Is COVID19 an opportunity for change?

Logo for International Day for People with Disability

Tomorrow, December 3, is International Day of People with Disability and this year’s theme encourages us all to use Coronavirus as impetus for positive change.

The theme, “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”, is a theme that we hope will get people, organisations and businesses thinking – and acting. 

This year was undoubtedly challenging and the virus, lockdowns and restrictions had widespread impacts. But, we also saw people thinking differently and taking new approaches to their lives. We saw re-evaluation of priorities, changes in service delivery methods, business pivots and a swift increase in the number of people working from home. People thought outside the box, challenged their beliefs and tried new things.

Imagine if they also applied that to improving inclusivity, accessibility and sustainability?

International Day of People with Disability is a United Nations observed day and is celebrated internationally. We know that COVID-19 continues to impact around the world and that everyone’s experiences of this pandemic are different. But we hope that tomorrow, a spotlight will shine on the challenges and encourage people to act.

What changes would you like to see?

Find out more about International Day of People with Disability.


NDIS Statistics March 2020

NDIS Statistics – March 2020



Figures as at 31 March 2020 show:


  • 364,879 people with disability are now being supported through the NDIS, including 27,426 people who joined the Scheme this quarter.
  • 154,139 NDIS participants are receiving supports for the first time.
  • Continued support for children, with 30 per cent of new participants this quarter aged 0-6 (8,283 children)
  • A further 5,542 children are receiving initial supports in the ECEI gateway.
  • Wait times to make an access decision remain steady, on average, just three days.
  • The number of people in residential aged care under the age of 65 has continued to decrease. 
  • A continued increase in diversity among new participants, with:
  • 11.3 per cent of participants identifying as culturally and linguistically diverse, compared with 8.9 per cent in previous quarters. 
  • 7.7 per cent of participants this quarter identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, compared with 6.1 per cent in previous quarters.
  • Participants with psychosocial disability represented 12.6 per cent of participants this quarter, compared to 9.1 per cent in previous quarters.
  • A 4 per cent increase in active providers, with 548 providers active for the first time during the March quarter.

Update from the NDIA on Covid 19

  • News

The NDIA is responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by making some changes to better support participants.

We have made some improvements to support more flexible use of your plan for your disability related supports and services. 


Core Supports budget flexibility

If you have a Core Support budget and are either Plan or Agency-managed, you will be able utilise all four funding categories, without the need for a plan review.

This means you will have more flexibility in how you use your Core Support budget, including accessing the disability related supports you need to achieve your goals, such as purchasing a smart device to participate in telepractice sessions.

More information about Core Supports Plan Flexibility can be found on the Using your budget page. 

Some plans automatically extended now consider some assistive technology 

On 25 March, the NDIA announced a change around automatic plan extensions.

If we have not been able to contact you for a planning conversation on the day your plan is due to expire, or your new plan has not yet been finalised, your current plan will be automatically extended for 365 days. In some circumstances you will have budget for things like repairs and maintenance to assistive technology equipment.

You can read more about this on the COVID-19 FAQ page in the plan review section on the What happens when… page.  

Making it easier to use your funding 

We have now removed the restriction around changing service bookings, so that participants and providers can edit these service bookings.

This change will affect all active service bookings created for a service/item that required a quote, for example, supported independent living, SDA and AT.

More information about Service Booking updates can be found on the What happens when… page.

Update on NDIA coronavirus (COVID-19) supports


  • News

The NDIA is continuing to monitor and react to the requirements of NDIS participants during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The NDIA wants to reassure all participants that we will always work with participants and families to ensure NDIS plan budgets have enough funding to access the disability-related supports they need. 
For clarity, a temporary coronavirus (COVID-19) loading of 10 per cent has been put in place for some service items – to ensure providers can continue to provide important services during these unprecedented times. It does not apply to all supports – and the measure is time-limited.  
No NDIS participant is disadvantaged by this loading. Where there is enough scope within the funded plan that the NDIS provides, it will cover this time-limited additional payment, however, if you do need additional assistance or NDIS plan funds are low, you can also call us on 1800 800 110. The NDIA Contact Centre has special teams of planners available to discuss your situation and undertake a plan review if needed.
To date, the NDIA has only seen a small amount of plan adjustments required as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The NDIA is also currently contacting around 62,000 participants considered to be at higher risk during the pandemic.
It’s important to note that these calls are intended to ensure participants have the supports they need during this unprecedented time. They are not plan reviews – rather an opportunity to talk to the NDIA about any concerns or needs. 
If your situation has changed, these conversations may lead to a plan review but only in agreement with the participant, family or advocate. 
The NDIA will continue to monitor and respond to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to enable the continuation of critical disability support services.
For more information, see our coronavirus (COVID-19) information for participants.