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Helpdesk Top 5: March 2019

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Did you know that the NDS Helpdesk will be a NDS member benefit from July 1 2019 for Victorian members? The Helpdesk continues to be the go-to destination for providers to ask unlimited questions about the NDIS, quality and safeguarding, and disability employment. The Helpdesk also features a comprehensive searchable Knowledge Hub of over 160 questions and answers.

Get practical advice and interpretation of key NDIS policy and practices. 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 March 2019:

Question 1:

What constitutes appropriate training for workers, to fulfil the requirements of the Management of Medication Practice Standard under the NDIS Commission?

Answer 1:

A range of questions are being asked by providers about NDIS Practice Standards such as the Management of Medication in the Core Module and Supplementary Module One (High Intensity Daily Personal Activities) which require workers to “have received training … delivered by an appropriately qualified health practitioner or person” (or similar wording).

NDS is responding with an overview of the audit process and information on principles to clarify how the new regulatory system differs in important ways from the state-based quality assurance frameworks that precede it.

Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

Question 2: 

How do the NDIA define 'complex support needs' under the new NDIS Complex Support Needs Pathway?

Answer 2:

NDS has received clarification from the NDIA Complex Support Team on what they consider to be ‘complex support' needs.

The NDIA has indicated that they do not want to identify a checklist of what are ‘complex support needs' as it would not be exhaustive. They have, however, provided a list of factors to be taken into consideration.

View the list and read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

Question 3:

Will the NDIS fund the cost of a gym membership, if it is to complete a program prescribed by an exercise physiologist to increase mobility for independence?

Answer 3:

In a document produced by the NDIA, ‘Support Budgets in your plan’, under the heading ‘Capacity Building Supports Budget’, in the table you can find a description of ‘Improved health and wellbeing’, which states: “Including exercise or diet advice to manage the impact of your disability. The NDIS does not fund gym memberships.” However, the NDIS could fund personal assistance to participate at a gym. This could include, for example, changing into sports clothes, manipulating equipment and positioning the participant to undertake the activities'. 

The NDIS might also fund specialised sporting equipment or equipment modifications and assist the participant to travel to the gym, where it is not reasonable to expect the family or the community to provide transport, and where the participant is not able to independently use public transport.

Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

Question 4:

We have many clients needing a standard grab rail in their homes that can be paid for out of core budget as a low risk assistive technology (AT) item. However, we are finding that if the clients have not been allocated a budget for home modifications, they cannot claim for the installation of the grab rail if they are agency-managed. Do you have any advice on claiming for the installation of low risk AT for participants in this situation?

Answer 4: 

Using a best-fit approach described in the Price Guide, the grabrail and its installation could be viewed as a package that fits the definition of low cost, low risk Assistive Technology (AT).

The following are examples of Level 2 AT given by the NDIA - "Home adaptations (external or internal): single grabrail; handrail; portable ramps for a single step; single platform step; threshold ramps 35mm rise or less; basic single function environmental control units (ECU); personal alarms."

If the participant's plan is agency-managed, you could bill for the item and installation in one invoice, as long as you are registered to provide 03 supports under the 03_131_0103_1_1 - Daily Adaptive Equipment support line item.

Alternatively, the participant could ask for a light touch review to change how the consumables budget is managed, i.e. either plan or self-managed.

Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

Question 5:

When checking the prices for the new DMI levels 3 and 4 we are finding them underfunded by $32.76 p.a. for DMI 3 and $42.12 p.a. for DMI 4. Can you please clarify why this is?

Answer 5:

A provider can only claim the weekly rate for services provided at a particular DMI Level. Regardless of what funding is available in a participant's plan, providers are unable to claim above that amount per week.

The DMI Level prices are not controlled by the NDIA, they are set by the Department of Social Services (DSS). You can find the monthly and annual rates on the DSS website.

See the Disability Employment Assistance Grant Agreement from 1 July 2015. The case based funding for 2017-18 is publicly available.

Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

We hope you found this month's Top 5 Helpdesk questions informative. To access the Helpdesk, simply use 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,