NDIS COVID-19 Update – 10% loading to end, over half a billion dollars in advanced payments made.

The Minister for the NDIS has announced changes to the temporary measures put in place to adapt the National Disability Insurance Scheme during the COVID-19 or Corona Virus pandemic. This will include:

  1. Removal of the 10% additional loading payment made on some supports.
  2. Removal of the 10 day cancellation period and return to the original cancellation period policy.
  3. Reduction of the Medium Term Accommodation policy from the pandemic’s 180 days back to 90 days.

Things to note from the statement:

  • Over half a billion dollars in one-month advanced payments were made to almost 5,000 NDIS providers.
  • This averages over $100,000 for each provider that claimed the advanced payments.
  • Recovery of advance payments will begin from October and will take 6 months.
  • Providers who accepted advanced payments will repay them in monthly instalments.
  • Total weekly payment claims reached $300 million at the height of the pandemic.
  • Some NDIS plans have been extended for up to 24months.
  • To meet the pandemic, alternatives to face-to-face planning meetings were permitted.
  • The Minister highlights the ‘flexible use’ of low cost assistive technology funds that allowed more people to gain access to at least a base model iPad through their NDIS funds during the pandemic.

To read the full media release from NDIS Minister Stuart Robert, please read on.

Media release from the Minister

  12 June 2020

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Stuart Robert, today announced 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 and Australia moves to a COVIDSafe environment, 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 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).

Recovery of the advance payment to providers will commence on 1 October 2020, via six equal monthly instalments, so providers can plan their return to usual services well ahead of its commencement. 

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.

It is important to note the government will continue to monitor conditions in the sector and make adjustments that may be required.

Minister Robert said NDIS providers had risen to the challenge and continued to provide support to participants in a safe and appropriate manner during the pandemic.

‘Since the announcement of these initiatives on 21 March, almost $600 million in one-month advance payments was paid to almost 5,000 providers to offer immediate cash flow relief and keep participant services going,’ Mr Robert said.

‘At the height of the pandemic, close to $300 million was claimed in average weekly provider payments, indicating the majority of services have been continuing with participants accessing the disability supports they need.

‘With NDIS provider claiming patterns showing most supports have returned to pre-coronavirus levels, we are moving to the next phase of the response.

‘We have worked to give participants and providers early notice on when things will gradually return, in light of our coronavirus response and recovery stages—and of course, we will continue to consult with participants and providers to ensure they have the support they need.’

Further detail on the coronavirus response and recovery stages will be sent to providers in coming days.

The Government previously announced a range of financial support measures for eligible businesses and sole traders affected by the coronavirus pandemic, such as JobKeeper.

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