The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has announced changes to some temporary supports and services that were made available to NDIS participants during COVID-19.
Most notably, temporary measures regarding support coordination will end on Sunday, 28 February.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants will no longer be able to claim support coordination line items under their Core budget - a temporary measure put in place in 2020 to give participants access to more support coordination funds.
Support coordination will still be available for all participants who have a reasonable and necessary need for it under their Capacity Building budget.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of People with Disability Australia (PWDA) Sebastian Zagarella says two days is not enough time for most people to put alternative measures in place.
"The lack of accessible documentation to go with the announcement such as Auslan interpretations or Easy Read documents for people with intellectual disability is also a problem," he says.
"There will be people who struggle to navigate the sudden changes to their plans, and some may inadvertently accrue debts with their providers if they don’t immediately cancel the support they already have organised.”
The ability for providers to claim disability support worker personal protective equipment (PPE) directly with the NDIA will also end on 28 February.
Participants and providers in areas where public health orders require PPE while supports are being delivered will still be able to claim the cost of PPE. At this time, Victoria is the only state or territory with this requirement.
Participant access to low cost assistive technology will continue and be monitored as participants and providers adapt to 'COVID normal'.
The following COVID-19 supports have been extended nationally until 30 June 2021:
- COVID-19 positive participants living in Supported Independent Living (SIL) arrangements can access cleaning services and higher intensity support. These supports are also available to participants living in SIL who are required to self-isolate or quarantine.
- If a participant has a support worker attending their home who later tests positive to COVID-19, the participant can access a one-off deep clean.
- The provision of a clinical first responder service for SIL providers through Aspen Medical.
The NDIA says it will continue to monitor outbreaks and may implement new measures if public health guidance changes. More information about COVID normal operations and an updated Price Guide will be made available on the NDIS website.