NDIS planning process leaves people with a disability fighting for support.

Genevieve Buckingham says her experience with the NDIS has left her feeling "isolated and worthless". Photo: Janie Barrett
Genevieve Buckingham says her experience with the NDIS has left her feeling "isolated and worthless". Photo: Janie Barrett

Genni Buckingham has travelled to Las Vegas to see Celine Dion twice but her plan under the National Disability Insurance Scheme has left her struggling to travel a few suburbs away for essential medical appointments.

The 31-year-old from Kellyville values her independence and had high hopes for the scheme when she joined last year but says her transport budget has been cut by three-quarters, leaving her scrambling to make her funding stretch to cover her needs.

"This left me feeling completely isolated and worthless which is completely opposite of what the NDIS claims to be about," she said.

Ms Buckingham, who has cerebral palsy and Crohn's disease, said her problems with the scheme started almost immediately when her planner attempted to devise the plan in a phone call. 

She said the plan has left her worse off and feeling "frustrated and discouraged."

Complaints about the the $22 billion scheme have surged as it rapidly expands around the country.

Data from the National Disability Insurance Agency's latest quarterly report show cases before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal have increased by 19 per cent since the previous quarter.

In almost 70 per cent of the 112 cases, complainants are unhappy with their support plan. 

Director of Disabled People's Organisations Australia Therese Sands said increasing pressure to meet targets meant plans were often rushed through by staff without expertise in disability.   

"The National Disability Insurance Agency is quickly trying to get people into the NDIS," she said. "That means untrained planners are conducting planning meetings on the phone and just coming up with a very generic plan."

Participants unhappy with their plan are entitled to ask the agency for a review. If they are dissatisfied with the result, they can appeal to the AAT. Of the 77 AAT cases which have been resolved, 39 were won by the complainant. The NDIA's decision was upheld in seven cases, 19 cases were withdrawn and 12 were dismissed.

More than 61,000 people have joined the scheme with another 400,000 to phase in over the next two years. NDIA analysis shows the majority of people are satisfied with the agency but Ms Sands says many claim their plans do not meet their needs.

"People have been incredibly disappointed," she said. "Their expectations were completely dashed. They had been led to believe they would get the support they need." 

Ms Sands raised concerns the rushed planning process would undermine the effectiveness of the scheme, which is currently under review.

"People are not getting the plans they should be getting in order to make the NDIS a success," she said.​

A spokeswoman for the NDIA said there were very few complaints about the planning decisions given the number of participants and planners receive ongoing training to improve their knowledge of specific disabilities.

She confirmed most plans were completed over the phone but participants had the option of a face-to-face meeting.