The Victorian Government has recently introduced new Stage 4 restrictions for Melbourne to slow the spread of COVID-19.
While these restrictions will no doubt impact the way that people go about living their lives, the Government is aiming to ensure that people with a disability can still receive essential care and support throughout Stage 4.
In this article we explore how these restrictions might effect some specific areas of support.
The NDIS is absolutely an essential service and will continue to operate throughout this new lockdown. While there may be some temporary changes to your NDIS journey over this period, our team – as well as many other organisations and service providers – will be here to help.
There will be absolutely no change to how we deliver our services and the Plan Partners team will continue to support you throughout. Invoices will still be paid within 7 business days (or 4 if your service provider uses our Fast Payment system) and you’ll always be able to speak with a member of our team during business hours. If you’re a Support Coordination customer, these sessions will continue to be delivered using phone and video calls.
If you receive face to face supports, you can now use your Core NDIS funding to buy ‘Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)’, such as face masks and gloves. If you’re self or Plan Managed, you can purchase these items from any store (online or physical) and then submit a claim. Learn more about how to submit a reimbursement. NDIA managed participants must use a registered provider.
Please note: Hand sanitiser isn’t considered PPE, so you’ll need to pay for that yourself and can’t use your NDIS funding.
If you are a Plan Partners customer and wish to purchase face masks or other PPE from Officeworks, we've created an quicker and easier way. All you need to do is choose the item, give us a call and we’ll take care of the rest. Find out more.
Most support workers will continue operating in some capacity throughout Stage 4, albeit with extra precautions in place to ensure both their safety and yours. While there is a curfew in place between 8pm to 5am for Melbourne, caregivers (which includes support workers) are exempt and allowed to travel outside of these hours. They’re also allowed to travel more than 5km from their home to deliver care.
The NDIS has recognised the vital role iPads and other tablet devices play in ensuring you can continue to receive supports throughout COVID-19, so they have made it possible to pay for them using your NDIS funding, learn more about how the NDIS can fund iPads and other tablets.
If you are a Plan Partners customer and wish to purchase iPads or other Low-Cost Technology from Officeworks, we've created an quicker and easier way. All you need to do is choose the item, give us a call and we’ll take care of the rest. Find out more.
With lockdown making community engagement difficult, it’s a good time to remember that your Core support budget can be used flexibly. Consider using your Community Engagement funding to engage a support worker, either in-person or remotely. And just because you’re stuck inside doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do – check out our article 'ways to participate in activities while staying at home' for some fun, creative ideas!
If you’re spending less of your NDIS budgets at the moment, you’re not alone. But don’t worry, because not only are the NDIS taking the effects of lockdown into account when looking at underspending, they’re also automatically extending plans that are set to expire by 12 months – so there’s no need for a plan review. These extended plans will also have the same budgets, no matter how you’re tracking with your current spending.
Food delivery services, such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo, will continue to operate throughout Stage 4 and are exempt from the curfew. You can still use your NDIS funding to cover their delivery fees.
Supermarkets will also continue to offer priority home delivery for NDIS participants throughout Stage 4, learn more about this service and how the NDIS can fund grocery and meal deliveries.
The Government have stated that cleaners and gardeners are only permitted to work if they’re “maintaining the health and safety of Victorians”. If you require either of these services for health and safety reasons, we suggest you contact a provider and discuss your individual situation with them.
To ensure everyone can access the supports they need, the NDIS have made it easier to switch to Plan Mangement and if you would like support finding service providers, the NDIS have made it possible for anyone to use their Core Supports Budget to access Support Coordination.
The Plan Partners team are here for you throughout this time. If you have any questions about your specific situation or how we can support you to bring your plan to life as your support needs change, give our team a call on 1300 333 700 or leave a message here and we’ll get back to you.
For more information about NDIS COVID-19 temporary measures, head to our webpage with Frequently Asked Questions about the coronavirus and the NDIS.