The Victorian Government has announced it will provide free COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to eligible people with disability.
The Government says it will make two million RATs available to all NDIS participants and disability support pensioners over the next three months.
“This virus doesn’t discriminate, but its effects are felt more harshly by the most vulnerable among us – including Victorians living with disability,” said Premier, Daniel Andrews.
“We’re providing millions of free Rapid Antigen Tests to those who need it most, helping keep Victorians with disability safe as we head into winter.”
He said that given the higher risks associated with contracting COVID-19 for people with disability, the free tests will be a significant measure to help protect vulnerable Victorians by ensuring earlier diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
From Saturday, 9 April, RATs will be available at current testing sites and through Disability Liaisons Officers who have also helped more than 10,000 Victorians with disability access vaccines.
To help manage supply, those eligible – disability support pensioner and NDIS participants aged 16 and over – can collect up to 20 RATs per visit to a testing centre. Evidence of eligibility, such as a NDIS statement, will be required.
“We’ve worked to support Victorians with disability throughout the pandemic with priority access to the vaccine, the introduction of Disability Liaison Officers and now free access to Rapid Antigen Tests,” said Victorian Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, Anthony Carbines.
The program will initially run for three months, with a review to determine whether it should be extended.
The Labor Government prioritised the distribution of RATs to workers in sensitive settings and essential workforces in January – including essential workers in our health system, emergency services, and disability and aged care services.