Statement On LiveBetter Civil Penalty Outcome

Dept of Social Services

A disability support provider has been fined almost $2 million over the death of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant.

LiveBetter Services Limited (LiveBetter) was today fined $1.8 million in relation to the death of Aboriginal woman Ms Kyah Lucas, who died in February 2022 from complications associated with burns she sustained while receiving personal care supports from support workers employed by LiveBetter in her home in Orange, New South Wales.

Minister for the NDIS the Hon. Bill Shorten MP said disability providers must do everything they can to keep participants safe.

“LiveBetter failed to look after Kyah Lucas. She was a vulnerable woman who needed support, safeguarding and care,” Minister Shorten said.

“We want to send a strong message that those entrusted with the care of NDIS participants will be held to the highest standards.

“This is only the second civil case brought by the Commission in its six-year history. The first was in 2023 and was in relation to the NDIS provider Australian Foundation for Disability, also known as Afford.

“This is an important decision. Under Labor, we are seeing greater scrutiny of registered and unregistered providers.”

Acting NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner Michael Phelan said the tragic death of Ms Lucas should have been avoided, and the court’s decision is a warning to other disability service providers.

“The findings from this proceeding put all NDIS providers on notice that they need to pick up their game and ensure their staff are properly trained and highly competent.

“All disability providers and support workers must have safety front of mind when it comes to supporting people with disability. We will not hesitate to take action where providers fail to keep people with disability safe,” Acting Commissioner Phelan said.

In April 2023, following a comprehensive investigation, the NDIS Commission commenced a civil penalty proceeding in the Federal Court of Australia against LiveBetter in relation to Ms Lucas’ death.

The NDIS Commission alleged that LiveBetter failed to comply with its obligations under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, the NDIS Code of Conduct and the NDIS Practice Standards in several ways, with LiveBetter subsequently admitting liability in a statement of agreed facts.

As a result of the contraventions, the Court has today ordered LiveBetter to pay civil penalties to the Commonwealth totalling $1,800,000. LiveBetter has also been ordered to pay the NDIS Commissioner’s legal costs.

In delivering the Court’s judgment, Justice Raper noted the following at paragraphs 54 and 56:

“LiveBetter’s failures were antithetical to [the] stated object of the statutory scheme, to protect and prevent Ms Lucas from harm arising from unsafe supports and services provided under the Scheme … The specific harm suffered by Ms Lucas was of the most acute kind, so too can it be said of the harm to Ms Lucas’ family … There are no words to properly express the degree of the harm suffered. LiveBetter accepts that the nature and extent of the contraventions causing loss are serious as they ultimately resulted in the death of Ms Lucas”.

The full judgment is available here: Commissioner of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission v LiveBetter Services Ltd [2024] FCA 374 (

The NDIS Commission is the national regulator of supports and services provided to people with disability who participate in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The NDIS Commission has strong regulatory and compliance powers under Commonwealth law where suspected breaches of a provider’s obligations under the NDIS Act, including the NDIS Code of Conduct and the NDIS Practice Standards, are identified.

These powers include seeking civil penalties when a provider has failed to deliver supports and services in a safe and competent manner, with care and skill.

/Public Release. View in full here.