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Increased Core Funds From Monday… And Other July Changes

With each July comes rule changes and budgeting updates from the government, often at the last minute!  The NDIS and the Fair Work Commission have released important rulings and changes.  

A huge amount of information from the NDIS (over 400 pages!!) was released in late June.  Stream Services is working hard to understand what effect it has on us all, especially for Participants.

We’ve broken down some of the bigger changes here to help you understand how these changes may affect you.  

 Budget Increases  

On 11 July 2022 all Core NDIS budgets will have increased by 9%, compared with July last year.

This has been done to stay aligned with substantial wage increases by the Fair Work Commission. In addition, the superannuation guarantee has also been increased by 0.5%, bringing Super up to 10.5%. The historically high wage increase decision by the Fair Work Commission was made to ensure wages can keep up with the continuous rise in the cost of living.  

 Most of you would have noticed that in April this year, we increased our vehicle mileage price for travel and transport to $1.20 due to the huge increases in fuel costs.  Because this has been Stream Services’ biggest non-wage cost increase, we have already adjusted prices for this. 

We have decided that we won’t be increasing our LSW hourly rate by the full NDIS price increases of 9%.  As of 11 July, our weekday hourly rate will now be $87.04, from the previous $83.73. Although we could push the rates to $89.66 per hour, we feel this is a positive middle ground that benefits our staff, covers business expenses but also provides you with more hours of service from your 9% increased funds.  



Short Notice Cancellations

NDIS Short Notice Cancellations have now increased to 7 days’ notice.  This aligns with the new rules in the Award from the Fair Work Commission.  

We understand that NDIS Short Notice Cancellation policies can make Participants anxious; we will always try to accommodate by reassigning the worker’s cancelled shift to another Participant. If we can’t make this happen, then we will continue to follow the NDIS Short Notice Cancellation policy.   Still, we will make great efforts to ensure this is a rare event by replacing the shift for the worker wherever possible.  

If we do have a Short Notice Cancellation then the worker will, wherever possible, do work for you which is Non-Face-To-Face such as building on your Service Plans.


Two Hour Minimum Shifts 

A big change from the Fair Work Commission is that LSW shifts cannot be less than two hours now. 

We cannot guarantee the shift if you book a service for less than two hours.  It can only occur where we can put the shift up against another shift with another participant before or after the proposed time.   So, therefore, even if we put a short shift into the roster, if the other shift backing onto it changes, we will not be able to do it at that time.  

We will try to be as flexible as we can within the new Fair Work rules to put other shifts and work up against short shifts, but we want to be upfront with you about the lack of reliability of any shifts which are less than two hours.    

Potential Point-Of-Service Payment System

The NDIS has mentioned that as of July, they will be rolling out a point-of-service payment system. We hope that this will be similar to swiping your Medicare card!

This is all the information we have so far; however, this would be incredibly beneficial to everyone in simplifying the system and we’re excited to see where this goes. 


Provider Travel Moving Out of Participant Budgets. 

The NDIS have also flagged that they are going to be moving provider travel to country communities out of Participants’ plans.  

This would hugely benefit Participants as they can get more hours out of their plans but we don’t have any details yet as to how they will do this…  Watch this space!!  


No Increases For Support Coordination and Allied Health budgets 

The NDIS have decided to pause increases to budgets and prices for these services. From our perspective at Stream Services, it will not affect our service and the quality of our services.

The services we provide, which will remain the same in your budgets (and associated prices by providers), are Allied Health such as Occupational Therapy, Dietetics and Psychology, as well as NDIS Support Coordination.  


Case Conferencing  

We have been a long time advocate for the huge benefits of Case Conferencing.  It helps so much in achieving quality person-centered reporting to the NDIS about progress towards NDIS Goals because it puts the Participant and their families in the driver’s seat!  

We believe it is essential for quality practice.

In country communities, regular meetings throughout an NDIS plan period involving NDIS practitioners, Participants, stakeholders and family members, is the glue that holds us all together, working in collaboration.

In a case conference, all parties get together to ensure they are all working in unison to meet the participant’s goals.  Technology makes this so much easier if it is hard to get people physically together.  This allows stakeholders and practitioners to work collaboratively to create reports specifically for the NDIS, providing the best chance for you to get the appropriate outcomes at your next planning meeting.

The NDIS is an evidence based system and this provides what they need to make the right decisions and ensure funding isn’t wasted because different practitioners are duplicating or not aware of what is being communicated by the family to different stakeholders.  New direct recognition of this benefit in the NDIS rules, we believe, is a positive clarification from the Agency, as it gives participants the best chance at getting the outcome they want from their next planning meeting.  


COVID Rules 

Aside from the vaccine mandate for our workers, most COVID rules have been lifted, for example if you are a close contact without symptoms, you no longer need to go into isolation, just wear a mask and be sensible with your infection control strategies such as frequent hand washing and social distancing.  

 More information here!

New Support Coordinator 

Some exciting news we will share more about in our next blog, Cherie Milgate is coming on board as our new NDIS Support Coordinator. She will be a permanent Coordinator based in the local community. We will introduce her in the coming weeks.  

We hugely appreciate all the work Fletcher and Dorothy provided while we were recruiting for this position.  In the current employment market it has been a long process to recruit but making the right decision, not the quick decision, is so important to us for this vital service. 

If you have any further questions about any of the above, please feel free to contact our team. We’d love to hear from you.