Increase in vigilance leads to spike in NDIS fraud reports

Tip-offs surge after taskforce launch

Increase in vigilance leads to spike in NDIS fraud reports

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

Bill Shorten, the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Government Services, has highlighted the importance of public contributions to combating fraud within the NDIS framework.

Shorten noted a significant increase in the reporting of fraudulent activities against the NDIS following the launch of the Fraud Fusion Taskforce (FFT) by the Albanese Government in November 2022.

NDIA receives a surge in fraud-related tip-offs

Recent data revealed that the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) experienced a 75% surge in fraud-related tip-offs in the last quarter compared to previous quarters before the FFT was established. This upward trend continued into 2024, with over 2,000 reports received in February.

The NDIA’s efforts to crack down on fraud have led to several high-profile legal actions. One prominent case involved a former healthcare worker convicted in a Sydney court for 22 fraud-related offences, including overcharging and falsifying reports, after a tip-off prompted an NDIA investigation. This case drew on the testimonies of 36 individuals, including 20 NDIS participants.

Another investigation in Queensland resulted in a three-and-a-half year imprisonment for a woman implicated in fraudulent claims for unprovided services. This case also began with a community tip-off and concluded with guilty pleas from her and three co-defendants for charges of general dishonesty against the Commonwealth.

Bill Shorten thanked Australians for NDIS fraud tip-offs

Shorten thanked the Australian public for their role in identifying and reporting suspicious activities, which has significantly aided the government’s efforts to protect NDIS funds.

“I’d like to thank Australians for supporting our efforts to rid the NDIS of fraudsters, scammers, rorters, and criminals,” he said. “This government has made no secret of our focus on combating fraud against the NDIS and stamping out any dodgy operators. This increased focus has seen the number of tip-offs received by the NDIA skyrocket, and the agency assesses every tip-off it receives.

“We also established the Fraud Fusion Taskforce and invested heavily in measures to further strengthen the integrity of the scheme.”

Australians called on to remain vigilant against NDIS fraud

Shorten warned those considering fraudulent actions that they would face serious consequences and encouraged ongoing vigilance among the public.

“For the NDIS to thrive, we need to ensure that every dollar of the NDIS is going towards supporting people with disability,” he said. “I want any would-be crook looking to prey on those who rely on NDIS funding to be caught and prosecuted.”

The government recently proposed an overhaul of the NDIS to ensure it more closely aligns with its founding principles.

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