UPDATE ON COVID19 MEASURES
Today, 2nd October 2020, the Minister for the NDIS, The Hon Stuart Robert MP, announced an update to measures introduced earlier this year to ensure NDIS participants continue to access their essential disability supports during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included some measures being extended nationally until February 2021 including:
- Eligible NDIS participants able to use plan funding to purchase low-cost Assistive Technology, including smart devices (up to $1500);
- Greater plan flexibility to ensure access to supports;
- Deep cleaning of residences in the event a support worker returns a positive COVID-19 test;
- Additional support, including a deep cleaning service, for participants who test positive for COVID-19 or who are required to isolate who live in a Supported Independent Living (SIL) setting; and
- In Victoria, the continuation of a clinical first response through Aspen Medical for any identified outbreak, which will ensure that infection control procedures, personal protective equipment (PPE) and nursing support is in place for residents and workers, if needed.
In states most affected by COVID-19 outbreaks, funding of personal protective equipment (PPE) for participants (up to $50 a week) and workers will also continue, with the ability to claim PPE in Victoria until at least the end of November and in NSW until the end of October.
NDIA RETAIN SUPPORT COORDINATION LINE ITEMS IN CORE INDEFINITELY!
Further to the the Hon Stuart Robert MP’s announcement the NDIA has confirmed that the the temporary Support Coordination line items placed within core will remain indefinitely, or at least until the NDIA deliver fully flexible plans.
DIA has engaged with the NDIA on this matter for a number of months and welcomes this decision.
The ability for participants to use Core funds for Support Coordination has proven to be extremely successful and have facilitated participants to use their funds flexibly and purchase addition Support coordination support where required, or purchase Support Coordination where it was not originally funded for with a participant plan.
As a COVID-19 response this has facilitated Support Coordinators to assist participants to adapt, change or establish new supports based on COVID-19 restrictions. With the implementation of the Support Coordination line items in Core, participants have been given a choice to engage a Support Coordinator to support them not just as a COVID-119 response, DIA has seen some excellent examples of participants engaging a Support Coordinator, when they were not funded for it originally, where the participant has finally be able to fully understand and engage with their plan and funded supports.
Further this plan flexibility aligns with the recommendations from the Tune Review, which the Commonwealth Government have accepted.
The NDIA has released information about the Support Coordination line items remaining in core indefinitely on the NDIS website.
An updated NDIS Price Guide 2020-21 is now be available on the NDIS website. Refer to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response section of the NDIS Price Guide and Price Guide Addendum for detailed information.