the Ombudsman have to do with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?
- What can I complain about?
- What can I do if I have a complaint about the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)?
- Who can make a complaint?
- How do I get in touch with the NSW Ombudsman?
NDIS Fact Sheet 1
The Ombudsman is the independent and impartial watchdog for community and disability services in NSW.
We promote and protect the rights and best interests of people using disability and community services in NSW by handling and resolving complaints about these services, and by monitoring and reviewing how these services are delivered.
We carry out our role under the Ombudsman Act 1974 and the Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Act 1993.
What does the Ombudsman have to do with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?
We have the same powers and responsibilities in the NDIS trial site as in the rest of NSW. This includes taking complaints about any services or supports that are funded through an NDIS participant’s plan.
This means that if you have a problem with any person or organisation that is being paid with funding provided by the NDIS as part of your plan, you can complain to us.
What can I complain about?
You can make a complaint about:
- any problem with a support or service you receive
- a service provider taking away, changing, or not providing a service, and
- how a service provider has responded to a complaint you have made to them.
It’s best if complaints are resolved quickly and directly between you and the service provider. We can help you to complain directly to the service.
However, if you haven’t been able to resolve your complaint, or you are not able to complain directly to the service provider, we will work with you and the service to try to resolve the matter.
If we are not the best agency to handle your complaint, we will explain why and help you to get in contact with the organisation that can assist you.
Who can make a complaint?
Anyone can complain to the Ombudsman. You can make a complaint directly to us. Other people can also make a complaint, such as a family member, carer, guardian, advocate, staff, or any member of the community who has a genuine concern in the subject matter of the complaint.
If a complaint is made on your behalf, we will seek to involve you, whenever possible and to the extent that you want to be involved.
What can I do if I have a complaint about the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)?
As the NDIA is a Commonwealth agency, it is not within our jurisdiction. As a result, we cannot take complaints about the NDIA’s conduct, processes or decisions.
If your complaint is about an NDIA staff member or process, you can make a complaint directly to the NDIA by telephone, email, in person or in writing. NDIA staff can help you to make a complaint.
If your complaint is about a decision made by the NDIA, such as a decision about your eligibility or funding, you can ask the NDIA to review that decision. A request for a review must be made within three months of being told about the decision.
For further information about the NDIA’s complaints or review processes, and what you can do if you’re still unhappy afterwards, you can call your local NDIA office or visit www.ndis.gov. au/feedback.
You can also make a complaint about the NDIA to the Commonwealth Ombudsman by calling 1300 362 072 or visiting their website at www.ombudsman.gov.au.
How do I get in touch with the NSW Ombudsman?
You can contact us by phone, email, in person, or through our website. Our contact information is below.
Contact us for more information
Our business hours are: Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm (Inquiries section closes at 4pm).
If you wish to visit us, we prefer you make an appointment. Please call us first to ensure your complaint is within our jurisdiction and our staff are available to see you.
Level 24, 580 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Toll free (outside Sydney Metro)
1800 451 524
Tel. typewriter (TTY)
02 9264 8050
Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS):
We can arrange an interpreter through TIS or you can contact TIS yourself before speaking to us.
© Crown Copyright, NSW Ombudsman, September 2014
ISBN: 978-1-925061-40-6 09/2014
This work is copyright, however material from this publication may be copied and published by State or Federal Government Agencies without permission of the Ombudsman on the condition that the meaning of the material is not altered and the NSW Ombudsman is acknowledged as the source of the material. Any other persons or bodies wishing to use material must seek permission. (Disability Loop was granted permission to republish this article here).
This fact sheet is one of a series produced by the NSW Ombudsman. Feedback is welcome.