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COVID-19 (coronavirus) resources and supports

17th April 2020

With social distancing guidelines in place to address COVID-19 (coronavirus), access to essential resources and supports now look a little bit different.

The Australian Government and other essential businesses are putting measures in place to make it easier for people living with disability to access the resources and services they need. We have gathered information on assistance that may be available to you and others living with MS. Please contact MS Assist on 1800 812 311 if you need help accessing any essential resources or supplies.

Food and supplies

Updates to supermarket trading

Major supermarkets are experiencing stock shortages during this time, so they are making changes in store to ensure everyone has access to the supplies they need. They have changed their opening hours and have placed stock limits on a range of popular items. They have also introduced Community Hour for people with disability.

Apply for priority assistance for supermarket delivery

Woolworths introduced Priority Assistance home deliveries to help the elderly, people with disability and those in mandatory isolation. To apply for Priority Assistance delivery, you can complete the form here or call 1800 000 610 to find out more.

Priority home delivery for NDIS participants

NDIS participants can now purchase groceries online from any major supermarkets to be delivered to your home. You will be given a code for priority access. Visit the NDIS website for more information.


Medication

Pharmacy home delivery service

The Department of Health’s Home Medicines Service provides a free, contactless monthly delivery of prescription medication for older and vulnerable Australians. This service is accessed through your pharmacist.


Telehealth

All Australians now have access to bulk-billed telehealth services with your regular GP and other health professionals. During a telehealth consultation, a doctor will be able to write prescriptions, which can be sent directly to your pharmacy.


Mental health support

Mental Health Support Lines

  • South Australia COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line, 1800 632 753 (8am-8pm, 7 days a week)
  • Northern Territory Mental Health Line, 1800 682 288 (24 hours)
  • Lifeline, 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue, 1300 224 636

Skylight Mental Health COVID-19 Mental Health Peer Support Line and web chat

South Australians can chat with peers who have a mental health lived experience about coping during the coronavirus pandemic. Call 1800 02 2020 from 5pm-11:30pm, 7 days a week. Access the web chat here. Skylight is also able to call you regularly to check-in in the evenings and on weekends. Email COVID19PeerSupport@skylight.org.au to book.

Resources

  • Red Cross can provide you with a daily telephone call to check on your wellbeing through a service known as Telecross. For more information about accessing Telecross as a client, please call Red Cross on 1300 885 698.
  • Black Dog Institute have published a collection of evidence-based resources to help individuals, workplaces, schools, parents and health professionals deal with coronavirus anxiety, stress and wellbeing.
  • Beyond Blue have set up an online forum about coping during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Head to Health covers tips for maintaining good mental health during the outbreak, information on how to access mental health services, information for parents, and how to keep older Australians safe and connected by helping them get established online.

Employment support

Multiple Solutions

Multiple Solutions is a Disability Employment Services provider supporting people living with injury, illness or disability to find a job. Whether you're working from home, have just lost your job or are anxious about going to work in an essential role, they can help.


Financial support

Services Australia payments for eligible individuals

You may be eligible for a payment from Services Australia if you or your family are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. You may be eligible in the following circumstances:

  • not able to work or don’t have work
  • in isolation or hospitalised
  • caring for children.

Visit the Services Australia website to register a claim.

If you already receive a payment from Services Australia, there might be changes to your payments. For more information visit the Services Australia website.

The JobKeeper payment

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy to continue paying their employees. The Government will provide a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee until 27 September 2020.


Your MS support services

MS Society SA & NT

It’s business as usual at the MS Society, and the health and wellbeing of people with MS continues to be our priority. We are here to support you and to deliver services to our MS clients, with some new protocols and precautionary measures in place:

  • Face-to-face services are on hold, but we are still available to meet with you over the phone.
  • Group activities and events have been postponed.
  • New virtual exercise services now available.

Read our COVID-19 update for more information.

NDIS

The NDIA has made some changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic, to make sure you are safe and continue to receive the services you need. Changes to your NDIS services include:

  • plan reviews conducted over the phone
  • plan extensions of 365 days
  • access to support coordination through core or capacity building budgets.

Visit the NDIS website for more information.


Stay informed


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COVID-19 (coronavirus) resources and supports