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Important changes the NDIS has made in response to COVID-19

The NDIS has made changes affecting NDIS participants and service providers. 

We have summarised some of the important changes you should be aware of. Note that these are temporary changes in response to COVID-19 and are therefore subject to change at a later stage. 

Changes to the NDIS plan review process

Face to face planning meetings are being shifted to telephone meetings where possible. Participants who have a plan review during this time can request a 24 month NDIS plan instead of a 12-month plan. The NDIS used to have an automatic 28 day extension to plans which are due to expire, which they have now increased to a 365 day extension to plans that are due to expire. On the day that a plan is due to expire, it will be automatically extended by 365 days. 

Temporary 10% price limit increase

The NDIS has a price guide which sets upper limits on what prices can be charged for certain disability supports and services. They have temporarily increased the price that can be charged for some supports by 10%. Remember that these are maximum price limits. You can agree on lower prices than those in the NDIS price guide, but service providers may not exceed the price limits stipulated by the NDIS price guide. 

Changes when cancelling services

For a participant to cancel a service they will need to give the provider 10 business days’ notice (previously only 2 days’ notice was required).

Participants can use Core budget for support coordination during COVID-19

Previously support coordination was only claimable under the Capacity Building budget. Participants can now use their Core budget to access support coordination. This change allows participants to use their funds more flexibly to access supports. These changes are reflected in the NDIS support catalogue under ‘Core Supports, Assistance with daily life’.

Increase to low cost Assistive technology (AT) items on current NDIS plan

The NDIS has have temporarily broadened the low cost Assistive Technology (AT) items a participant may be able to purchase, such as smart devices and fitness equipment. Participants can a total maximum of $1500 of their existing budget on low cost AT items, as long as: 

  • It will assist NDIS supports that are already funding under their current NDIS plan
  • The provider of the NDIS funded support has confirmed in writing that the low cost AT device is necessary to continue providing the support during COVID-19 social distancing practices 
  • It is the lowest specification that is necessary to maintain the support
  • The participant does not already have an item that could be used to maintain the support
  • The item has not already been funded through another service system 
  • Each item does not exceed $750

This change is in place until September 2020 and will be reviewed in June 2020. 

Electronic access forms 

The NDIS has made their Access Request Form (ARF) and Supporting Evidence Form available on their website to help people with disabilities maintain social distance during this time.