Understanding the Price Guide 

The NDIA released an NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue 2020‒21 that is in effect from 1 December 2020. The Price Guide includes some changes to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This information explains some of the pricing changes and how those changes might affect you, your family and your carers.

It’s important to understand all of the prices you might be charged by your providers, so you can be confident you are receiving value for money from your plan budget.

You should be aware of your rights and you must have the opportunity to discuss any changes to prices you pay providers.

Below, we have explained what each change means and how it may affect you.

Pricing updates in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

What has changed?

The NDIA has made some temporary changes to ensure supports can continue to be delivered to participants during this time, including:

  • low cost assistive technology (AT) arrangements because many face to face services are being suspended, and capacity building supports and interpreting services are now being delivered online
  • assistive technology (AT) rental ability to meet your immediate needs when leaving hospital
  • supported independent living (SIL) arrangements if you are diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • introducing three new support coordination items under Core Supports to support plan flexibility

How does it affect me?

Low cost assistive technology (AT)

You can use existing NDIS funds to buy low cost AT such as fitness equipment and smart devices, when:

  • you have discussed with your provider the most appropriate low cost AT to meet your needs;
  • the item will be used as part of your funded NDIS supports like a program, therapy or requirement (for example physiotherapy or Auslan interpreting provided via video conferencing);
  • the provider has confirmed in writing that the item is necessary for your supports and services during current physical distancing requirements;
  • you provide documents to the NDIS confirming items are necessary;
  • it is the lowest specification that will maintain funded supports;
  • you do not already have the item, another suitable item or access to the item;
  • the item has not been funded by another service system (such as education or employment); and
  • the item or circumstance is not excluded (such as devices for entertainment).

Participants should not spend more than $750 on a smart device. 

Assistive technology rental when leaving hospital

If you are leaving hospital, you can immediately access the assistive technology you need to be safe at home or your first destination.

This applies for up to six months until your short, medium and long term assistive technology and home modification needs can be assessed and you have an updated plan in place.

Supported independent living (SIL) items if you are diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you are funded for supported independent living (SIL) and have been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19), providers can claim additional costs to manage your care and support when you:

  • continue to reside in the your normal SIL accommodation
  • are admitted to hospital
  • are relocated to alternative housing for isolation purposes or while transitioning into or out of hospital.

This support is available for all participants in Australia who have been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19). This covers:

  • $300 for a one-off professional deep clean of your SIL residence
  • additional support of $1,200 a day, from the date your infection is confirmed until you are no longer infectious (usually up to 14 days). This is on top of the cost of your usual SIL supports and includes increased costs for staffing, equipment, laundering and more.

Three new support coordination items to support plan flexibility

Three new support coordination items were introduced under Core Supports, Assistance with Daily Life. The new item numbers allow you to use your funds more flexibly to access these supports from either your Core or Capacity Building budgets.

Impact on your plan

The NDIA has made changes to make sure you have the funding you need to meet essential needs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

This includes taking a flexible approach to amending plans and, where necessary, shifting capacity building funding to core supports funding. 

If we have been unable to undertake a plan review, on the day your current plan ends, it will be automatically extended by 365 days to make sure you have the funding you need.

For supports not included in a plan, special teams of planners are available to help make urgent changes to plans. Participants can phone 1800 800 110 for urgent assistance. 

For more information on any of the above items, refer to the coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs for participants.

Update for participants impacted by COVID-19 in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia

What has changed?

We have made some temporary changes to help you meet current public health guidelines in NSW, Victoria and South Australia:

  • NSW and Victoria between 29 July 2020 and 28 February 2021
  • South Australia between 19 November and 30 November 2020. 

We may make changes in the future. 

Face masks and personal protective equipment 

What has changed?

Providers in areas with restrictions may be able to charge you for face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

This is to help keep you and your disability support workers safe, while you are receiving face-to-face supports to assist you with daily living.

How does it affect me?

Providers may contact you to discuss pricing arrangements and update service bookings.

If your NDIS funds are low, you can call us on 1800 800 110. Special teams of planners in the NDIA are available to discuss your situation and undertake a plan review if needed.

Telehealth

What is the change?

Telehealth services can be offered to you if you are not, or cannot be, in the same physical location as your provider and it is appropriate for the support to be delivered by telehealth.

How does it affect me?

Your provider should discuss whether you wish to receive supports via telehealth and how they will make sure that the support you receive is as good as face-to-face support. This needs to be discussed and agreed before a service booking is made or changed.

Cleaning services

What has changed?

If you have a support worker attend your home who later tests positive to coronavirus (COVID-19), you can pay for a one-off professional deep clean of your house through your NDIS funds.

How does it affect me?

If this happens, your providers may contact you to organise a one-off professional deep clean of your house using NDIS funds. 

If you need more assistance or your NDIS funds are low, you can call us on 1800 800 110. Special teams of planners in the NDIA are available to discuss your situation and undertake a plan review if needed.

Participants living in Supported Independent Living (SIL) who are required to self-isolate or quarantine

What has changed?

You can receive a one-off professional deep clean of your house if you:

•    need to quarantine or self-isolate and
•    live in SIL.

You can access additional Assistance with Daily Living and Short Term Accommodation (if needed) from your NDIS funds. 

How does it affect me?

You should speak with your SIL provider about organising a one-off professional SIL deep clean.

You can also talk to your LAC or planner.

Equal Remuneration Order (ERO)

What is the change?

From 1 December 2020, the price limits for some support items will increase by a small percentage. In 2012, the Fair Work Commission made an ERO to gradually increase wages for some employees in the Social and Community Services sector. This is the final increase.

How does it affect me?

From 5 December 2020, your NDIS funding will be automatically increased due to the ERO adjustment. Your funding increase will be backdated to 1 December 2020.

From 1 December 2020, your providers may choose to start charging up to the ERO increased price limits. You should discuss with your provider if the cost of your supports will be affected. Your provider should discuss any pricing changes with you before making changes to service bookings.

Programs of support for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) 

What is the change?

Providers of capacity building ECI supports may enter into an agreement with you for a program of supports.

How does it affect me?

Your programs of support for ECI may include a combination of group and one-to-one supports.

Higher risk hearing products

What is the change?

Five higher risk hearing products now require a written assessment.

How does it affect me?

Before you can claim for higher risk hearing products, you will need to get a written assessment from a qualified Audiometrist or Audiologist (as appropriate).

Quotable support items

What is the change?

In the Price Guide 2020-21, we added some information about how to use quotable support items. You can only use a quotable support item when:

  • a planner has agreed that the support is reasonable and necessary
  • the planner has included the support as a stated item in your plan
  • a quote for the support has been given to the NDIA
  • the NDIA has accepted that quote
  • you have agreed that the provider can deliver that support at the quoted price.

How does it affect me?

You should only use your plan budget to fund quotable supports, like the preparation and delivery of meals, when a quote has been provided and approved. Once a quote has been approved it becomes a stated item in your plan.

If you are using your Core budget to fund quotable supports at the moment, you can continue to do so during your current plan. If you want to continue to use these support items after the expiration of your current plan then you should discuss getting these supports included in your stated items at your next plan review.

Geographic classifications and remote loadings

What is the change?

From 25 October 2020 there are some changes to the classification of some regional, remote and very remote locations.

How does it affect me?

If you live in a location that is now classified as remote or very remote, your NDIS funding may increase as providers are able to charge more for supports and services in your area. You will receive a plan approval letter notifying you of the extra NDIS funding.

If you live in a location where providers can no longer add remote or very remote loadings to their prices, then your plan budget may have less funding in your next plan review. Any decrease in funds will align with changes to the loadings providers can charge.

Your provider should speak with you before making any changes to service bookings. A full list of locations impacted by the change is available on the Annual price review page.

Report writing claims for psychosocial recovery coaches

What is the change?

From 25 October 2020, psychosocial recovery coaches can claim for time spent writing reports requested by the NDIA.

How does it affect me?

From 25 October 2020, your psychosocial recovery coach can claim for NDIA report writing from your NDIS funding. 

Participant transport

What has changed?

From March 2020, you can use your plan’s support funding to pay registered providers transport costs when they are transporting you to and from a number of community activities funded in your NDIS plan including employment and higher education.

While these are not price controlled, the NDIS Price Guide outlines reasonable levels of costs that providers can claim for. These include: 

  • up to $0.85 a kilometre for a vehicle that is not modified for accessibility
  • up to $2.40 a kilometre for a vehicle that is modified for accessibility or a bus
  • other forms of transport or associated costs up to the full amount, such as road tolls, parking, public transport fares

This does not allow for payment of fines or other similar costs.

How does it affect me?

You can now use your budget flexibly to pay registered providers for their transport costs when they are transporting you to and from a number of community activities, and selected capacity building activities where they are funded in your plan.

Providers can claim these costs through the myplace provider portal.

This means you can continue to access your community-based supports, employment supports and higher education supports because registered providers can claim transport costs.

Your provider should discuss with you and explain any transport costs such as reasonable vehicle running costs or other associated costs before you are charged and before service bookings are updated.

If you have chosen to receive a periodic payment for transport, then that payment continues.

If you are concerned that you don’t have enough funds in your plan to cover transport costs, you may request a plan review. 

What exactly are (and are not) “NDIS funded community activities”? 

The Activity-based transport items listed in the NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue include the following community-based activities :

  • Assistance with social and community participation
  • Improved living arrangements
  • Increased social and community participation
  • Finding and keeping a job
  • Improved relationships
  • Improved learning.

Can I use the funds for transport to go to doctor appointments?

Generally the answer is no, as medical appointments are usually personal activities, rather than a funded support within an NDIS plan.

Can I use the funds to go and see my friends?

No, this change is for selected capacity building supports and activity-based transports. 

Is this only for people who have service providers? What if we don’t have a service provider but want to use some of our core funding for transport?

This enables registered providers to submit payment requests to cover the transport costs they incur as part of transporting participants to and from community-based activities and selected capacity building supports. Participants funded for transport as a Core support can use their funding flexibly to book a transport provider.

Can I use my core funding to pay the difference between the taxi fare and my vouchers? Is that allowed?

Participants funded for transport as a Core support can use their funding flexibly to book a transport provider. Participants receiving transport funding as a periodic payment can also use those funds to pay the difference. 

What happens if my provider charges more than 85 cents a kilometre? 

While these items are not price-controlled, the Price Guide outlines the reasonable level of these non-labour costs which participants and providers can use to discuss and agree on charges. Providers cannot charge more than participants have agreed to pay. Participants have choice and control over how they spend their NDIS funds and which providers they choose to deliver their services.

Who should I contact to discuss these changes?

If you have any questions about the pricing changes or specific policies you can: 

  • talk to your providers, and/or 
  • discuss your situation with LACs and Support Coordinators. They can help you shop for supports, check prices and meet your support needs within your budget.

You have choice and control over how you spend your NDIS funds and which providers you choose to deliver their services. It is up to you with the assistance of your family, carer or Support Coordinator to manage your supports within your allocated plan budget.

Remember, we want to ensure that quality supports and services are available to you and that those services meet your personal needs. 

Before a provider can charge you higher prices, they must first get your agreement before they can make a claim in the myplace portal.

If you think you can get a better service from your plan funds, you can discuss this with your provider or Support Coordinator, or you may even choose to find another provider instead.

If a provider wants to charge the TTP, they are required to publish their pricing information. This will promote greater transparency about the value for money for all NDIS participants.

This page current as of
20 November 2020
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