Purchasing personal protective equipment

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).

These changes apply 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.

Plan and self-managed participants can purchase PPE and record and claim their purchases in the usual way. Agency-managed participants can purchase PPE through registered providers.

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. 

Previously only participants who used 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, can use their core supports budget flexibly to purchase the services and supports they need. 

We will continue to monitor the situation and the use of temporary PPE arrangements. The broadening of this policy will be in place until September 2020 and we will provide updates if we need to adjust as the situation evolves. 

Participants who are required to self-isolate or quarantine will also be able to claim for related cleaning costs. For further information contact the National Contact Centre on 1800 800 110 and select option 5.

Talk to your provider about the PPE your support workers need. Your provider cannot claim PPE from your NDIS plan without your agreement.

Find out more about additional provider coronavirus (COVID-19) measures.

Advice on use of face coverings and masks

It is important to remember it is not mandatory for people to wear face coverings in their own home. 

However the Victorian government’s advice is that wearing a face covering helps keep you and others safe. We know coronavirus (COVID-19) is spread through close contact with a person with coronavirus and face coverings help stop droplets spreading when someone speaks, laughs, coughs, or sneezes.

The best way to protect other people against coronavirus (COVID-19) is keeping 1.5 metres apart, wash your hands often, and cough or sneeze into your elbow or tissue. 

Face coverings add an additional protective physical barrier to protect you and your loved ones.

Access to face coverings or masks

If you live in an area where face masks are mandatory, there are also a range of government programs to supply you with a face mask.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services will be distributing 2.1 million reusable face masks to vulnerable people help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

People who are eligible to receive a mask will need to visit their local government office, a community health centre, or local pharmacy to collect it. Some doctors’ offices may also distribute masks.

It’s important to remember the requirement to wear face coverings in Victoria applies when people are outside of their home for one of the four reasons;

  • To shop for food or other essential items
  • To provide care, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment
  • To exercise (outdoor exercise only, with only one other person or member of your household)
  • Work or study, if you cannot work or study from home.

Face mask FAQs

On 21 July we provided advice and links to more information about the use of face masks: 

Advice for Victoria

With changing circumstances, we have released information for NDIS participants in Victoria including advice on the proactive outreach to participants living in high density public housing, NDIA office operations and advice for participants in restricted post codes. 

Changes to the NDIS

The Government has announced a number of changes to the NDIS to assist participants and providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:

Price Guide and Support Catalogue update

The NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue have been updated, effective 1 July 2020. Read more on the Price guides and pricing page.

Changes announced 27 April 2020

  • To ensure continuity in NDIS funded supports and services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have temporarily broadened the flexible approach for low cost AT items.
  • To support participants living in Supported Independent Living arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have introduced two new support items for cleaning services and higher intensity support.
  • 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. 

Help for participants and providers to find support workers

We know that participants, their families and NDIS providers may be looking for workers to deliver disability supports, and provide extra cover at the moment. 

For participants, there are a number of online matching platforms that can help you quickly and easily connect to support workers.  Providers may also be looking for workers to deliver critical disability supports, and provide extra cover. 

There is more information for both participants and providers on the page Finding support workers.

Information in other languages

Information about changes to how the NDIS works during the COVID-19 pandemic is available in 12 languages.  

Animations and Auslan videos

We have a series of animations and Auslan videos that explain some of the changes to the NDIS at this time.

Priority home delivery service

The NDIA has worked with supermarket retailers to make sure NDIS participants wanting support to grocery shop, have priority access to home delivery services

This means, as an NDIS participant, from Monday 6 April, you can purchase grocery items online to be delivered to your home.

    Contacting us

    The NDIS Contact Centre is the best option for contacting us. Call the Contact Centre on 1800 800 110, Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (local time). Select option 5 for plan enquiries related to COVID-19.

    Disability Information Helpline

    The Disability Information Helpline is for people with disability, their families and carers who need help because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

    The Helpline is free, private and fact-checked.

    You can contact the Helpline in the following ways:
    •    Phone (free call): 1800 643 787
    •    If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can also call the National Relay Service on 133 677.

    The Helpline is available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (AEST). It’s not available on national public holidays.

    Find out more on the Department of Social Services website

    This page current as of
    31 July 2020
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