The information on this page will be updated as the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves.
Information on this page is current as at 7 October 2020.
NDIS extends temporary COVID-19 supports
On 2 October 2020 the Minister for the NDIS announced updates to the temporary measures to support participants and providers to control the spread of coronavirus in Australia.
The NDIA will be extending the following support measures due to the continuing risk of COVID-19 in the Australian community:
- ongoing increased access to support coordination
- low-cost assistive technology
- one-off deep cleaning for support worker related COVID-19 diagnosis
- personal protective equipment (PPE) for certain participants living in restricted areas
- PPE for certain providers delivering support in restricted areas
- cleaning services and additional self-isolation and COVID-19 diagnosis supports in supported independent living arrangements.
The NDIA will not be extending the priority home delivery service for NDIS participants. Participants with an active code can continue to use the service. New codes will no longer be issued.
An updated NDIS Price Guide 2020-21 will be available on the website. Refer to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response section of the NDIS Price Guide and Price Guide Addendum for detailed information.
Victorian Government’s reopening roadmap
The Victorian Government has released the coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap for reopening which explains how restrictions will be eased in steps.
Your essential disability services including supports to ensure health and wellbeing should continue to be provided during all coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.
As restrictions are lifted by the Victorian Government, you may be able to start receiving more NDIS funded services and supports in the community.
Find out more Advice for Victoria.
Queensland Government revises risk categories
On 25 September 2020 the Queensland Government has revised its risk categories for guidance on using PPE in residential aged care and disability accommodation.
With this announcement, the entire state of Queensland has been downgraded to “low risk” for PPE decision-making.
For more information, read the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission provider alert .
Temporary supports for participants and providers in restricted areas of Queensland ended on 25 September 2020.
A list of restrictions by local government area and the applicable dates appear in the NDIS Price Guide Addendum.
Prevention and control measures - including PPE
With community transmission of coronavirus still evident, and in line with current health advice, providers and participants in restricted areas continue to have access to personal protective equipment (PPE), without impacting participant budgets.
Key supports have been extended:
- Participants can recover up to $50 per week to purchase PPE items using their NDIS funds, see below for more information.
- Certain providers in restricted areas can claim for the cost of PPE for face-to-face daily living supports inclusive dates below:
- Victoria – 29 July to 30 November 2020
- NSW – 29 July to 31 October 2020
- restricted areas in Queensland – 22 August to 25 September 2020
- a list of restrictions by local government area and the date they are applicable appears in the NDIS Price Guide Addendum.
- Alternatively, eligible providers can continue claiming for PPE costs through the Price Guide, in agreement with participants.
- Providers in restricted areas are also able claim the cost of hand sanitiser as part of the $1.70 per hour allowance that also covers the cost of PPE.
- Additional funding is available to support participants who are diagnosed with COVID-19 and live in Supported Independent Living (SIL).
More information for providers on prevention and control measures is available on the For providers - coronavirus (COVID-19) page.
Providers and participants should discuss the PPE support workers need. Providers cannot claim PPE from a participant's NDIS plan without prior agreement.
Participants purchasing PPE
Participants who receive an average of at least one hour a day of face-to-face daily living supports can access up to $50 per week from their budget for PPE for their use when their support worker is supporting them.
This support is available in:
- Victoria – 29 July to 30 November 2020
- New South Wales – 29 July to 31 October 2020
- restricted areas of Queensland – from 22 August to 25 September 2020.
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.
Generally, the ordinary use of hand sanitiser is a personal expense.
However, if you receive close personal support and find that you are using more hand sanitiser than you would under normal circumstances, you can use your NDIS plan to cover the cost of extra hand sanitiser.
You can use the Low Cost Disability-Related Health Consumables line item in your core supports budget to purchase hand sanitiser, as you would for PPE like gloves and face masks.
Funding the extra cost of hand sanitiser is a temporary change during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
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.
Find out more:
- Your health and safety FAQs
- Easy Read - Purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PDF 2.2MB)
- Easy Read - Purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (DOCX 51.7KB).
Supporting participants during COVID-19
The NDIA is encouraging participants to contact the NDIS National Contact Centre on 1800 800 110 and select option 5 if their situation has changed due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
The NDIA has extended coronavirus supports and temporary measures to ensure participants can continue to access supports during COVID-19. These support measures include:
- flexible approach to purchasing low cost Assistive Technology items. This allows participants to access low cost AT items, such as smart devices and fitness equipment, in consultation with their existing support providers.
- Coronavirus-positive participants living in Supported Independent Living arrangements can access cleaning services and higher intensity support. These supports are also available to participants living in SIL who are required to self-isolate or quarantine.
- If a participant 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.
For more information on coronavirus supports, including the dates and areas/states they are available, visit the Understanding the Price Guide page.
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.
Open letter to Victorian participants about COVID-19 supports
The Agency and NDIS Quality and Safeguard Commission (NDIS Commission) have jointly released an open letter to all Victorian participants, their families and carers. The letter provides a range of information to support Victorians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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:
- 2 October 2020 media release - NDIS COVID-19 supports extended
- 22 August 2020 media release - NDIS update for Queensland
- 21 August 2020 media release - Vic and NSW providers to directly claim cost of PPE
- 11 August 2020 media release - NDIS updated for Victoria
- 29 July 2020 media release - Delivering the NDIS during COVID-19: Vic, NSW participants able to claim for PPE
- 17 July 2020 media release - Two million more face masks for Victorian aged care and disability workers
- 12 June 2020 media release - update on the NDIS coronavirus (COVID-19) response
- 27 April 2020 media release - further initiatives to support NDIS participants and providers during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
- 21 March 2020 media release - new measures to support NDIS participants and providers through coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Factsheet (DOCX 751KB) - updated in August
- Easy Read - Coronavirus (COVID-19) information (PDF 3MB).
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 .