Disability Maintenance Instrument: Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is evidence important?
- What evidence do I need?
- Where do I keep evidence?
- What's the auditing process?
Evidence is a crucial part of the DMI. For business services, it provides the facts you require to complete an accurate DMI, and ensure appropriate funding for a client's needs. For FaCSIA, documented evidence 'proves' any claims you make about the level of support a client needs. So, evidence determines the claim, and supports the claim.
The DMI has 126 questions (assessment items). You have to select a rating category for each of these – so you are making a 'claim' against each question (assessment item) about the level of assistance a client needs. This means evidence is required for all of the questions (assessment items) in the DMI – to determine and support the claims.
Evidence can come from a range of sources, including:
- workplace supervisors
- the client or their advocate
- the client's family
- official workplace documents, such as employment plans, reports by professionals, timesheets.
Remember that the DMI is not meant to be an entirely separate process from the other work of the organisation. You already document and collect a significant amount of evidence as part of your everyday processes and for accreditation requirements. Where relevant, this evidence can also be used for the DMI.
The most valid (given it's currency) evidence is collected in that three month window before the DMI is submitted. However, you shouldn't exclude valuable and reliable evidence that's been collected over the previous 24 months, such as wage assessments. As best practice, there is usually a more intensive assessment period in the three months leading up to completing the DMI, when you capture the bulk of the evidence.
For more detailed information about evidence, read the Evidence Guide for Business Services.
Your organisation will have its own systems to store evidence. It's important that evidence is stored securely for two reasons.
- It maintains client confidentiality. Evidence about a client is not for public display. It may contain sensitive information about the client and their needs.
- It adheres to audit requirements. FaCSIA can conduct random audits in relation to DMI claims. Part of the audit process is checking the evidence, to ensure incorrect or intentionally fraudulent claims are not being made.
You can make notes on the DMI about where the evidence for each question (assessment item) is held. This assists with sourcing records and information for audits – both internal and external.
FaCSIA can conduct audits or checks in relation to the DMI at any time. This may mean someone visits your organisation to inspect your processes and records. Or you may be asked to send in copies of documentation to verify a claim. The Department audits to monitor claims and identify any intentional fraudulent activity.
Your organisation may also conduct internal audits from time to time. Internal audits can provide useful feedback on the systems and processes you have in place, and identify areas that need changing or improvement.
To be well prepared for internal or external audits it's important you:
- collect evidence to support your claims
- store this evidence securely
- can retrieve the evidence easily if required.