24 January 2022
COVID-19 vaccination and booster payments for providers
From 17 January 2022, providers in the following registration groups can claim the COVID vaccine and booster enablement payments if they support a participant to receive their vaccinations:
• 0133 Specialised Supported Employment
• 0136 Group and Centre Based Activities
Providers must claim for the payments within the following dates:
• $150 COVID-19 vaccination payment by 31 March 2022
• $75 COVID-19 booster vaccination payment by 30 June 2022
Temporary COVID-19 arrangements for meal preparation and delivery supports
From 12 January 2022 to 28 February 2022, NDIS participants with Core funding for support worker hours to help with meal preparation or shopping can now flexibly use their Core supports budget to pay an external provider for meal preparation and delivery, instead of paying a support worker to assist them with these tasks at home.
This arrangement is available across all states and territories.
Direct claiming for SIL cleaning services and additional SIL supports
From 7 February 2022, providers can directly claim for cleaning services and additional SIL supports for participants with additional needs because they are directed to self-isolate or quarantine from the relevant state/territory government or Australian Government due to COVID-19.
The 2 support items are:
• up to $300 for one-off deep-cleaning services when they are required because of COVID-19
• up to $1200 per participant, per day for additional supports if you are required to self-isolate because of COVID-19
Information about how to directly claim for these supports through the bulk payment request template will be emailed directly to SIL providers.
Direct claiming for support worker related COVID diagnosis
From 7 February 2022, if a support worker attends a participant’s home who later tests positive to COVID-19, providers can claim up to $300 per professional deep clean directly from the NDIA.
Any professional deep cleans that happen before 7 February 2022, can be paid for from the participant’s plan.
Instructions about how to claim this support will be emailed directly to providers.
Temporary COVID-19 Price Increases for PPE
Temporary increases in prices for some core supports were put into effect on the 1st of January 2022. The NDIA made these changes to account for the additional costs related to the current ongoing pandemic. The changes made are:
• 0.25% increase to the price limits for community participation supports and supports with activities of daily living, other than group core supports and Supported Independent Living (SIL)
• 0.4% increase to the price limits for group core supports and SIL
The NDIA have provided a higher increase for group core supports and SIL supports to account for the greater need for PPE when delivering these supports.
Providers will no longer claim separately from participant plans for the cost of support worker PPE.
Providers in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory will no longer directly claim reimbursement from the NDIA for the cost of PPE.
These changes are set to be in place until the 30th of June 2022 when the Annual Pricing Review is due to be released.
Changes were also made to the COVID Addendum. They are:
• The COVID-19 vaccination payment has been extended until 31 March, and an additional payment of $75 to support people to receive boosters is in place until 30 June 2022.
• SIL providers can now directly bill NDIA up to $12.50 for Rapid Antigen Tests for workers. This can only be claimed in cases where a worker must be tested for the support to take place – if the provider can roster someone who does not need to be tested, then no claim can be made.
• Participants receiving SIL supports may use their low-cost assistive technology funding to purchase Rapid Antigen Tests
• Line items related to PPE for support workers have been ended effective 31 December (replaced by the price increases above)
Disability Support Worker Cost Model
An updated version of the Disability Support Worker Cost Model was released by the NDIA three weeks after submissions to the Pricing Consultation closed. Here are some of the main changes:
• Base pay rates increased in line with SCHADS classifications
• Superannuation rate increased to 10% (from 9.5%)
• Casual loading increased to 1.3% (from 1.2%)
• Introduction of temporary COVID price adjustments described above
Prior to this most recent update, the NDIS had announced another update earlier in December 2021. This update introduced subscription arrangements. What this means is that participants can now pre-purchase supports on a subscription basis, provided that:
• A plain English service agreement has been accepted by the participant
• Subscriptions are only charged for up to a month in advance unless the subscription fee for a longer period is less than $350 (i.e., $199 per year)
• There are no exit fees or penalties for cancellations
• Invoices clearly describe the supports available to the person during the subscription period
If you have any questions regarding the temporary Covid-19 measures and price increases, you can visit the NDIS website or contact our friendly First2Care team on 1300 322 273 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.