A new service called the Disability Information Helpline is available for people with disability who need help because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
It can help families, carers, support workers and services.
You can contact the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787 to talk about your concerns in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).
For example, call 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.
The Helpline can refer people to advocacy, counselling, and other supports people may need.
The Helpline is available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (AEST) and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm (AEST). It’s not available on national public holidays.
The Disability Information Helpline is free, private and fact-checked.
When you call the Disability Information 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.
If you have experienced or are currently experiencing abuse, neglect, violence or exploitation, and you are distressed or anxious about coronavirus, the Helpline can put you in touch with a phone counselling specialist who helps people experiencing distress. The counsellor can also refer people to longer term trauma counsellors for ongoing support.
For more information about the Disability Information Helpline, including Easy Read and Auslan resources about coronavirus, visit www.dss.gov.au/disabilityhelp.
The Disability Information Helpline is funded by the Australian Government.
If you are currently experiencing any form of violence or abuse, you are concerned for your safety, or you are having a medical emergency, call 000.
Key points about the Disability Information Helpline
- The Disability Information Helpline is for people with disability, carers, families, support workers, and providers who are concerned about or affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Call the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787.
- If it is hard for you to hear or speak, phone the National Relay Service on 133 677 and give 1800 643 787 as the number you would like to call.
- The Helpline is available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (AEST) and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm (AEST). It’s not available on national public holidays.
- The Helpline can refer people to advocacy, counselling and other supports.
- The Helpline is free, private and fact-checked.
- For more information visit www.dss.gov.au/disabilityhelp.