Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert, announced temporary changes to funding arrangements to allow NDIS participants in Victoria and New South Wales to claim the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks.
With community transmission of coronavirus evident in both states and in line with current health advice, Minister Robert said the Australian Government was acting to ensure participants more at risk are supported to access PPE and continue to receive their disability supports.
‘Unfortunately, we’ve seen in recent weeks that our battle with COVID-19 is far from over,’ Minister Robert said.
‘As a result, we have put in place additional temporary measures so participants living in Victoria and New South Wales, who have face-to-face assisted daily living supports can flexibly use their existing NDIS funds to cover the cost of the PPE they need to keep themselves safe, including face masks.
‘We know that participants who receive face-to-face supports may be at higher risk of transmission, with daily support from their workers regularly involving close physical contact.’
From today, NDIS participants who rely on face-to-face supports and assistance with their daily living will be able to use an existing support item (Low-Cost Disability-Related Health Consumables) to claim on the cost of PPE for the times their worker is with them.
In Victoria and NSW, the ability to claim for the cost of PPE will be extended to providers allowing workers to continue delivering essential disability supports to NDIS participants.
Participants living in their own home who test positive for COVID-19 and are required to self-isolate or quarantine will also now be able to claim for related cleaning costs.
Existing measures that provide additional funding for providers of Supported Independent Living (SIL) where there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, as announced on 27 April, will also be extended. SIL providers will now also be able to claim for higher intensity supports to cover situations where there is a potential COVID-19 positive case of a participant and they are required to self-isolate or quarantine.
‘The health and wellbeing of participants and their support workers have remained the Government’s priority throughout this pandemic, and it’s important none of us get complacent,’ Minister Robert said.
‘These measures ensure everyone’s able to do their bit, and follow the public health guidelines while minimising the risk of spread and protecting each other from the virus.
‘We will continue to monitor the situation and won’t hesitate to implement further measures if it means protecting our participants and their support workers.’
Today’s announcement is in addition to existing NDIS participant-focused coronavirus response measures, including offering alternatives for face-to-face planning meetings to participants, plan extensions for up to 24 months following review and flexible use of funds to purchase low-cost assistive technology.
Information about Purchasing personal protective equipment.