UPDATED: Changes to COVID-19-related Measures from February 28

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Update:

In positive news, the NDIA has advised that Support Coordination will remain claimable from Core until the end of March. The agency says this extension of this flexibility will allow time for participants to transition to alternative support arrangements.  

Original article:

The NDIA has today announced several changes to COVID-19-related measures, including: 

Low-cost assistive technology 
In welcome news, participants will be able to purchase low-cost assistive technology (smart devices and fitness equipment) with NDIS funding until further notice.  

PPE 
Participants and providers in areas where public health orders require personal protective equipment (PPE) while supports are being delivered will continue to be able to claim the cost of PPE until further notice.  

Support Coordination 
Support Coordination will no longer be claimable from Core after February 28 but will be claimable from the Capacity Building budget for participants with a reasonable and necessary requirement for this service.  

Additional information and changes to other measures can be found here

In an earlier announcement, the NDIA also advised that automatic plan extensions will remain in place. 

IDEAL will continue assisting you in accordance with these and other COVID-19-related measures. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, our team is ready to help. 

We will update you if and when the NDIA announces further changes. 

COVID-19 NDIS Measures

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As we approach the end of the year, COVID-19 is still changing the way we interact and engage services.  

As such, the NDIA continues to allow measures introduced earlier in the year to help participants access products, services, and plan budgets in an increasingly flexible manner.  

At IDEAL Plan Management, we believe in sharing knowledge to facilitate choice and control for participants, so we have put together this helpful visual guide to keep up to date on the NDIS COVID-19 measures available: 

covid measures table

Additional PPE allowance for providers in VIC & NSW announced today

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PPE imagery IDEAL plan manager
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Providers required to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in New South Wales and Victoria can now claim an extra $1.70 for every hour of daily living support delivered, with the allowance coming directly from the NDIA, rather than from a participant's budget. 


The temporary allowance comes in addition to the earlier introduction of PPE support items, so providers can continue claiming for PPE costs through the Price Guide in agreement with participants.


The changes will allow providers to claim an allowance of $1.70 per hour of support delivered in the Activities of Daily Life Support Category to cover the cost of PPE.


Minister Robert said the change will “give participants greater confidence that their NDIS plan funds will not be impacted by the use of PPE, as providers can now directly bill these costs to the NDIA”.


IDEAL Plan Management can help providers understand these changes and process claims for PPE. While details of the allowance are yet to be released, we will keep you up-to-date as more are announced.

NDIS Update on COVID-19 measures

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The Minister from the NDIS announced on the 12th June 2020 the first stages of a post-coronavirus NDIS, following a review of temporary measures to support participants and disability providers during the pandemic.

As community restrictions have eased, the NDIS will move to a post-pandemic phase from 1 July that includes the conclusion of some of the temporary measures.

On recommendation from the review, the following will apply from 1 July 2020:

  • Removal of temporary 10 per cent price loading on certain core and capacity building supports;
  • Definition of the cancellation period is reduced from 10 days to levels under the previous policy; and
  • Medium Term Accommodation (MTA) period will be returned to the original policy of 90 days (rolled back from 180 days).

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, will remain in place until further reviews are completed.

To find more information, visit the NDIS website here.

Update on NDIS Corona Virus Response

NDIS funding to purchase tablets, smartphones or fitness equipment

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The NDIA has temporarily allowed extra flexibility for NDIS participants to purchase low-cost Assistive Technology.  As an NDIS participant, you can now use your NDIS consumables or core funding to buy smart devices and fitness equipment, in consultation with your support providers.

The criteria

According to the NDIA, participants can now use their existing NDIS funding to purchase an item if: 

  • it will maintain funded NDIS supports like a program, therapy or requirement (for example physiotherapy or Auslan interpreting provided via video conferencing), and
  • the provider of supports has confirmed in writing the device is necessary to continue supports and services while maintaining physical distancing requirements, and
  • it is the lowest specification that will maintain funded supports, and 
  • they do not already have the item, another suitable item or access to the item, and
  • the item has not been funded by another service system (such as education), and 
  • the item or circumstances are not specifically excluded.

Participants are able to spend up to $1500 on low cost AT items from their existing budgets.

This is a time-limited policy which will be in place until September 2020 and will be reviewed at the end of June 2020.

Exclusions

NDIS funding cannot be used for:

  • any item that does not relate to the participant’s disability or that doesn’t help to maintain NDIS funded supports and services
  • devices with specifications beyond the minimum needed
  • smartphones, smartwatches, iPads or tablets with mobile connections (e.g. 3G or 4G)
  • multiple devices
  • replacements for loss or damage
  • utility costs (internet connection)
  • software
  • additional hardware or accessories
  • purchase of items when rental options may be appropriate.

Written advice required

The NDIA requires written advice from your support provider to confirm that the device is necessary and appropriate for you to continue NDIS funded supports and services. We have attached a template you or your provider may use to document the written advice. The NDIA requires the written advice to be submitted along with the invoice or receipt for the device when you claim from the NDIS.

Please refer to the NDIS website for more information and latest updates

Please enter your name and email address below to download the 'Written Advice Form'.

Support Coordination can now be claimed from Core

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Support Coordination can now be claimed from Core
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NDIS participants impacted by COVID-19 may need additional support coordination. Support coordinators can now access core funding according to the latest announcement from the NDIA.

New line items for Support Coordination

Three new support coordination items have been introduced to the support catalogue under Core Supports, Assistance with Daily Life, effective 25 March 2020:

1) 01_790_0106_8_9 - Level 1: Support Connection

2) 01_791_0106_8_9 - Level 2: Coordination of Supports

3) 01_793_0106_8_9 - Level 3: Specialist Support Coordination

The new line items duplicate items already claimable under Capacity Building Supports. The new item numbers allow participants to use their funds more flexibly to access these supports from either their Core or Capacity Building budgets. 

(The above stated is adapted from the NDIS website)

IDEAL Plan Management can help you access core funding for extra support coordination your clients may require.

NDIA has released new price catalogue and price guide effective from 25/03/2020. Please email us at manager@idealplan.com.au to get the updated pocket-sized price guides.

IDEAL Plan Management is open and has the capacity to provide plan management services for new participants.

COVID-19 Support Update

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COVID Loading, 10-day cancellation and more – impact on NDIS participants

New NDIS rules have been introduced to help service providers from 25 March. These rules may impact you as an NDIS participant, or your clients if you support anyone with an NDIS plan.

Advance payments for providers

What changed for providers: NDIS registered providers might receive a one-month advance payment.

Impact on participants: Don’t worry, this has no impact on your plan. Providers are paid by the NDIS directly, not from your plan.

10% COVID loading

What changed for providers: Price limits increased by 10% across the following support categories:

  • Assistance with Daily Life (no increase for supported independent living
  • Assistance with Social and Community Participation
  • Improved Health and Wellbeing (no increase for personal training)
  • Improved Daily Living Skills

Impact on participants: Your plan will not be topped up automatically. Funding will run out faster if your providers charge this extra – they need to inform you. You can call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 to increase funding via (1) moving budgets from different categories or (2) having an early review of your plan.

Cancelling a service

What changed for providers: Providers are allowed to claim the agreed cost for up to 10 business days' scheduled services after a client cancels (previously 2 days). They are also able to claim 100% of the agreed cost (previously 90%).

Impact on participants: You need to give 10 business days’ notice to cancel a booking to avoid paying for cancellation. However if the provider’s service agreement has a shorter cancellation period – they are still bound by the agreement until you agree to changes.

Support coordination from Core

What changed for providers: Support coordinators can claim from Core Supports.

Impact on participants: You can now use your funding from Core Supports to pay for a support coordinator even if you do not have Support Coordination or have used up Support Coordination funding. Support coordinators can help you plan for what you need and answer your questions about NDIS supports.

Changes to plan extensions and reviews

If your plan is about to end, don’t panic. The NDIS will automatically extend your plan for another year with the same funding in the same categories (except for capital supports). Participants can also request a 24-month plan at their next review instead of the standard 12-month.

Further COVID-19 information and support can be found on the NDIS website

We are here to support you

If you or your clients have questions about how these changes will affect you, please call our experienced plan managers on 1300 800 110. We have the capacity and welcome new clients, please sign up here.

IDEAL Plan Management is open and serving our clients. Our business hours and turnaround times will be business as usual.

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