Useful resources and contacts to support you through the Coronavirus Pandemic
This list of key resources and contacts is here to support you throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. If you have a question about where to seek support and you are not sure where to direct it, call us on 1800 514 845.
Aboriginal Communities Coronavirus (COVID-19) information
Aboriginal peak organisations and leadership are working closely with state, local and Commonwealth Governments to coordinate response plans and ensure we have the necessary resources, equipment, supplies, and support for our community.
Answering Common Questions about Coronavirus
Tonic Health has released a number of videos answering common questions about COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Tonic Health is a group of well-known, accredited medical professionals. Watch the videos here.
Australian Government Department of Health
Health is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. Their website provides daily updates, questions answered about the latest news, current facts and figures, travel advice, key contact and phone numbers.
Visit Australia.gov.au to learn more about COVID-19 support from all of government including financial support and advice for businesses and employees, help for education providers, advice on domestic and international travel and other community services.
Beyond Blue Helpful Resources
No matter how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting you, Beyond Blue have developed a range of information, strategies and expert advice to help support your social and emotional wellbeing.
Claiming Centrelink during the COVID-19 Pandemic - Economic Justice Australia
Economic Justice Australia has put together a factsheet about claiming Centrelink during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The guide is broken into two sections:
- claiming Centrelink for the first time, and
- Claiming Centrelink when you have applied for a payment before.
Dementia Help Sheets
Dementia Australia has released four Help Sheets outlining tips for people living with dementia, carers, families and friends of people living with dementia, residential care providers and home care providers. Find them here.
Emergency Care Plans
The Carer Gateway has an Emergency Care Plan Document that can help ensure that the person you care for is looked after if you are unable to care. Find it here.
Emergency Relief Packages for People in Mandatory Self-Isolation
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has established a new program to support people in mandatory self-isolation, who have little or no food, and no network of family and friends to support them. Each eligible household will receive a two-week supply of essential goods. The program is coordinated by the Red Cross in partnership with Foodbank Victoria under the direction of the State Relief Coordinator.
People who are not eligible for the emergency relief packages are encouraged to be self-reliant and call on the help of family and friends wherever possible during the current pandemic.
From Monday 23 March the program can be accessed by calling Victoria’s dedicated coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
Emerging Minds: Pandemic Toolkit
Emerging Minds Australia have developed a toolkit of resources that can assist carers to support children’s mental health during the pandemic. It includes videos, fact sheets, podcasts, guides, information about what to expect and how to help children and families cope.
You can find the toolkit here.
Financial and other support for coronavirus (COVID-19)
Click here to find out about the financial support available to people and businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
Free Mask Access
Factsheet: Who can Access Free Masks?
DHHS has developed an Easy English factsheet on “Who can get free face masks in Victoria” which explains who can get free masks, what type of masks you can get, when they will be available, and where you can get free masks. Download the factsheet here.
Hospitals and Health Care
Visitor access to hospitals and health care
Hospitals and some health services are not allowing visitor access unless the person is an ‘essential carer’. Eastern Health provides a good definition of an ‘essential carer’ here.
If carers are anticipating a planned visit to hospital or another health service, we recommend they call ahead. Carers can provide information about their care relationship and the hospital/health service can advise how to best proceed. If carers have an unsatisfactory experience they can contact the Health Complaints Commissioner on 1300 582 113 or visit the website here.
The Victorian Government is currently offering vulnerable Victorians in metropolitan Melbourne including people with an injury or chronic health issue; people with moderate to severe physical or psychosocial disability; people with moderate to severe mental health issues; and carers of a person with moderate to severe disability, with access to in-home COVID-19 testing.
A qualified health clinician will come to your home to administer the test. To access this service, you will require a referral from your General Practitioner. To find out more about this service, visit the DHHS website here.
Services Australia has information here for current income support recipients such as Carer Payment, Jobseeker Payment, Disability Support Payment and Aged Pension:
Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19
This Industry Code ensures aged care residents are provided the opportunity to receive visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, while minimising the risk of its introduction to, or spread within, a residential care home.
Mental Health Plans
The Commonwealth will provide Victorians with 10 extra Medicare-subsidised psychological therapy sessions to help support mental health through the second wave. The change will apply to Victorians who have a Mental Health Treatment Plan, and will be available through to 31 March 2021. For more information about Mental Health Treatment plans please click here.
Mental Health Tips
Taking care of your mental health during coronavirus
Here are some tips to take care of your mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Multi Purpose Taxi Program Subsidy
Increase to Multi Purpose Taxi Program Subsidy
The Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) assists with the travel needs of people with accessibility and mobility needs by offering subsidised commercial passenger vehicle fares to members. Under COVD-19 restrictions, commercial passenger vehicle services, including ride share and taxis, are permitted to operate – but can only to be used to travel for a permitted purpose. The driver is not required to ascertain whether the passenger has a valid reason for travelling - this is the passenger's responsibility.
To assist MPTP members in accessing essential services, including healthcare, the MPTP subsidy has been temporarily increased from 50% to 70% of the total cost of a trip. The $60 per trip cap and annual limits remain unchanged. More information can be found here.
The NIDA has information here for participants and providers on plan flexibility and payments.
NDIS Victorians Participants - COVID-19 Letter
The Agency and NDIS Quality and Safeguard Commission (NDIS Commission) have jointly released an open letter to all Victorian participants, their families and carers.
Click here to read the letter in full.
The Australian Government’s Department of Health is the official website for the federal response.
The Victorian Government also has its own dedicated local resource.
If you are worried you may have come into contact with COVID-19 please call the Corona Virus Hotline on 1800 020 080 which is open 24 hours 7 days a week.
The Commonwealth Department of Health has information here for older people living at home, including those receiving Commonwealth Home Support Program services or a Home Care Package:
People with Disability Australia COVID-19 Hub
People with disability face unique challenges during this epidemic.
"People with Disability Australia - PWDA" will be updating their website regularly to collate information and resources and updates on their work advocating for the needs and rights of people with disability at all levels throughout the crisis.
Pharmacies Free Prescription Delivery
Pharmacies can now offer free delivery on prescriptions. Speak to your local pharmacy to find out if they have signed up.
Click here for more details
Priority Grocery Deliveries
Stay Informed Coronavirus Official Government App
Stay Socially Connected: Free eBook
The Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria has released an eBook with ideas to keep you socially connected during the pandemic. The eBook can be used by anyone undertaking social isolation.
Download the free eBook here.
Residential Aged Care
The Commonwealth Department of Health has information here for carers, family and friends of older people living in residential aged care facilities.
Check your symptoms
Use the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker to find out if you need to seek medical help.
IMPORTANT: If you have severe difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) immediately and tell the call handler and the paramedics on arrival about your recent travel history and any close contact with a person with confirmed or probable COVID-19.