The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) are working to improve their early dispute resolution processes and the external review experience. Find out more detail about the Independent Expert Review program on the NDIS website.
What is the Independent Expert Review Program?
The Independent Expert Review (IER) program involves an Independent Expert reviewing a matter that a participant has already sought to have reviewed externally (an external review of an NDIA decision).
An Independent Expert will review the matter and may meet with the participant in the process.
The Independent Expert will make a non-binding recommendation as to the appropriate outcome of the matter.
The IER is a free, voluntary and confidential process that will be conducted within the current legislative requirements of the NDIS Act and Rules.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) is funding advocacy and legal support through the ‘NDIS Appeals Program’ for participants who are invited by the Agency to have their AAT application considered through the IER program. (Find IER advice and advocacy in your state or territory).
The Agency can also provide general information about the IER program. Enquiries can be made by email to email@example.com.
If you have received an invitation to participate in the IER program, you may wish to contact the Independent Expert Review Advice Service (IERAS).
The IERAS is a free, national legal advice service that can support people with disability, their families and carers participating in the IER process.
The IERAS is an initiative of National Legal Aid and can provide information, advice and referral to an advocate (NDIS Appeals advocate) and/or a lawyer in your state/territory.
You can contact the IERAS by telephone on 1800 441 800 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
There are several informative resources available on the NDIS website, including:
- Independent Expert Review Program – Frequently asked questions (DOCX 68KB)
- Independent Expert Review (IER) program step-by-step guide
- NDIA model litigant guidelines
Organisations around Australia who deliver NDIS Appeals advocacy reported increasing and often overwhelming levels of demand during late 2021 and early 2022:
- Unnecessary and Unreasonable Harms: Joint Submission to the Joint Standing Committee NDIS re internal and external reviews (supported by a range of advocacy organisations around Australia, August 2021)
- Joint submission: National Disability Insurance Scheme appeals at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (authored by Disability Advocacy NSW, Your Say Advocacy Tasmania, and Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service, and supported by a range of advocacy organisations, June 2022)
- Media coverage of surging NDIS appeals in late 2021 and early 2022 – See our blog post: National Disability Advocacy Program funding announcement
- Analysis of NDIS appeals report (by Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion, August 2022)
- Are the NDIA and their external lawyers being ‘model litigants’? Are they on their best behaviour with you at the AAT? – Every Australian Counts, November 2022
- NDIS AAT appeals conversation with Minister Shorten, NDIA Chief Counsel Matt Swainson and you – Every Australian Counts and DANA, September 2022