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FAQs: COVID-19 and my NDIS plan

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has understandably raised lots of questions for NDIS participants. Our team have received lots of calls from customers and service providers wanting to know how their NDIS plans, services, budgets and payments will be affected. On this page, we answer some of these frequently asked questions.  

If you have any more questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to give our friendly team a call on 1300 333 700. We’re here to help and we’re here to stay, especially in difficult times like these!

Do you live in Victoria? Read our COVID-19 Update 'Getting support during Melbourne's stage 4 restrictions' 

Latest Update: Friday 2 October


For Plan Management customers

Continuity of services


Will you still pay my invoices?

Yes, Plan Partners will continue to process invoices as usual throughout this situation. All our customer invoices will be processed within 7 business days – or 4, if your service provider uses our Fast Payment system.


Can I still call you if I have any questions?

Yes, our team are still hard at work and ready to answer all your questions. We have put a number of measures in place to ensure that you’ll always be able to speak to a member of our team during business hours, even if we’re unable to access our physical offices for any reason.


Are the NDIS and Plan Management ‘essential services’?

Yes, the NDIS and Plan Management are essential services. Governments, Plan Managers, and service providers are doing everything they can to make sure people with disability continue to get the support they need. While there may be some temporary changes to your NDIS journey over this period, we’ll be here to help.


If I can’t use my funds because of COVID-19, will I get less funding in my next plan?

Under normal circumstances, underspending could result in your budgets being reduced at your next planning meeting - however these are not normal circumstances. The NDIS understand that and have indicated they will take it into account at planning meetings. 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.


I have my funds quarantined with a provider, what happens if they stop delivering services?

In principle, providers can’t charge for a service that they don’t deliver, subject to cancellations provisions in their service agreement with you. If one of your service providers can no longer provide a support, try speaking to them about the issue first and see if there’s another way they can deliver the service. If you can’t find a solution that works for you, you can contact the Plan Partners team to discuss your options.    


Finding supports and using my budgets


How do I find a support worker now?

Most support workers will continue operating in some capacity throughout this situation, albeit with extra precautions in place to ensure both their safety and the safety of their customers.

If you have Support Coordination in your plan, call our team to see if we can help you find and connect with a local support worker.

If you don’t have a Support Coordination in your plan, the NDIS has now made it possible to use your Core Supports budget to access Support Coordination. Call our team to discuss what is possible for you. 

Find out more about Support Coordination


Can I use my NDIS funds to purchase face masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

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.

Update 10 August: Plan Partners and Officeworks have introduced a quicker and easier way to buy PPE with your NDIS budgets, all you need to do is choose the item, give us a call and we’ll take care of the rest. Find out more.


Can I have a family member deliver my supports and get paid out of my NDIS plan?

Currently, the NDIS does not allow you use your funds to pay a family member or friend to provide supports – even if your support worker is unable to. We suggest you contact the NDIS if you have any specific questions around this or read our article about support from a family member.


How can I still participate in community services / group activities?

While most group and community service activities have now been cancelled, we have heard of many using phone or video calls to allow them to continue delivering supports. We suggest you call your service provider to discuss potential alternatives that suit you both or read our article of ways to participate in activities when staying at home.


I need an iPad to access online therapy sessions. Can I get my iPad funded by the NDIS?

Yes, with many therapists now providing support remotely, you may be able to use your NDIS funding to buy an iPad or tablet to help you access these online sessions. To find out more, give our team a call on 1300 333 700 or read our article how the NDIS can fund iPads and other tablets.

Update 10 August: Plan Partners and Officeworks have introduced a quicker and easier way to buy Low Cost Technology with your NDIS budgets, all you need to do is choose the item, give us a call and we’ll take care of the rest. Find out more.


I need an internet connection to access online therapy sessions. Can I get the costs funded by the NDIS?

No, the NDIS does not fund the cost of your internet connection as it’s considered a day-to-day expense.


My child’s school is closed, so they’re doing online learning. Can we use their NDIS funds to purchase a laptop/iPad to help with this?

No, the NDIS will generally only fund tech devices if they are needed for supports that are directly related to a person’s disability. However, schools and state governments have put all kinds of measures in place to support children who have to learn online, so please contact your school to find out what support is available in your state.
For examples, the State of Victoria is providing more than 6,000 laptops and tablets, as well as SIM cards and dongles, to students who need access to them, find out more here.


I need equipment to do my fitness exercises at home. Can I get the fitness equipment funded by the NDIS?

Yes, you may be able to use your NDIS Core funding to buy fitness equipment to use in your home, as gyms are now closed and many therapists moving to online sessions. You should only use your NDIS funding to purchase this equipment if it is directly related to the health and fitness goals in your NDIS plan. If it is a large expense, such as a home trainer, we advise that you get a recommendation in writing from your therapist first. To find out more, give our team a call on 1300 333 700 or read our article how the NDIS can fund Playing Sport.


With many supermarkets now offering deliveries, can I use my NDIS funds to pay for this service?

Yes, it’s now possible to use your NDIS plan’s Core budget to cover the cost of having groceries delivered to your home – however this only covers the delivery fee, not the cost of the items themselves. You will need to be Plan Managed or self-managed to claim these costs, but the good news is that the NDIS has also made it easy to switch from NDIA managed to Plan Managed as part of its COVID-19 response. To find out more, just give our friendly team a call on 1300 333 700.


What about meal delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo?

Much like grocery deliveries, you can use your NDIS funding to pay the delivery fee of meal delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo. This does not cover the cost of the meal itself (although your particular NDIS plan may allow you to cover some of the preparation costs) and it must meet the criteria of reasonable and necessary. To find out more, just give friendly our team a call on 1300 333 700 or read our article how the NDIS can fund grocery and meal deliveries.


New NDIS measures


How can I use my Capacity building budget for Core Supports?

If you’re running out your Core supports budget, you can now move some of your Capacity Building funds to help top it up. The NDIA have created a special team to help process these requests quickly and are encouraging participants to call their support line on 1800 800 110 to find out more.


I've heard I can now use Core Support budget to get Support Coordination. Do I need to have Support Coordination in my plan?

No, it doesn't matter whether you already have Support Coordination in your plan or not. Anyone can now use Core Supports Budget to access Support Coordination. Read our Accessing Support Coordination with your Core Budget article to find out what these changes mean to you.

If you'd like to use Core Supports to access Support Coordination, call our team to discuss what is possible for you. We can work with you to find out what you need, how you can use your Core Support budget and whether we're able to support you. 

Find out more about Support Coordination


I know someone who is NDIA managed, but would like to switch to Plan Management to access unregistered providers and get Plan Management. Can they switch to Plan Management?

To help participants continue to access supports throughout this period, the NDIS has temporarily made it easier to switch to Plan Management. To find out more, read our Switching to Plan Management article.


Can service providers charge higher prices because of COVID-19?

Service providers need to follow the price limits set in the NDIS Price Guide. While there was a temporary increase on some of these limits, this ended on July 1 and no longer applies.
For information on current price guide limits - check out our Price Guide Navigator.


How can I request an extension of my current NDIS plan?

The NDIS will now be automatically extending plans by 365 days from its current expiry date. If your plan is set to expire in the near future, you don’t need to do anything to have your plan extended. You can also contact the NDIS to request that your plan be extended for 24 months. To find out more, read our article what happens when your NDIS plan expires.


Do I need to tell you if my plan’s been extended?

If your NDIS plan is being extended by 12 or 24 months, you can let us know by emailing us at info@planpartners.com.au . Once we are notified, we can update your plan in our system to ensure your providers get paid and services continue as normal.

Our Customer Service Team regularly check plans and make updates if your plan has been extended or additional funding has been provided.


How much time do I need to give when cancelling a service?

You must give your providers at least two business days’ notice if you’re cancelling a service. This had been temporarily increased to 10 business days, however this measure ended on July 1 and no longer applies.


Handy links


News and updates


For Support Coordination customers

Continuity of services


Will you remain my Support Coordinator?

Yes, we will. Our team will be using phone and video calls to keep providing Support Coordination throughout the coronavirus health crisis.


What if I can’t reach you when there is an emergency?

Our team will continue to operate throughout this situation, however if you require assistance outside of our office hours simply send an email to info@planpartners.com.au and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If the situation is an emergency, you should contact the relevant authorities. A full list of emergency numbers is available at https://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/public-safety-and-law/emergency-services


How can I video chat you?

Video calls are relatively straightforward and can be conducted using either a smartphone or a computer with a webcam and microphone (either built in or external). Your Support Coordinator will send you a video call link via email. When it’s time for your meeting, you simply click this link and your private video call will start.

We usually use Microsoft Teams, but can use other tools such as FaceTime and Skype if you prefer.


Why can’t we meet face-to-face, even with 1.5m distance?

We’ve made this decision to help keep everyone safe. While face to face meetings are great, even being in the same room as another person can bring a risk of infection. As soon as the advice is that it’s safe to do so, we’ll go back to face to face meetings but until then we’ll be using video and phone calls to carry out our support coordination meetings.


Finding supports and using my budgets


I've heard that I can now use Core Support budget to get more Support Coordination. Is this true?

Yes, you can now use your Core Supports budget to access Support Coordination, which is particularly handy if you have (almost) ran out of Support Coordination budget.

If you'd like to use Core Support budget to access Support Coordination, contact your Support Coordinator to discuss what is possible for you. We can work with you to find out what extra support you need and how you can use your Core Support budget. 

Find out more about Support Coordination


Can I use my NDIS funds to purchase face masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

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.

Update 10 August: Plan Partners and Officeworks have introduced a quicker and easier way to buy PPE with your NDIS budgets, all you need to do is choose the item, give us a call and we’ll take care of the rest. Find out more.


How are you going to find a support worker now?

Most support workers will continue operating in some capacity throughout this situation, albeit with extra precautions in place to ensure both their safety and the safety of their customers. Our Support Coordination customers can  help you find and connect with a local support worker, but there are also many online resources, like Clickability or MyCareSpace, that can help you with your search. And, as always, our Customer Service team are always available to provide you with various options.


Can I have a family member deliver my supports and get paid out of my NDIS plan?

Currently, the NDIS does not allow you use your funds to pay a family member or friend to provide supports – even if your support worker is unable to. We suggest you contact the NDIS if you have any specific questions around this or read our article about support from a family member. 


How can I still participate in community services / group activities?

While most group and community service activities have now been cancelled, we have heard of many using phone or video calls to allow them to continue delivering supports. We suggest you call your service provider to discuss potential alternatives that suit you both or read our article of ways to participate in activities when staying at home.


I need an iPad to access online therapy sessions. Can I get my iPad funded by the NDIS?

Yes, with many therapists now providing support remotely, you may be able to use your NDIS funding to buy an iPad or tablet to help you access these online sessions. To find out more, give our team a call on 1300 333 700 or read our article how the NDIS can fund iPads and other tablets.

Update 10 August: Plan Partners and Officeworks have introduced a quicker and easier way to buy Low Cost Technology with your NDIS budgets, all you need to do is choose the item, give us a call and we’ll take care of the rest. Find out more.


I need an internet connection to access online therapy sessions. Can I get the costs funded by the NDIS?

No, the NDIS does not fund the cost of your internet connection as it’s considered a day-to-day expense.


My child’s school is closed, so they’re doing online learning. Can we use their NDIS funds to purchase a laptop/iPad to help with this?

No, the NDIS will generally only fund tech devices if they are needed for supports that are directly related to a person’s disability. However, schools and state governments have put all kinds of measures in place to support children who have to learn online, so please contact your school to find out what support is available in your state.
For examples, the State of Victoria is providing more than 6,000 laptops and tablets, as well as SIM cards and dongles, to students who need access to them, find out more here.


I need equipment to do my fitness exercises at home. Can I get the fitness equipment funded by the NDIS?

Yes, you may be able to use your NDIS Core funding to buy fitness equipment to use in your home, as gyms are now closed and many therapists moving to online sessions. You should only use your NDIS funding to purchase this equipment if it is directly related to the health and fitness goals in your NDIS plan. If it is a large expense, such as a home trainer, we advise that you get a recommendation in writing from your therapist first. To find out more, give our team a call on 1300 333 700 or read our article how the NDIS can fund Playing Sport.


With many supermarkets now offering deliveries, can I use my NDIS funds to pay for this service?

Yes, it’s now possible to use your NDIS plan’s Core budget to cover the cost of having groceries delivered to your home – however this only covers the delivery fee, not the cost of the items themselves. You will need to be Plan Managed or self-managed to claim these costs, but the good news is that the NDIS has also made it easy to switch from NDIA managed to Plan Managed as part of its COVID-19 response. To find out more, just give our friendly team a call on 1300 333 700.


What about meal delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo?

Much like grocery deliveries, you can use your NDIS funding to pay the delivery fee of meal delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo. This does not cover the cost of the meal itself (although your particular NDIS plan may allow you to cover some of the preparation costs) and it must meet the criteria of reasonable and necessary. To find out more, just give friendly our team a call on 1300 333 700 or read our article how the NDIS can fund grocery and meal deliveries.


New NDIS measures


I’m running low on budget for Support Coordination, what can I do?

Recognising how useful Support Coordination is in these difficult times, the NDIS has recently added it as a Core support. This means that you’re now able to use your Core budget to continue accessing our Support Coordination services.

If you'd like to use your Core Support budget to access Support Coordination, contact your Support Coordinator to discuss what is possible for you. We can work with you to find out what extra support you need and how you can use your Core Support budget. 


I know someone who is NDIA managed, but would like to switch to Plan Management to access unregistered providers. Can they switch to Plan Management?

To help participants continue to access supports throughout this period, the NDIS has temporarily made it easier to switch to Plan Management. To find out more, read our Switching to Plan Management article.


How can I request an extension of my current NDIS plan?

The NDIS will now be automatically extending plans by 365 days from its current expiry date. So if your plan is set to expire in the near future, you don’t need to do anything to have your plan extended. You can also contact the NDIS to request that your plan be extended for 24 months. To find out more, read our article what happens when your NDIS plan expires.


Do I need to tell you if my plan’s been extended?

If your NDIS plan is being extended by 12 or 24 months, you can let us know by emailing us at info@planpartners.com.au . Once we are notified, we can update your plan in our system to ensure your providers get paid and services continue as normal.

Our Customer Service Team regularly check plans and make updates if your plan has been extended or additional funding has been provided.


How much time do I need to give when cancelling a service?

You must give your providers at least two business days’ notice if you’re cancelling a service. This had been temporarily increased to 10 business days, however this measure ended on July 1 and no longer applies.


Handy links


News and updates


For service providers

Continuity of services


Will you still pay my invoices?

Yes, Plan Partners will continue to process invoices as usual throughout this situation. All invoices will still be processed within 7 business days – or 4, if you take advantage of our Fast Payment system.


Can I still reach out to your Customer Service Team?

Yes, our customer service team will continue to operate throughout this situation, and are ready to answer any of your questions via phone or email.


My services


I had to suspend or cancel my services. What should I do?

It’s important you let your customers know as soon as possible so they can arrange a suitable replacement and continue receiving their supports. If your customers have funds quarantined with us for your services, we will release them so they can access services from another provider.

The government is introducing a number of new measures to help businesses through these tough times, so be sure to visit your state and federal governments’ websites to see what support you might be eligible for.


How can I let everyone know I’m still delivering services?

Firstly, you should reach out to your existing customers and let them know that you’re continuing to operate, as well as informing them of any adjustments you’ve made to the services you provide. These are uncertain times for everyone and a simple email or phone call can mean a lot.

You can also reach out to Local Area Coordinators and Support Coordinators who you work with often, including our Support Coordination team.

Websites such as Clickability and MyCareSpace are also good avenues to reach NDIS participants and promote your services, and if you’re registered with Plan Partners our Support Coordination team may be able to connect you to suitable customers.


VIC/NSW: Can you provide me with a work permit for Melbourne’s Stage 4 restrictions?

Unfortunately we are unable to provide service providers with worker permits, as these can only be issued by an employer. More information on the Permitted Worker Scheme can be found here. If you have any questions about your specific situation, please contact Business Victoria on 13 22 15.


New NDIS measures


Can service providers charge higher prices because of COVID-19?

Service providers need to follow the price limits set in the NDIS Price Guide. While there was a temporary increase on some of these limits, this ended on July 1 and no longer applies.
For information on current price guide limits - check out our Price Guide Navigator.


How much time does a customer need to give when cancelling a service?

Customers must give you at least two business days’ notice if you’re cancelling a service. This had been temporarily increased to 10 business days, however this measure ended on July 1 and no longer applies.


Handy links


News and updates


COVID-19 and my NDIS plan: FAQs

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