NDIS providers eligible for payment when workers get jab as first-dose uptake lags

By Jackson Graham

October 22, 2021

Minister for National Disability Insurance Scheme Linda Reynolds during Question Time, 2021.
Minister for National Disability Insurance Scheme Linda Reynolds. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

NDIS providers needing to fill gaps in the ACT and Western Australia when support workers leave their post to get vaccinated will be eligible for a $100 payment to cover their time away from work. 

The payment can also be claimed retrospectively from the NDIA for any vaccinations that a worker has received since October 20, the federal government has announced. 

The initiative comes as the two jurisdictions introduce vaccination mandates and brings them in line with one-off payments already available in New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Victoria. 

The ACT government has mandated that disability workers must have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 1 November and be fully vaccinated by November 29, while the WA government has mandated that disability workers must have their first dose by December 1 and be fully vaccinated by December 30.

Federal disability minister Linda Reynolds said disability workers and providers faced pressures when workers spent time away getting vaccinated.  

“This payment will provide support to registered NDIS providers to cover additional costs they incur in ensuring their disability workers are able to access a COVID-19 vaccination,” Reynolds said. 

The disability royal commission has levelled criticism at the government about the slow rollout of vaccines to people with disability and support workers.

As of October 8, about 71% of NDIS-screened disability workers had received their first vaccination first dose in WA — slightly below the state average — but an above-average of 60% had two doses. 

In the ACT, about 88% of NDIS-screened workers had at least one vaccination dose — below the territory average — but an above-average 82% of workers had two doses. 

Reynolds said the figures were encouraging but needed to continue to rise.

“There are vaccines available through commonwealth hubs, community pharmacies and GPs, so we encourage those who can get the vaccine to do so as soon as possible, to protect themselves and their families,” Reynolds said.


READ MORE:

Push for disability workers to have mandatory jabs

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