Here at Leap in! HQ, we’ve been receiving a few questions from NDIS participants affected by the bushfires.
Today we’re providing information about key contacts, office closures and emergency support to help NDIS participants affected by the bushfires get assistance faster.
NDIA office closures
The following NDIA and partner offices in NSW and Victoria are closed due to the fires and weather conditions.
- Bega (Each)
- Moruya (Each)
- Nowra (Lifestart Cooperative).
- Bairnsdale (NDIA)
- Bendigo (Intereach)
- Corrying (LaTrobe Community Health Service)
- Bright (LaTrobe Community Health Service)
- Yackandandah (LaTrobe Community Health Service).
Visit the NDIS Bushfires Information and Support page to monitor any changes to these closures.
Emergency services are the best source of information and advice on what to do in case of an emergency.
It is important to regularly check on local weather, air quality and fire conditions. Note that there are different organisations that respond to emergencies in each state and territory.
Here are some useful resources to keep track of fire warnings and alerts:
- NSW Rural Fire Services
- Emergency Victoria
- Rural Fire Services Queensland
- ACT Emergency Services
- South Australia Country Fire Service
- Emergency WA
- NT Police Fire and Emergency Services
- Tasmania Fire Service
Monitoring Air Quality
Smoke from the fires is affecting many areas. Bushfire smoke can result in breathing difficulties and more serious medical issues, especially for people with respiratory conditions and asthma.
Air pollution in Australia is an excellent resource for checking the air quality in your area.
NDIS Emergency Contact Centre – 1800 800 110
The NDIS has set up a special contact centre to provide information and advice to NDIS participants affected by the fires. The centre is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday.
You can call the emergency contact centre on 1800 800 110. Be sure you are out of any immediate danger prior to contacting the centre.
Participants impacted by the bushfires can contact the centre about any issues with existing disability supports or additional supports required including:
- Replacing equipment
- Additional Care
Where appropriate, changes can be quickly made to NDIS Plans to minimise administration and paperwork.
Participants and carers should call the contact centre to seek advice if meetings in impacted areas will proceed or need to be rescheduled.
See the NDIS Bushfires Information and Support page for information.
Urgent Assistive Technology repairs
The emergency contact centre can authorise urgent repairs for Assistive Technology (AT), even if you don’t have funding in your plan.
Urgent AT assistance may include:
- Repairs to equipment you are dependent on for safety, mobility, communication or activities of daily living (eg. showering)
- If the AT is destroyed or significantly damaged, hiring a replacement item until a more permanent solution is available.
Need an urgent AT repair and don’t have funding in your NDIS budget? What to do depends on whether you are agency managed, self managed or plan managed.
Support from other agencies
Centrelink may be able to assist if you can show you lost income or have been adversely affected by the fires. Check if your area is eligible for the Disaster Recovery Allowance payment.
Note that this support is different from and separate to any NDIS funding you may receive.
The Red Cross has an emergency grant program of up to $5,000 for people who have lost their home in a bushfire since July 2019. The grant may be available for owner/occupiers or tenants.
Some banks have launched a support package to help their customers with emergency support and accommodation. For bank disaster relief package contact details, view the Financial assistance available for Australians affected by devastating bushfires article.
We are here to help.
If you have any questions about NDIS supports or services affected by the bushfires contact the Leap in! Crew on 1300 05 78 78 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.