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NDIS Quarterly Report

By February 11th, 2022No Comments
In this edition:

  • Quarterly Report released
  • ILC grant for employers to build disability confidence now open
  • COVID-19 vaccination hubs for people with disability
  • Rapid antigen test distribution to high-risk residential disability care settings
  • Independent review of NDIA actuarial forecast model and drivers of Scheme costs
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and support
  • Events
  • Participant First Engagement Initiative: help shape the NDIS
  • Participant spotlight
Quarterly Report released

The latest NDIS Quarterly Report has been released. This Quarterly Report is a summary of how the Scheme performed from 1 October 2021 to 31 December 2021.

The NDIS is now supporting over half a million people with disability, with 20,384 people joining the Scheme this quarter.

This Quarterly Report has information about the ways the NDIS is supporting participants, providers, staff and partners throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including helping participants and disability workers to get vaccinated. It also includes detailed information about participant outcomes and the Scheme’s finances.

You will find participant stories from around Australia in the report, including a story about Hande (page 14) who has discovered her love for cricket after gaining more confidence and increased mobility with supports provided through the NDIS.

You can also read an update on how we are working to improve our engagement with the disability sector. The Agency’s Co-design Advisory Group was recently formed with members from both the Independent Advisory Council (IAC) and Disability Representative and Carer Organisations (DRCOs). This Group met several times throughout December and helped us draft the NDIS Engagement Framework and Roadmap, which will help us deliver our commitment to work more closely with the disability community.

The full report is available on our website.

If you are interested in more NDIS data, sign up to the Data and Insights newsletter (external) and be the first to know about Quarterly Reports, data releases and relevant events.

If you have any questions about the Quarterly Report, please contact the National Contact Centre on 1800 800 110 or send your questions to the Scheme Actuary mailbox.

 

ILC grant for employers to build disability confidence now open

The Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) program’s Building Employer Confidence and Inclusion in Disability Grant is now open.

This grant aims to build the confidence and ability of employers to hire, support and retain employees with disability and create inclusive workplaces.

Applications are encouraged from employers interested in hiring more people with disability, including small to medium enterprises and growth industries with significant workforce demands.

Initiatives funded through this grant may focus on improving organisational capabilities to recruit and retain people with disability, addressing industry and workplace culture, and supporting growth industries to provide career pathways for people with disability.

Funding of up to $20 million is available over two years. Applications close on 23 February 2022.

To apply or find more information, please visit the Community Grants Hub website and Grant Connect.

This grant opportunity is part of the ILC program, administered by the Community Grants Hub on behalf of the Department of Social Services.

 

COVID-19 vaccination hubs open for people with disability

The Department of Health is regularly updating its website with new locations of COVID-19 vaccination hubs that are more accessible for people with disability.

The hubs are wheelchair accessible and many include low sensory appointment times, drop in availability (so you can attend at time that suits you), longer appointment times and some have availability for in car vaccinations.

Find out if there is a location near you.

 

Rapid antigen test distribution to high-risk residential disability care settings

The Australian Government has commenced distributing 1.2 million rapid antigen tests to high risk residential disability care settings, with five million test kits to be delivered by June this year.

Supported Independent Living (SIL) providers will receive an allocation of tests to manage outbreaks and outbreak prevention. Providers will distribute tests to participants and their workers as required.

The direct supply of test kits to high risk residential disability care settings is in addition to previously announced measures including:

  • Free rapid antigen tests as part of the concession card holders scheme which has already seen more than 3.5 million tests provided to 858,000 concession card holders which includes the majority of NDIS participants; and
  • Providing eligible NDIS participants with access to rapid antigen tests via their NDIS plan.

This latest measure supersedes the existing measure which enabled SIL participants and providers to claim up to $12.50 per rapid antigen test when a support worker is required to undergo testing to safely deliver supports.

Learn more.

 

Independent review of NDIA actuarial forecast model and drivers of Scheme cost

The Department of Social Services published an independent review of NDIA’s actuarial forecast model and drivers of Scheme costs on Friday 28 January, 2022.

At the August 2021 meeting, Disability Ministers directed work be undertaken to understand cost drivers and the underpinning assumptions in the Scheme Actuary’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Annual Financial Sustainability Report (AFSR), with a report back to Ministers on findings in December 2021.

Independent actuarial firm, Taylor Fry, was commissioned to do this work.

Taylor Fry’s report – Review of NDIA actuarial forecast model and drivers of Scheme costs – (the report) was presented to Disability Ministers at their December 2021 meeting.

At that meeting, Ministers endorsed publishing the report along with an Easy Read summary.

People with disability and their representatives will have the opportunity to discuss the report in early 2022 to inform further consideration by Ministers.

You can read the report and more information about this work.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and support

Booking a COVID-19 vaccine
All Australians are encouraged to have the free COVID-19 vaccine.

All NDIS participants aged 5 and over, their carers and support workers are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

You are now also eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose if:

  • you are 18 years and older, and
  • had your second dose of your primary course of COVID-19 vaccination at least 4 months ago (3 or more months ago for Victorians)

A booster dose will help you to stay safe against COVID-19.

More information about the benefits of a booster dose.

Book in for your vaccination today. To book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:

  • use the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder on the Department of Health website
  • book through a local pharmacy
  • contact the National Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline on 1800 020 080
  • talk to your GP and book in for your vaccination today.

People with disability who need assistance booking a COVID-19 vaccine or need free, fact-checked information about COVID-19 can contact the Disability Gateway on 1800 643 787 or visit their website.

If you are deaf, or hard of hearing you can call the National Relay Service on 1800 555 660.

Easy Read resources, including on vaccine types, are available on the Department of Health website.

Participants who have support coordination in their plans and need support to book and access COVID-19 vaccinations are encouraged to talk to their support coordinator.

An additional $150, on top of plan funds, is available for participants to access support coordination for help with booking and accessing vaccinations.

Participants can also utilise their existing Support Coordination budget should they need further assistance beyond the additional $150.

Learn more.

Support for participants to access a COVID-19 vaccine booster
We are helping you to access the COVID-19 vaccination including the booster dose.

Some providers can claim $150, to help you get your primary course of COVID-19 vaccination. Providers have until 31 March 2022 to help you if you need their support.

These providers can also claim $75 when they have helped you to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster.

Providers can help if you want to have your COVID-19 vaccination at your GP’s office or at a vaccination hub.

You can discuss with your provider how to best access the COVID-19 vaccination.

Providers claim the $150 and $75 payments directly from the NDIS – it does not affect funding in your plan.

Your provider can also claim from your plan, the cost of other supports required for you to access your vaccinations, such as transport and support workers, but only with your agreement.

If you think your plan funds are too low for you to get vaccination support, you can contact us, phone 1800 800 110.

Providers need your consent before they can make vaccination appointments for you.

You can talk with your GP and other health professionals about the COVID-19 vaccination. You can ask whether you should receive the vaccine. It is your decision to get vaccinated and you can have support to make a decision.

Visit our website for more information.

Expanding temporary COVID-19 meal preparation and delivery support
From 12 January 2022, if you normally have a support worker help you with meal preparation at home, you can temporarily use your Core supports budget to pay for a meal preparation and delivery service instead.

This means that instead of paying for a support worker to assist you with shopping or meal preparation, you can pay an external provider to prepare your meal and deliver it to you.

This arrangement is available in all states and territories and will continue through to 28 February 2022.

You cannot use NDIS funds to buy food. The NDIS can only cover the cost of preparing a meal and having it delivered to you.

This is a different way to use your current Core supports budget, we won’t be adding funding to your plan without a plan review.

Visit our website for more information

Using NDIS plan funds to claim for rapid antigen tests
Eligible NDIS participants can purchase rapid antigen tests (RATs) with funding from their NDIS plan.
Participants can use their core funding to purchase RATs where it is required to access their reasonable and necessary supports.
Learn more.

Accessing free rapid antigen tests
You can now access free rapid antigen tests (RATs) if you hold an eligible Commonwealth concession card:

  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
  • Department of Veteran’s Affairs Gold, White or Orange Card
  • Health Care Card
  • Low Income Health Card
  • Pensioner Concession Card.

You can access up to 10 RATs over a 3 month period (max 5 over a 1 month period) through community pharmacies.
Learn more.

COVID-19 kit for support coordinators
The Growing Space and other support coordination providers have developed an online COVID-19 kit for Support Coordinators.

The free downloadable resource contains a range of useful checklists, contacts and templates for support coordinators to help NDIS participants, their families and carers manage risks associated with COVID-19.

You can download this kit on the Growing Space website.

Victoria
Disability Liaison Officers are available to help people with a disability access vaccinations.

They can arrange vaccination appointment times and locations suited to your needs, ensure the right supports are there waiting, arrange group bookings or drive-through bookings where you don’t need to leave the car, or have someone come to your home if you are unable to leave it.

To arrange a vaccination that meets your needs contact Disability Liaison Officer Support today.

Preparing for your child’s vaccination
As a parent or carer, there are a number of things you can consider before you take your child for their COVID-19 vaccine, to help make it a positive experience for them.

If your child is anxious about receiving the vaccine or has additional needs, planning ahead and talking to them and your GP can help. The factsheet below has information on things to consider or discuss with your child. This includes what support they may need and guidance on where you book your child to receive the vaccine.

Learn more.

Queensland
If you live in Queensland, have not had the COVID-19 vaccine, and need assistance to get vaccinated in your home, there are a number of ways for you to get the vaccine:

  • You can speak to your GP or other health provider and ask for assistance. They may be able to come to your home to vaccinate you or organise for someone else to do so.
  • You can call the Primary Health Network in your area and talk to them about your needs and ask for assistance.
  • You can also call 134 COVID (13 42 68) and ask for assistance.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing, please contact the National Relay Service on 1800 555 727 and ask to be directed to a health service. They can connect you to 134 COVID (13 42 68).

New South Wales
The Council for Intellectual Disability have created an Easy Read resource about how to register a positive COVID-19 rapid antigen test in New South Wales.

Learn more.

 

Events

Visit the events page of our website to see a list of current events we are running on a range of NDIS topics, including COVID-19 information specific events.

Where there are COVID-19 restrictions the events will be held online.

You can search for events near you, or on a topic relevant to you.

Find an event.

 

Participant First Engagement Initiative: help shape the NDIS

The Participant First Engagement Initiative helps us to connect with participants, families, carers and non-participants with disabilities to hear your feedback, so we can work together on improving the Scheme.

We want to draw on your lived experience of disability to help improve the NDIS for everyone. We are looking for a mix of participants, families and carers for a range of future opportunities that may include; online and email feedback, one on one or small group discussions or, working directly with project teams to design a product or policy.

Sign up by completing the Participant First information form.

Learn more.

 

Participant spotlight

Amanda’s independence is back!

Christmas arrived early for Logan participant Amanda who’s now sporting a new set of wheels with a giant purple spider attached as her companion.

Amanda, who has an acquired brain injury, affecting her speech and mobility, said she and her giant spider, Rex, are turning heads zipping in and out of shops and chatting to people within the community.

Read more about Amanda’s story.

Read more about NDIS participants and their stories.