Helpdesk Top Questions: September 2023
We are an NDIS provider and use volunteers. Currently we have two volunteers that need to work with the assistance of disability support workers. My question is do these support workers need to have NDIS Worker Screening Checks for the purposes of supporting volunteers?
The relevant information can be found in this section ‘Identifying a risk assessed role’ from the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. In short, it describes:
- Registered NDIS providers are responsible for identifying which roles are risk assessed roles, and ensuring all workers in these roles have an NDIS worker screening clearance.
- A risk assessed role being likely to require ‘more than incidental contact’ with people with disability.
We understand that most registered providers have extended the requirement for an NDIS worker screening clearance to all roles contributing to environments involving regular contact with people with disability, including for the purposes of supporting volunteers.
Hopefully both your volunteers and their support workers understand the risks that need to considered and mitigated.
When a participant has not provided sufficient notice (7 days) of non-attendance for scheduled Group Supports, are providers still entitled to claim for non-face-to-face costs (as quoted) for costs associated with the running of that Group Activity (eg: room set-up, pack-pp, etc)
In order for a provider to claim for non-face-to-face supports the provider must explain the value of these activities to the participant and the participant must agree to the non-face-to-face supports. They also need to be specified in the service agreement.
Where a participant has not provided sufficient notice of non-attendance for scheduled Group Supports, providers can reasonably claim for the session and for the non-face-to-face costs associated with the running of that Group Activity.
Can we continue to charge establishment fees to participants using our Day Service program under the new Group Based Pricing? And if so, has the criteria for charging establishment fees changed with the transition to the new group price list?
The change to the new pricing for group and centre based activities does not change the rules around establishment fees. As you are probably aware, these are outlined on page 30 and 31 of the Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits 2023-24 document (“the PAPL”). A provider needs to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements before claiming this item.
Is it possible for participants living in SDA to use their SIL, or other NDIS funding, to pay their utility bills? If yes, are there any parameters or context to be aware of?
Supported Independent Living (SIL) does not include day-to-day living costs not related to disability support needs such as utilities (including gas, electricity, water, telephone, or internet bills) or other day to day costs like the cost of groceries or rent.
For information as to what can be included in Supported Independent Living please see the guidelines which can be found at Supported Independent Living guidelines
I am trying to get information about providing services outside of our current registration. We are currently registered to provide many services, but we have applied for variation to also provide therapy services. Whilst we wait for the Commission to approve this (we have already been audited successfully), are we able to provide therapy services to self-managed and plan-managed participants?
Given that these services can be provided by independent therapists I'm confused as to why we would need to wait.
Following consultation with the Commission and NDIA, we confirm that you can begin providing services to plan managed and self-managed participants while the application for your registration variation to provide therapy services is approved. It is important to note, however, that you would be operating as an unregistered provider for those services during that interim period until approval of the variation.
In addition, you cannot provide services to agency managed participants until this registration variation has been approved.