The information on this page will be updated as the situation in Victoria evolves. Information on this page is current as at 11 August 2020.
Residential support in Victoria
As part of NDIA’s ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) response, the Minister for the NDIS has announced additional temporary measures to support providers and participants living in residential settings in Victoria.
New temporary measures to support providers and participants living in residential settings in Victoria:
- a panel of experienced disability providers will offer additional workforce support, such as advice, support staff and isolation accommodation for providers of residential organisations to access as needed due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Aspen Medical will provide clinical first response for any identified outbreak to ensure that infection control procedures, personal protective equipment (PPE) and nursing support is in place for residents and workers if needed.
The arrangements support providers to ensure the ongoing delivery of support to NDIS participants in residential settings in Victoria. The panel arrangements and clinical first response assist us to respond to the evolving circumstances in Victoria. These measures will help ensure all NDIS participants are supported and are safe during the pandemic.
Arrangements will be in place for three months but may be extended if required. We will continue to monitor the situation and will respond to any emerging issues as they arise.
Further advice and guidance will be available in the coming days.
Purchasing personal protective equipment
More than one million face masks will be available for disability support workers, providers and self-managed participants.
The advice to wear a face mask does not apply to children (people aged under 12), people with breathing difficulties and anyone with physical conditions that make it difficult to wear a face mask.
To better support NDIS participants during the extended coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have made a temporary change to funding arrangements for personal protective equipment (PPE).
We are implementing temporary changes to funding of PPE for personal care where coronavirus (COVID-19) is active your community, and the use of PPE is consistent with current health advice.
You can now recover the costs to purchase PPE items using your NDIS funds, if you;
- receive an average of at least one hour a day of face-to-face daily living supports, and
- live in Victoria or New South Wales.
We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates if the situation changes in other states and territories.
If you need PPE items like face masks, face shields and gloves, and the use of these items is directly related to your face-to-face daily living supports, you can use your core supports budget to purchase these items from a registered provider. If you are self-managed, you can choose where you purchase PPE and record and claim your purchases as per the usual process.
Previously only participants who use PPE as a regular part of their support arrangements were able to access PPE through their NDIS funds.
We encourage you to keep an adequate supply of the essential products, but do not stockpile more than you need.
If you need to purchase face coverings or masks for use outside the home, this is still an everyday expense, and you cannot use your NDIS funds to pay for them. Hand sanitiser continues to be a personal expense.
Participants are expected to manage PPE purchases from their existing core supports budget. As part of our initial coronavirus (COVID-19) response we made changes to the myplace portal so all participants, no matter how their plan is managed, could use their core supports budget flexibly to purchase the services and supports they need.
New support items have also been introduced so providers can claim for PPE used when delivering face-to-face supports assisting participants with daily living in NSW and Victoria.
Providers and participants should discuss and agree on any pricing changes before they are applied.
Find out more about the additional measures including when and how providers can charge for PPE.
We will continue to monitor the temporary way PPE is funded and adjust according to the situation.
On 29 July we provided advice and links to more information about purchasing PPE.
You can also read more:
- in our FAQs
- Easy Read - Purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PDF 2.2MB)
- Easy Read - Purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (DOCX 51.7KB).
Providers and self-managed participants who use PPE as a regular part of their support arrangements should continue to access PPE through their usual channels.
Where this is no longer possible, self-managed participants, and providers, can contact the National Medical Stockpile (NMS) to request face masks and PPE at NDISCOVIDPPE@health.gov.au
Participants are encouraged to talk to their provider about the use of face masks.
You can keep up to date with the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) health advice by visiting the Department of Health website.
For more information about using and getting access to PPE, visit the NDIS Commission website.
Support available to participants in restricted postcodes in Victoria
The NDIA is encouraging participants in Victoria to contact the NDIS Contact Centre on 1800 800 110 and select option 5 if their situation has changed due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
We are contacting vulnerable NDIS participants who live in areas under stage four restrictions in Melbourne and under stage three restrictions in the rest of the state.
The NDIS has introduced a range of measures to ensure participants can continue to get the support they need including:
- NDIS plans to be extended by up to 24 months, ensuring continuity of support
- Face-to-face planning shifted to telephone meetings where possible
- Proactive outreach to high-risk participants and sharing of data with states and territories to ensure continuity of supports
- Temporarily broadened the flexible approach for low cost Assistive Technology items. This allows participants to access low cost AT items, such as smart devices and physio equipment, in consultation with their existing support providers.
- To support participants living in Supported Independent Living arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the NDIA has temporarily introduced two new support items for cleaning services and higher intensity support.This was extended to include participants living in SIL in Victoria required to self-isolate or quarantine.
- Participants in Victoria required to self-isolate or quarantine are also able to access additional Assistance with Daily Living and Short Term Accommodation as needed.
- If a participant in Victoria has a support worker attending their home who later tests positive to COVID-19, then the participant will be able to access cleaning services.
- To better support people with disabilities to apply to the NDIS while maintaining physical distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have made our ARF and Supporting Evidence Form available for download on our website.
The NDIA is working with the Department of Social Services (DSS), Services Australia and NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NQSC) as well as the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to deliver on our Pandemic Plan in line with the Government’s Emergency Response Plan.
Download advice for NDIS participants in Victoria, including advice in Languages other than English:
Advice for NDIS participants attending school
For further information:
- read our information pack for families and carers of school aged NDIS participants
- see the Victorian Department of Education and Training website for details about school operations
- read how the NDIS works with the education system
- see our FAQs about coronavirus (COVID-19), the NDIS and education.
NDIA offices in Victoria
At this stage, NDIA offices in Victoria will remain open for urgent escalations or pre-booked appointments for participants who are unable to have a phone or video appointment.
Where possible, participants should contact the NDIA through the National Contact Centre 1800 800 110 selecting option 5, enquiries inbox email@example.com or web chat options.
You should consider alternatives to face-to-face meetings.
If you attend an NDIA office, participants without a pre-booked appointment will be asked to contact the Agency to discuss their options and pre book an appointment.
Our approach is based on the best current advice from health authorities. It is important to understand the advice is changing regularly, based on the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
We will need to be flexible in our approach so we continue to respond to participant needs and local health advice.
Please refer to the NDIS office operations page for a current list of office closures.
If you have any questions please contact the NDIS Contact Centre 1800 800 110 selecting option 5.