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15 May 2020

Latest NDIS updates: Everything you need to know.

Over the past few months, there has been a lot of information to take in as the NDIS announced measures to support participants through the COVID-19 outbreak.

The NDIS has released its latest Quarterly Report and a new Price Guide which reflect these initiatives and provide an update on the NDIS rollout.

The most important information that you need to know is summarised below.

COVID-19 response.

A range of temporary measures have been introduced to support continuity of service for NDIS participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include:

  • Focus on telephone-based NDIS Plan and Plan Review meetings
  • Establishing a process for checking on vulnerable people
  • The temporary ability to flexibly use budgets
  • The ability to automatically extend selected plans up to 24 months
  • Working with supermarkets to give NDIS participants access to priority delivery
  • Monitoring and addressing service gaps.

The NDIS reports that the number of participants testing positive to COVID-19 is currently “extremely small” and remains significantly below the infection rate in the general Australian population.

Key COVID-19 initiatives.

The NDIS Price Guide has been updated to reflect the below changes.

10% increase in some price limits

There has been a temporary 10% increase in price limits for 402 Core and Capacity Building supports until 30 September 2020. These items are identified by the addition of (“Includes COVID Loading”) to the item description in the Support Catalogue.

New cancellation policies

New policies are in place to handle cancellations including allowing providers to recover 100% of fees for a no show or short notice cancellation if they are unable to find alternative work for the period. The increase is temporary until 30 September with a review in June.

Changes to activity-based transport

From March 2020, at the request of the participant, community participation support providers may supply transport as part of that support. The support worker’s time can be claimed at the agreed hourly rate.

SIL supports

Several items have been added to support participants living in Supported Independent Living (SIL) who have additional needs due to a COVID-19 diagnosis. These include cleaning services, staffing, personal protective equipment, professional laundering and other ancillary costs.

Temporary low cost AT flexibility

From 30 April 2020, a new support item allows participants to flexibly use their existing funding to purchase low cost assistive technology (AT) if it will help them maintain NDIS supports during the coronavirus epidemic. The purchase must meet strict criteria.

NDIS Snapshot.

The NDIS Quarterly Report offers insights into the NDIS rollout and how the NDIA is tracking when it comes to service delivery.

  • 364,879 people now have NDIS Plans
  • 5,542 children are receiving supports from the ECEI gateway
  • 30% of new participants in the last quarter were aged 0-6
  • Payments for NDIS supports have increased 70% in the past year
  • 84% of calls to the NDIS are answered within 60 seconds

12.6% of people who received new plans in the past quarter had a psychosocial disability.

Participant experiences and outcomes.

Community and social participation rates continue to improve the longer a participant has been in the scheme.

  • For children aged 0 to before starting school, 95% of parents thought the NDIS improved their child’s development in their third year of participation
  • 70% of young adults aged 15 to 24 said the NDIS had helped them with daily living activities in their third year of participation (compared with 59% in their first year)
  • 78% of adults aged 25 and over believed the NDIS gave them more choice and control over their life in the third year (compared with 60% in the first).

An NDIS participant employment strategy has been implemented, aiming to create employment opportunities for 30% of NDIS participants of working age by 30 June 2023.

Younger people in residential aged care

The number of people aged under 65 in residential aged care continues to decrease. Following the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, a government task force has set revised targets including that no person under the age of 65 will be living in residential aged care by 2025.

Get help to navigate the NDIS.

As a plan manager, Leap in! helps people with a disability make the most of their NDIS Plan and budgets. Unsure of how plan management can work for you? Give our Crew a call on 1300 05 78 78 or chat with us online.