Evaluation of the Moderate Intellectual Disability Loading

The Moderate Intellectual Disability Loading (MIDL) was announced in the 2010-11 Budget as a time limited trial of additional financial assistance targeted at Disability Employment Services participants with moderate to severe intellectual disability. Under the trial a 70 per cent loading was payable to DES providers on selected service fees and on job placement and outcome fees where an eligible participant achieves employment for at least 15 hours per week. Most participants with this severity of intellectual disability have an employment benchmark of the minimum eight hours per week. MIDL was designed to achieve more substantial employment for members of a target group with a history of extremely low labour force participation and high unemployment. The trial period ends on 3 March 2013.

This evaluation examined administrative data on 580 DES participants identified in the Employment Services System as people with moderate intellectual disability (data as at 31 December 2011). By the end of February 2012, 659 participants were flagged as eligible for MIDL. Comparisons of employment outcome rates are based on 150 MIDL participants who commenced in DES between April and September 2010, allowing a minimum 15 month period to measure outcomes achieved to 31 December 2011. Comparison groups were also tracked for 15 months.

MIDL participants recorded significantly higher outcome rates than DES participants with intellectual disability overall, despite having higher support needs. Within the DES Employment Support Service Funding Level 2, applicable to most MIDL participants, around 52 per cent of MIDL participants achieved a job of 15 or more hours and 34 per cent kept that job for at least six months. Outcomes were counted over a 15 month period and may be higher if measured over a longer timeframe. These results were strongly influenced by one provider, Jobsupport Incorporated, that operates in metropolitan Sydney (Figure 1). Jobsupport is the only DES provider that specialises in moderate intellectual disability.

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