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Helpdesk Top 5: April 2019

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Did you know the NDS Helpdesk will be a NDS member benefit from 1 July 2019 for Victorian members? The Helpdesk continues to be the go-to destination for providers to ask questions about the NDIS, quality and safeguarding and disability employment. The Helpdesk also features a comprehensive searchable Knowledge Hub of now over 180 questions and answers. NDS members receive unlimited access to the Helpdesk. If you are not yet a member visit become a member.

Here are the Top 5 Helpdesk Questions for April 2019:

Question 1:

What is the role of a support coordinator in assisting a participant to explore housing options and find suitable accommodation?

Answer 1:

One of the roles of a support coordinator is to coordinate the investigation of what an NDIS participant needs and wants in terms of their housing, taking into account the NDIS’ 'reasonable and necessary' provisions. If housing is one of the participant’s goals then it would be reasonable to assume that funding will be allocated to coordinate the investigation of a variety of housing options.

An exploration of housing options will include evidence collection such as a functional assessment by an occupational therapist or other professional. This assessment could consider the participant's needs in terms of SDA and also SIL.

Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

Question 2:

What obligation do self-managing clients have to pay their invoices, if there is no service agreement in place at the time when services were provided?

Answer 2:

NDS recommends that providers always have an interim service agreement in place, to enable them to bill against the plan before service agreements are in place, and prevent situations arising where they are unable to recoup invoices.

Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

Question 3:

Can NDS provide any advice on the status of the VMIA professional indemnity and public liability insurance service providers currently receive as part of being DHHS funded organisation? Will this coverage continue, or do providers now need to seek an insurance replacement?

Answer 3:

NDS recognises the value of the arrangements with regards to VMIA for DHHS-funded organisations and notes that these costs will be ones Victorian organisations have not had to face in the past.

In mid-2017, NDS released a news update that indicated that DHHS would be providing the option for eligible organisations to remain insured under the VMIA's CSO Program for a 12 month period after their funding agreement with Victoria has expired. This advice has recently been confirmed as continuing to stand.

NDS has negotiated with insurance broker Gallagher who have developed an insurance package specific to disability service providers, available to NDS members. More information is available here.

Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

Question 4: 

Are the price control arrangements linked to delivering higher intensity supports for participants with complex support needs (detailed in the updated Price Guide from 1 February 2019 on p. 14) related to the high intensity skills & requirements outlined in the skill descriptors document issued by the NDIS Commission?

Answer 4:

From 1 February 2019, price controls for high intensity supports are linked to the award classification level of the worker who is delivering the support. There are three pricing levels in this support category which align to the worker’s classification, as linked to the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Industry Award 2010 (SCHCADS Award).

More information on applying the new complexity prices can be found in a news update from NDS.

Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

Question 5:

If a provider is registered to provide Support Coordination, does this registration group include all the supports listed below?

  1. Support Connection
  2. Coordination of Supports
  3. CB and Training in Plan and Financial Management by a Support Coordinatorn
  4. Specialised Support Coordination

Answer 5:

In the broader 'Support Coordination' category within Capacity Building Supports there are two main registration groups.

The first registration is 'Assistance in Coordinating or Managing Life Stages, Transitions and Supports', and this registration allows you to deliver both Support Connection (07_001_0106_8_3): basic level of support for building a participant’s ability to connect with informal, community and funded supports, enabling them to get the most out of their plan and achieve their goals; and Coordination of Supports (07_002_0106_8_3). These supports can be delivered by disability support workers (includes mental health or peer worker), a welfare worker or an Aboriginal health worker.

The second registration group is titled Support Coordination. This group enables you to deliver Specialist Support Coordination: assist a participant to manage challenges in their own support environment and ensure consistent delivery of service. To deliver this support you must be a psychologist, occupational therapist, social worker or other allied health, developmental educator, social or health science professional. In general Specialist Support Coordination will be time-limited and is often a stated support in the plan.

Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

We hope that the answers to this month's Helpdesk top 5 provided you with new insights and solutions. NDS encourages providers to make the most of the Helpdesk prior to 30 June 2019 while it is free for Victorian providers. You can access the Helpdesk with the email and password you use to login to the NDS website. For support or to give feedback, please contact us at 

Contact information
Anthea Gellie, Policy and Project Officer, 03 8341 4330,