NDIS providers must pay back COVID cash advance

Disability providers will have to pay back a collective $600 million in COVID advance payments from October.

The government is rolling back loadings on NDIS supports and will ask disability providers to pay back advance payments as the nation recovers from coronavirus.

Stuart Robert

NDIS minister Stuart Robert says the scheme will move into a post-COVID phase from July 1 following a review of temporary support measures announced during the pandemic.

“With NDIS provider claiming patterns showing most supports have returned to pre-coronavirus levels, we are moving to the next phase of the response,” he said in a statement.

“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.’

Providers will have to pay back a collective $600 million in advance payments via monthly instalments from October 1.

“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,” Mr Robert said.

Almost 5,000 providers who did not opt out received the one-off advance payment during April as a measure to assist cash flow and help keep services going during COVID.

The 10 per cent price increase to some Core and Capacity Building supports, originally intended to remain until August, will also be removed following the review.

The cancellation period, which was reduced to 10 days during the pandemic, will return to pre-COVID conditions and funding for medium term accommodation with go back to 90 days after being temporarily extended to 180 day.

However providers will still be able to conduct face-to-face planning meetings virtually and use funds flexibly to buy low cost assistive technology, Mr Robert said.

Price review

The government this month also released the results of the 2020-21 NDIS price review, which increases plan funds in line with indexation allows providers to claim costs associated with travel.

It also supports psychosocial recovery coaches

The Fair work Commission is currently deciding on minimum wage rates, which will determine price limits that will apply from July 1 and these are expected to be published later this month.

The updated NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue is available here.

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