COVID-19 update: Masks, PPE and staying safe.
Share, email, or print this story.
With the COVID-19 situation continuing to change quickly, the NDIS has made some recent announcements about COVID-19 related supports.
Today we’ll take a look at the latest information about masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as provide some helpful resources on mask wearing.
The Leap in! Crew will continue to keep you updated as new information becomes available.
Temporary changes for Victorian and NSW residents.
If you are located in Victoria or NSW and have face-to-face Assisted Daily Living supports, you are now able to flexibly use existing NDIS funds to cover the cost of PPE. That includes face masks, face shields and gloves.
The existing support item Low Cost Disability-Related Health Consumables can be used to claim the cost of these items for the times the worker is with you.
- Face coverings or masks for use outside the home are an everyday expense so you cannot use your NDIS funds to pay for them
- You cannot use your NDIS funding to buy hand sanitiser as this is still considered a personal expense.
These temporary changes currently only apply to participants living in Victoria or NSW.
The NDIS is also reaching out to vulnerable NDIS participants in locked down Melbourne suburbs. Anyone who has a change of circumstances or needs additional support can call the NDIS on 1800 800 110. There is also a dedicated Advice for Victoria page on the NDIS website.
Current advice on wearing masks.
All Victorians must now wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live. Exceptions include anyone affected by a relevant medical condition including problems with their breathing, a serious condition of the face, a disability or a mental health condition. Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication are also exempted.
For the most up-to-date information and information about the different types of face coverings you can wear, visit the Victorian Government website.
The NSW Government is strongly encouraging the use of masks in high-risk places such as public transport, supermarkets and places of worship such as churches or mosques.
There are currently no requirements to wear masks in other states or territories. The Federal Government advice is:
“If physical distancing is difficult to maintain, e.g. in public transport, covering your face with a mask can provide some extra protection. You will still need to maintain all the regular protection measures.”
Some supermarkets are encouraging staff and customers to wear face coverings in coronavirus hot spots.
Mask wearing for disability workers.
In Victoria, disability support workers in sensitive settings such as disability residential services or when supporting people with disability in their own home must wear masks.
In all states, full PPE must be worn when delivering personal care to someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. This includes a gown, mask, eyewear and gloves.
The NDIS recommends talking to your providers if you would like them to wear PPE when delivering services to you.
Home cleaning costs.
Victorian and NSW participants living in their own home who test positive for COVID-19 and are required to self-isolate or quarantine will also now be able to claim for related cleaning costs through their NDIS budgets (see the media release from the NDIS Minister here).
The NDIS has not released any further information about this but we will provide an update once more information becomes available.
Additional funding for Supported Independent Living environments.
The media release from the Minister also states that,
“Existing measures that provide additional funding for providers of Supported Independent Living (SIL) where there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, as announced on 27 April, will also be extended. SIL providers will now also be able to claim for higher intensity supports to cover situations where there is a potential COVID-19 positive case of a participant and they are required to self-isolate or quarantine.”
- NDIS latest information on Personal Protective Equipment
- Federal Government information on coronavirus for people with a disability
- Creating your own COVID-19 safety plan including a sign for your front door if you are high risk
- Face covering FAQs – a Victorian Government website that offers loads of great resources about face coverings including how to wear one and the different options
- How to wear a fabric mask
- Tips on how to wear a mask without your glasses fogging up, getting short of breath or your ears hurting
- How to make an accessible, clear-window mask.
Questions? Leap in! can help.
The Leap in! Crew is here to answer any questions you have about changes to NDIS budgets as a result of COVID-19. If you’re unsure of anything, please give us a call on 1300 05 78 78, contact us via our website (online chat available) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.