Under the State Emergency Welfare Plan, the Department of Communities’ key role is to provide welfare support in the event of a pandemic. Communities takes its responsibility to safeguard and protect the health and well-being of people with disability, as well as their families and carers, very seriously.
Communities has mobilised a range of taskforces, including one specifically focused on disability, to engage with community sector organisations to provide support and guidance to vulnerable people and ensure business continuity.
We know COVID-19 is having a huge impact on people with disabilities and their families in WA. If you need some information and/or support due to the impact of COVID-19 please call us. We will support you to connect with the most appropriate service and/or person who can help.
This service is to provide practical support and connection related to the impact of COVID-19. Wherever possible there will be active problem solving and planning to assist people.
We can help with:
This phone line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and is staffed by experienced advocates and planners.
Communities is committed to supporting the disability sector to provide essential services to people with disability, and has established a dedicated telephone number and email address for disability service providers to advise of any concerns about business continuity and their ability to continue to provide contracted services, as a result of COVID-19.
Disability services providers who are registered on the Disability Service Provider Panel are encouraged to use this dedicated telephone number and/or email:
People who have been placed under home isolation or quarantine as a result of COVID-19 and who require welfare support can call the new enquiry line 13COVID (13 26 843) between 7am and 10pm, seven days a week. Outside these hours they can call the Health Direct Hotline on 1800 020 080 if symptomatic.
Through the WA Department of Health’s DETECT Snapshot program, people from identified groups in the community who show no symptoms of COVID-19 will be eligible for testing, to get a better understanding of community transmission levels.
Disability support workers are eligible for this testing, as they are considered Health Workers in the definition.
More information is available in a letter from WA’s Chief Health Officer.
As announced by Minister Dawson on 21 May 2020, Western Australia is delaying the transition of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) quality and safeguarding functions to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission from 1 July 2020 until 1 December 2020.
This delay has been requested by the sector as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19.
WA has long had a robust approach to quality and safeguarding of people with disability, and is committed to ensuring that Western Australians with disability, their families and carers continue to receive the supports and services they need during the pandemic until we are ready to transition to the Commission.
Additional staff will be provided to the Health and Disability Service Complaints Office (HaDSCO) to support and facilitate people with disability, their family and carers being able to raise concerns and lodge complaints about disability services, especially in the context of restrictive practices.
This is a delay to assist providers manage the COVID-19 response. The State’s intent is clear: the transition into the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission will still occur.
Read more in Minister Dawson’s media statement.
Jobs in WA Disability Services is a new website that enables job seekers and employers across the State to increase the number of workers in Western Australia’s disability sector.
Established by the National Disability Services WA (NDS), in partnership with the Department of Communities, the website can link skilled workers whose employment has been impacted as a result of COVID-19 with employers needing additional staff during the pandemic.
If you have experience working in customer facing roles, including in the disability, community or health sectors, head to Jobs in WA Disability Services for more information and to register your interest in working in the disability sector.
Visit the Disability Services Resources page for other useful COVID-19 links and information sheets.
If you require information in a language other than English, please visit the Western Australian Government's Advice in other languages web page.