NDIS providers: when to complain
You and your child can expect quality, respect and safety from NDIS providers. It’s always OK to speak up if you’re unhappy with:
- the services and supports you’re getting from an NDIS provider
- the way an NDIS provider is treating you, your child or your family.
If you speak up about your concerns, it can help NDIS providers to improve their services. It can also help to improve overall quality and safety for other children in the NDIS. But it’s OK not to complain and to change NDIS providers instead.
Where to start with complaints about NDIS providers
It’s best to start by raising your concern with your child’s NDIS provider. For example, ‘Thanks for telling me about Xander’s progress. But Xander and I would feel more comfortable if you use their preferred pronoun when you talk about them’.
If you’re not happy with the way the NDIS provider responds to your complaint, you can make a complaint to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.
You can also go straight to the NDIS Commission if you don’t feel safe or comfortable complaining to the NDIS provider.
Next steps: complaints to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is the government agency that regulates NDIS providers and handles complaints about them.
You can complain to the NDIS Commission about an NDIS provider in two ways:
- Complete an online complaint form.
- Call the NDIS Commission on 1800 035 544 or Text Telephone (TTY) 133 677.
When you make your complaint, you’ll need to tell the NDIS Commission:
- who the NDIS provider or worker is
- what you’re unhappy about
- what happened
- when it happened
- how it affected your child and your family.
You can give evidence to the NDIS Commission to support your complaint – for example, photographs or reports.
It’s also a good idea to think about what you want to happen. For example, do you want to work with the NDIS provider to sort out the problem, or do you want penalties imposed? Serious penalties include de-registering providers, and banning workers and service providers.
You can withdraw your complaint at any time. And you can ask the NDIS Commission to keep your identity confidential, but this might make it harder to resolve your complaint.
The NDIS Commission can arrange an interpreter to help you make a complaint, if you need one.
After you make an NDIS complaint
After you make a complaint, someone from the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission will contact you. This person will confirm the details of the complaint and ask you how you want it resolved. They’ll contact the NDIS provider only if you say they can.
The NDIS Commission might help you sort out the complaint by:
- talking with you and your child’s NDIS provider
- investigating further and taking action against the NDIS provider.
Actions against NDIS providers can include bans from working with NDIS participants.
The complaint service of the NDIS Commission is independent and free.
Getting help with NDIS complaints
Friends or family members can support you with complaints about your child’s NDIS provider. For example, they might listen to your thoughts, go to meetings with you or help you fill out forms.
You can also get support from a volunteer or paid advocate, who can explain the law and your child’s rights. This person can go to meetings with you too. You can use the Disability Advocacy Finder to find an advocate close to you. You can also find advocacy services in your area by contacting your local community centre, local council, library or neighbourhood house. Your local disability service should also be able to help.
If your complaint is about the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), your eligibility for NDIS funding or your NDIS plan, you should contact the NDIA directly. You can also contact the Ombudsman’s office about problems with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, the NDIA, and NDIS local area coordinators, early childhood partners and planners. If you’re not sure who to complain to, you can contact the NDIS Commission and they can direct you to the right place.