Met and unmet need for formal services

An estimated 39% of people with disability living in households need assistance from formal providers. These providers are most often private commercial organisations (for 64% of those receiving formal assistance) or government providers (46%) (a person can receive support from more than 1 provider) (ABS 2016).

Most (87%) people with disability who needed formal assistance with at least 1 activity received some support. Most were satisfied with the quality and range of services:

  • 85% of people with disability who received assistance with at least 1 activity in the 6 months before the SDAC were satisfied with the quality of service (where level of satisfaction could be determined)
  • 74% who needed assistance with at least 1 activity from an organised service were satisfied with the range of services.

Not everyone with disability receives all the help they need from formal services. Common activities for which the need for formal assistance was unmet include:

  • cognitive or emotional tasks (29% of those who needed formal assistance with that activity)
  • communication (26%)
  • property maintenance (25%)
  • household chores (21%)
  • health care (13%)
  • mobility (13%).

The reasons given for not receiving any or more help from an organised service with at least 1 activity include:

  • service costs too much (32% of people with an unmet need for assistance with at least 1 activity)
  • did not know of service (23%)
  • will not ask or pride (16%)
  • service does not provide sufficient hours (14%)
  • no service available (13%)
  • unable to arrange service (12%).

References

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2016. Disability, ageing and carers, Australia: summary of findings, 2015. ABS cat. no. 4430.0. Canberra: ABS. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/4430.0