Information and referrals for people with disability and their supporters about coronavirus (COVID-19)
Disability Information Helpline
On this page:
The Disability Information Helpline provides information and referrals for people with disability who need help because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Helpline can help families, carers and support workers, too.
The Disability Information Helpline is free, private and fact-checked.
You can contact the Helpline in the following ways:
- Phone (free call): 1800 643 787
- If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can also call the National Relay Service on 133 677
- If you require support in another language, you can use the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) free of charge by:
- calling the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787 and asking for an interpreter, or
- calling TIS on 131 450 and ask to be connected to the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787.
- To chat online, click on the weekday livechat link, then on the button in the bottom right corner, or on the weekend livechat link.
The Disability Information Helpline is available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (AEST). It is not available on national public holidays.
When you call the Helpline, you will speak to a person who will:
- Listen carefully to you.
- Use their connections to find things out, check the facts, and get information for you.
- Transfer you to services that can help you.
- Transfer you to a phone counsellor for emotional support, if you would like.
- Give you clear and accessible information.
The Disability Information Helpline is funded by the Australian Government.
- Coronavirus – What is it? - Easy Read
- Coronavirus – 5 things to do right now – Easy Read
- Coronavirus – What you need to know – Easy Read
- Coronavirus – FAQs – Easy Read
- Coronavirus – Social distancing – Easy Read
- Coronavirus – Staying at home – Easy Read
- Coronavirus – Should you wear a mask? – Easy Read
- Coronavirus – Who can you call?
- Auslan – About the Disability Information Helpline
- Auslan – Coronavirus (COVID-19) accessible resources
- Auslan – Who else can you talk to?
- Auslan – Looking after yourself
- Auslan – Support for your situation
- Auslan – Helping others
- Auslan – Do you want to make a complaint
- Fact sheet - Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for people with disability and their supporters
- Fact sheet - JobKeeper Payment impacts on Disability Support Pension Recipients - Easy Read
- Fact sheet - JobKeeper Payment impacts on Carer Payment Recipients - Easy Read
You can request a large print with Braille overlay version of the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for people with disability and their supporters fact sheet by emailing DRCsupports@dss.gov.au with your name and address. This fact sheet is available in 63 languages.
You can also find up-to-date coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and information on the Australian Government website. This site is updated all the time.
If you still have questions or concerns, or if it is hard to get help with any places, contact the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787. They will try their best to help you. You are not alone.
Who else can you talk to?
- National Disability Insurance Scheme – information for NDIS Providers and participants
- Carer Gateway – information about carer supports and services
- NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission – information and support for disability support workers and providers
- National Counselling and Referral Service – counselling support for people with disability affected by violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation
- National Disability Advocacy Program – support for people with disability to help understand and protect your rights
- JobAccess – information for employers and service providers to support employees with disability, including mental health conditions.
Do you want to make a complaint?
People with disability have the right to complain about the services they receive. If you have a concern about your current supports or services, you can contact:
- NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission – if you have a concern about the quality or safety of NDIS supports or services you receive
- National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) – if you have a concern about your NDIS plan or the NDIA
- National Abuse and Neglect Hotline - for reporting abuse and neglect of people with disability
- Complaints Resolution and Referral Service – if you have a concern about the services you receive through Disability Employment Services (DES), Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE) and/or the Disability Advocacy services
- DSS complaints line – if you have a concern about any other provider funded by the Department of Social Services.
Looking after yourself
If you feel unwell
Or you can contact the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.
If you (or someone you know) are having a medical emergency, call 000. For example – if you are having trouble breathing.
If you have lost your job or business, or are worried about money
Things are changing quickly. The best place for the latest information is the Australian Government website.
They have information about:
- Government payments
- Getting a Centrelink payment
- Help for businesses and workers.
If you have a question about or need to apply for Centrelink payments, visit the Services Australia website for more information.
If you have other questions, contact the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787.
Support for your situation
Feeling alone? Worried? Anxious?
Please contact the Disability Information Helpline if something is worrying you on 1800 643 787.
For example, contact the Helpline if:
- your support worker has not turned up
- your provider has stopped services
- it’s hard for you to get food, groceries, medications or other essential items
- someone close to you has symptoms of coronavirus
- you are feeling really upset
- anything else is worrying you.
Advocacy support is available
We can refer to you to an advocate in your area.
Advocates are still working and available. Many advocates are providing support in-person. Where not possible or where preferred, they are providing support over the phone and email.
Advocates support or work on behalf of a person with disability to help them to speak out and defend their rights and interests.
During this time, a lot of people will be worried. Many people will feel confused and alone.
You can help people with disability in the following ways:
- Tell people that the Disability Information Helpline can help them and give them the contact details.
- Share these Easy Read resources – as often as you can, to as many people as you can.
- Make sure people are getting the practical support they need, for example food, groceries, medications and other necessary items.
- Keep people informed about the latest official government information.
- Stay in contact with people.
- Tell people – they are not alone, and they can keep safe.