What happens to your NDIS plan during coronavirus (COVID-19)?

April 16, 2020

During these uncertain times, it’s normal for you to have questions about how new Australian Government restrictions and business closures may affect your NDIS plan and supports.

It’s important that you understand some changes may be required to the way you are currently interacting with your Plan Manager, Support Coordinators and service providers but these changes are essential to maintaining everyone’s health and safety at this time.

To help participants, the NDIS has implemented a number of new measures that reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 coronavirus. The changes include:

Automatic NDIS plan renewals – If your plan is set to expire soon, the NDIS will automatically extend it by 365 days (1 year). You are not required to do anything as this will happen automatically on the last day of your current plan. This also means you aren’t required to have a plan review if your current plan is expiring soon.

Non-essential supports may be stopped – Supports that aren’t critical right now should be reconsidered. In order to maintain social distancing as much as possible, the NDIS is encouraging participants to consider what supports are critical to their health and wellbeing and which ones you can stop for now. Some social and community capacity building supports may need to stop due to group activities being banned for the time being. Plan Management is considered an essential service.

Support Coordination is now a Core Support – This change means you can now use your Core budget to pay for Support Coordination you are receiving from your provider. Specialist Support Coordination (Complex Case Management) has also been introduced as a Core Support. Disability Plan Services has experienced Support Coordinators who are available to help connect you with supports.

Face-to-face meetings to be avoided – Where possible, the NDIS has recommended that all face-to-face meetings be replaced with a combination of email, phone or other online communication methods such as video conferencing. Limiting contact is an essential way to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Longer notice period for cancellations – Previously, participants were required to give two business days’ notice to service providers to cancel a service without being charged the full fee. New changes implemented by the NDIS mean that participants must now give 10 business days’ notice. This change is to help registered service providers.

It is now easier to switch to Plan Management – To help participants who are NDIA (agency) managed or who are self-managing their plan, the NDIS is making it easier to switch to Plan Management. You will still need to submit a request for a plan review, but the process has been simplified. To request a review of your plan, call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 or speak to the team at Disability Plan Services on 1800 312 870.

Some supports may now cost more – The NDIS has made a decision to increase the price cap for some supports by 10% to help service providers who are struggling because of coronavirus. This is temporary. The following critical supports may be affected:

  • Assistance with Daily Life (not including Supported Independent Living)
  • Assistance with Social and Community Participation
  • Improved Health and Wellbeing (not including personal training)
  • Improved Daily Living Skills

If your NDIS plan is managed by a registered Plan Manager, like Disability Plan Services, your Plan Manager should get in touch with you soon to discuss these changes and how they may affect your plan.

For the full list of changes implemented by the NDIS at this time, please visit the NDIS website here.

It’s important to remember that regardless of what is happening in the world, your NDIS plan and critical supports will continue.

To help reduce your risk of contracting and spreading coronavirus, there are a number of things you can do. The World Health Organisation recommends that you do the following:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain at least 1.5 metres distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.

If you’re concerned about your risk of exposure to the COVID-19, please contact the Department of Health Coronavirus hotline on 1800 020 080 or the National Relay Service on 1300 555 727.