Supporting Australians most at risk in the wake of coronavirus

The Morrison Government has committed more than $154 million in additional support for Australians living with disability, experiencing domestic and family violence and families doing it tough amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the Government was working as quickly as possible to make sure community services had the necessary resources to support those who need it most.

“The Government will provide a $90.7 million boost to support Australians with disability who are at risk amid the coronavirus outbreak to help with employment and other support services,” Minister Ruston said.

“We are also extending Department of Social Services grant agreements which were due to expire in the coming months to 31 March, 2021, to minimise disruption to community services millions of Australians already rely on.

“The Government is absolutely committed to working with individuals, service providers, peak bodies and other stakeholders as we respond to the evolving challenges presented by coronavirus.”

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Stuart Robert said today’s announcement comes in addition to the range of measures put in place to assist NDIS participants and providers during the coronavirus pandemic.

This includes financial assistance to providers to support retention of workers including advance payments, a 10 per cent coronavirus loading on some supports, changes to cancellation policies and extending NDIS plans for up to 24 months.

“Today I’ll be chairing a meeting of the COAG Disability Reform Council where all federal, state and territory disability ministers will provide an update on how all governments are working collaboratively to ensure appropriate safeguards and supports are in place for people with disability, their carers and the disability sector as a whole,” Minister Robert said.

Additional support for people with disability

The Morrison Government is committed to ensuring the well-being of Australians with disability are considered as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds.

An extra $24.5 million will be made available to Australian Disability Enterprises through the Temporary Viability Support program to help organisations transition to new opportunities to create jobs for people with intellectual and cognitive disabilities as the economy recovers.

More than $3 million will extend the Supported Wage System supplementation to 37 ADEs who currently use the system.

Up to $61 million will be available to Disability Employment Service providers as an advance payment of six weeks on service fees to ensure participants can continue to access support during this time.

$2 million will be used to establish a dedicated phone line to provide accessible information, and counselling and outreach services to assist people with disability.

Support to extend community grants

More than $64 million will be used to extend about 3000 grant agreements currently administered by the Department of Social Services for essential services to 31 March 2021 which had been due to cease over the coming months.

This includes grants for family and relationship services, mental health counselling for parents, services for families and children experiencing the impacts of alcohol and drug misuse, and technology to keep women experiencing domestic violence safe.

For more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the support services available visit www.australia.gov.au