Temporary measures introduced earlier this year to ensure National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants continue to access their essential disability supports during the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended.
Temporary measures that will be extended nationally until February 2021 include:
- 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.
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert, said as the pandemic evolves, the National Disability Insurance Agency and the Government will continue to review the temporary measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of participants.
'In March, as the threat of COVID-19 emerged, the Morrison Government outlined a number of temporary measures to ensure every NDIS participant could continue to receive the everyday supports and services they need,' Minister Robert said.
'These temporary measures have proven effective, so it's important the arrangements we put in place continue a while longer—to provide clarity and assurance to more than 400,000 NDIS participants across Australia.'
'Continuing the temporary measures reflects our need to recommence our lives in a COVIDSafe society, knowing these proactive measures can be easily accessed if an infection, or outbreak occurs, without delay.'
Given the number of COVID-19 positive cases of both NDIS participants and NDIS workforce have significantly reduced to five or less in both categories nationwide there will no longer be daily publication of figures from the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth has a clear plan and will continue to respond to changing circumstances across the entire country to ensure all NDIS participants are supported and are safe during the pandemic.
For more information on the NDIS response to coronavirus, visit www.ndis.gov.au.
NDIS participants who have questions or whose circumstances may have changed are encouraged to contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110 to discuss their needs or to seek further information.
NDIS providers who have questions about delivering quality and safe supports and services to NDIS participants during the coronavirus pandemic should contact the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission on 1800 035 544.