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Media release

Defrauding the NDIS of millions is appalling

NDS has today welcomed the arrests of five people arising from allegations of attempts to defraud people with disability

Helpdesk Top 5: September 2018

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In the first month since the launch of the new national NDS Helpdesk, 1,461 users visited the site. There have been 139 questions asked and 89 per cent of questions were answered within three business days. The Knowledge Bank, with over 100 common questions and answers, is a valuable resource for providers. We are in the progress of including further content based on all the thought-provoking questions that have been asked thus far. Please check out the ‘Most recent questions’ on the Helpdesk landing page to view the new content. 

Below are the Top 5 Questions for September 2018: 

Question 1:

Can disability support workers be classified as Home Care Employees for the purpose of Award coverage?

Answer 1:

The Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award (2010) contains different conditions and definitions for home care and disability workers. Employers sometimes receive advice that they can select which schedule to apply, which is inaccurate.

Read on for more information about Industrial award coverage of disability workers.

Question 2:

What supports can a provider claim cancellation for, and how do they do that?

Answer 2:

The cancellation policy has been developed to allow providers to recover some of the costs associated with unexpected cancellations. The rules regarding cancellations have recently changed. For the latest information please download the Price Guide.

When can a cancellation fee be applied?

A provider can claim a cancellation fee if a participant is a 'no-show' or cancels after 3:00pm the day before the scheduled service for personal care and community access supports (including short term accommodation). For other cancellations, where the participant has provided notice of cancellation prior to 3:00pm the day before the scheduled service, providers are not able to charge a cancellation fee.

Claiming the cancellation fee?

When a cancellation fee can be applied, the provider may charge up to 90 per cent of the agreed price for the cancelled appointment. 

Read on for more information about claiming a cancellation for personal care and community access supports.

Question 3:

Can a provider charge an establishment fee where personal care is provided in STA, SIL or centre-based group settings?

Answer 3:

In order to claim the establishment fee, providers must meet the following criteria:

  • The NDIS participant is in their first plan
  • The provider assists the participant with the implementation of their NDIS Plan
  • The provider delivers a minimum of 20 hours per month of personal care/community access support (including centre-based and community access supports and short term accommodation)
  • The provider has made an agreement with the participant to supply these services

The NDIS documentation is not explicit about whether the support is centre-based or community-based. It is about the type of support and the total hours delivered.

Supported Independent Living (SIL) is a quotable support item and does not qualify for the establishment fee. Read on for more information about claiming an establishment fee.

Question 4:

If the full amount of funds quarantined was unspent before the end date of the service booking, will remaining funds be automatically released back into the plan?

Answer 4:

Unspent funds in service bookings are not automatically released. This is because when a provider enters a service booking they are estimating the funding that they expect to claim against for the duration of that booking. If the booking naturally comes to an end, without intervention, the portal does not recognise whether the provider has made all relevant claims, so the funds remain in the booking to enable claiming of the booked amount.

Providers can now edit all service bookings, except when the service booking was created or amended by the NDIA, such as the recent indexation changes to service bookings.

Before choosing to end a service booking, providers should claim for all outstanding payments to ensure that any remaining funds are released back into the plan and leave the service booking with an accrual amount of $0.00 as nothing is owed.

If a service booking is cancelled correctly, with an accrual amount entered (i.e. providers must enter an accrual amount - if the accrual is $0 they should enter $0.00), the remaining funds should be released back into the plan immediately.

For more information, see the Provider Portal step by step guide.

Question 5:

What are the requirements for maintaining NDIS records?

Answer 5:

Registered providers must keep full and accurate accounts and financial records of the supports delivered to NDIS participants, along with records of service agreements. The Terms of Business (page 5) stipulate that accounts and financial records must be maintained on a regular basis and in such detail that the Agency is able to accurately ascertain the quantity, type and duration of support delivered. Financial records and accounts need to be retained by a Registered Provider for a period of no less than five years from the date of issue.

You can access the Helpdesk with the email and password you use to log in to the NDS website. It’s free for all Victorian disability service providers and easy to register if you don’t have an existing log-in.  For any support, or to provide feedback, please contact us at .

Contact information
Elise Garraway, Policy and Project Officer, 03 8341 4300,