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New COVID-19 Measures to support NDIS Participants

New COVID-19 Measures to support NDIS Participants

27 March 2020

On Wednesday 25 March, the NDIS announced new measures, designed to ensure you can continue to receive the supports you need through COVID-19.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest changes the NDIS have announced and what they mean for you.

And if you haven’t already, visit our webpage with Frequently Asked Questions about the NDIS and COVID-19.

 

 

1. Support Coordination now added to Core supports

Support Coordination has become more useful than ever, as NDIS participants can find it hard to access their supports in these times. Recognising this, the NDIS have made it possible to use your Core budget to access Support Coordination.

This is good news if you have used up most, or all, of your Support Coordination budget, or if you didn’t have it included in your plan at all. You can now use your Core funding to get expert assistance finding and connecting with service providers.

What this means for you:

 

2. Plans automatically extended by 365 days

Any NDIS plans that expire will now be automatically extended by 12 months, removing the need for you to request a review. You can also now request that your plan is extended for 24 months – something many people have been asking for.

If you want to make any changes to your plan, you can still request a review, however these can now be carried out over the phone to minimise face-to-face contact.  

What this means for you:

  • If your plan is set to expire in the near future and you’re happy with it, you don’t have to do anything – it will be extended for another year.
  • If you want to extend your plan for 24 months, you need to request this from the NDIS.
  • If you need some more funding or your needs or goals have changed as a result of COVID-19, you should contact the NDIS to request a plan review.
  • Read more about requesting a review

 

3. Price limits of critical supports have increased

The NDIS have updated its price guide to increase the maximum price that service providers can charge for some services by 10%. This is a temporary measure for at least the next 6 months and only applies to the following critical supports:

  • Assistance with Daily Life (excluding Supported Independent Living). Category 1
  • Assistance with Social and Community Participation. Category 4
  • Improved Health and Wellbeing (excluding Personal Training). Category 12
  • Improved Daily Living Skills. Category 15

Important to know: The NDIS won’t increase your plan’s budgets to account for this change.

What this means for you:

  • Your service provider should contact you if they’re planning on increasing their prices and can only do so if you agree. If you have a service agreement with a service provider in place, they will need to adjust the service agreement to reflect the new price.
  • Because the NDIS isn’t increasing your funding to accommodate this change, you’ll need keep an extra close eye on your budgets if any of your service providers increase their prices. Your Plan Partners Dashboard is a very handy tool helping you to track your spending and make sure you don’t go over budget.
  • Please note the two exceptions for Support Independent Living and Personal Training – these prices limits have not been increased.
  • The NDIS has automatically updated the relevant line items to include the 10% increase, so providers should continue to claim under the current line item. If you request a reimbursement by creating it in your online Dashboard, the new limits are automatically applied.
  • Read more about the Support Categories in your NDIS plan.

 

4. Cancellations

To help service providers get through these times, the NDIS have made some changes to their cancellation policy. Now, you are required to give providers at least 10 business days’ notice if you need to cancel a session. This has increased from the previous two business’ days. The amount that service providers can charge for a session that’s cancelled without proper notice has also increased, from 90% of the service’s cost to 100%.

What this means for you:

  • You must now give your providers more than 10 business days’ notice if you’re going to cancel a service.
  • If you tell them with less than 10 business days to go, they can now charge you the entire cost of the session.
  • If you must cancel for emergency reasons, call the service provider and explain the situation to them – they may understand and allow you to reschedule.

 

5. Switching to Plan Management

To help ensure NDIS participants can keep accessing supports throughout this situation, the NDIS have made it possible to temporarily switch plans from Agency to Plan Managed.

Because Plan Management and self-management allow you to access providers that are not registered with the NDIS, this opens a whole new world of providers. Many providers, especially smaller organisations and sole traders, offer great levels of service but don’t have the time or resources to register.

What this means for you:

More information?

Head to our webpage with Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and the NDIS. We update this page every day with new questions and answers.  

We have also published an article for service providers on the recent COVID-19 measures from the NDIS.

And of course, reach out to our friendly team on 1300 333 700 or leave your details here and we will contact you. We’re here to help.

 

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