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What COVID-19 means for the NDIS Program

COVID-19 and NDIS Carers

COVID-19 has impacted the lives of carers and the way carers care for their dependent individuals. To ensure health and safety, the way carers and participants interact with each other and society needs to change.  

The uncertainty of the current situation means that carers should plan ahead, for instance. If a carer falls sick or is no longer able to care for the individual, they should make sure that individual has support around them and will be taken care of. Additionally, a $750 economic support payment will be available for people who use carer payments or carer allowances.

Covid and carers

COVID-19 and NDIS Participants 

Changes in services received and restricted ability to access those services are ways in which the COVID pandemic has affected NDIS participants. If a participant currently does not have a plan, NDIS will still support and work with them to make one and manage it. However, plan management meetings will no longer be face-to-face. 

Remote meetings may prove to be difficult for people with disabilities including the elderly who have less familiarity with technology, contact the NDIS to make arrangements if this is an issue, or Ask Help to You about their plan management services.

If you are already a participant with a plan, you will still receive funding and support. Additionally, if you are happy with your current plan, the NDIS will extend it for 24 months. This allows the continuation and longevity of support and ease of mind for participants. Avoid exposure by emphasising the use of home delivery services. This is another recommendation to ensure participants still receive what they need but at less risk to themselves and others. 

Changes to NDIS Service Providers and Services offered

Continuation of operations has become difficult for NDIS providers because of the COVID-19 pandemic thus, NDIS will give service providers support such as:

·       To maintain cash flow, advance payments may be given to registered providers

·       Financial assistance will be provided to retain workers 

·       Some supports will have a 10% COVID-19 loading paid

·       Additionally, providers will receive the full amount for short notice/last-minute cancellations or no shows. A short notice cancellation is classified as within notice of 10 days 

·       Conduct services online where possible 

·       A larger emphasis is being put on home delivery services 

·       Above all, Providers care for the most vulnerable and elderly in our society, COVID safety precautions and plans are a must

What you can do to help 

In conclusion, here’s what you can do to make sure everyone in the community is safe:

·       Most importantly, stay up to date with the latest information and developments 

·       Stay COVID safe by wearing masks and gloves, cleaning surfaces and sanitising hands

·       Avoid face-to-face meetings where possible and conduct them over the phone or email

·       If you are a carer, do not work if you display any symptoms, contact the NDIS and get tested ASAP. Limit your contact with others to make sure that you and your dependents are safe

·       If you are a participant inform your carers if you display symptoms and limit exposure

·       Be informed on the issue by regularly checking the Help to You blog