Kymberly Martin
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More funding for disability services

The government has committed more than $154 million in additional support for Australians living with disability, in the wake of coronavirus, including $90.7 million to help with employment and other support services for people with disability.

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NDIS Minister Stuart Robert said the new funding arrangement are in addition to the range of measures put in place to assist NDIS participants and providers during COVID-19. These include financial assistance to providers to support retention of workers including advance payments, a 10 per cent coronavirus loading on some supports, changes to cancellation policies and extending NDIS plans for up to 24 months.

An extra $24.5 million will be made available to Australian Disability Enterprises through the Temporary Viability Support program to help organisations transition to new opportunities to create jobs for people with intellectual and cognitive disabilities as the economy recovers.

More than $3 million will extend the Supported Wage System supplementation to 37 ADEs who currently use the system and up to $61 million will be available to Disability Employment Service providers as an advance payment of six weeks on service fees to ensure participants can continue to access support. A further $2 million will go towards a dedicated phone line to provide accessible information and counselling and outreach services.

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As well, $64 million will be used to extend about 3000 grant agreements currently administered by the Department of Social Services for essential services to March 31, 2021 which had been due to cease over the coming months. This includes grants for family and relationship services, mental health counselling for parents, services for families and children experiencing the impacts of alcohol and drug misuse, and technology to keep women experiencing domestic violence safe.

For more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the support services available visit www.australia.gov.au