The NDIS aims to empower people with disability to lead more independent lives. A key aspect of this is providing access to transport services. In this blog, we’ll delve into the world of transport covered by the NDIS and explore how these services are charged.
What is transport?
A participant will generally be able to access funding through the NDIS for transport assistance if the participant cannot use public transport without substantial difficulty due to their disability.
Funding takes into account any relevant taxi subsidy scheme, and it does not cover transport assistance for carers to transport their family member with a disability for everyday commitments
How is transport charged?
Transport support under the NDIS is categorised as a "core support." This means that the NDIS provides funding for transportation services to enable participants to achieve their goals and engage in activities that promote their independence and well-being. Here's how it typically works:
1. Planning Process
During the development of an NDIS Plan, participants work closely with a planner, Support Coordinator (SC) or Local Area Coordinator (also known as a LAC) to determine their specific support needs, including transportation.
2. Budget Allocation
If the client is eligible, they may be allocated a budget for Activity-Based Transport. This is for people who are engaging in NDIS funded activities who require transport to attend (e.g. Community Participation, Employment, Day Options). Activity-Based Transport can be used to pay for the workers travel time, kilometres, car parking fees, metrocards, taxi accounts, etc. If the participant engages in other activities that require transport, then their Core Budget may be able to be used flexibly to pay for this. Please see the NDIS price guide or speak with your SC or LAC for further information.
3. Flexibility and Choice
Participants have the freedom to choose how they wish to use their transport funding. They can allocate it to different purposes, such as travel to and from work, accessing healthcare appointments, attending social or recreational events, or engaging in skill-building activities. This flexibility allows individuals to shape their transportation support to suit their specific requirements.
4. Service Providers or Self-Management
NDIS participants can opt to engage a registered NDIS service provider (like Lighthouse Disability) to fulfill their transportation needs. Alternatively, they can choose to self-manage their transport arrangements. Self-management allows participants to organise and pay for their transportation services themselves, with the option to claim reimbursements from their NDIS funds. According to the current NDIS price guide, transport that does not require a specialised vehicle can be claimed up to $0.97 a kilometre. If a specialised vehicle is required due to a person’s disability, then it is charged at $2.97 per km.
5. Plan Reviews
The NDIS plan, including the budget allocation for transport, is not set in stone. Regular plan reviews ensure that the support remains aligned with the evolving needs and goals of participants. Adjustments can be made to better cater to changing circumstances.
What’s the difference between community participation and transport?
We find that most participants receive funding for transport within their NDIS plan, but this is usually only a couple thousand dollars. This provides NDIS participants with some funding that can contribute to taxis, rideshares, community transport, and other suitable transport methods.
NDIS funding for travel with a support worker is part of community participation, which is also a core support. Lighthouse Disability are currently starting to review our rosters of care and community participation funding so that we can be more transparent about transport costs within client’s plans in the future.
In conclusion, NDIS transport support is a vital component of the scheme that empowers people with disability to access essential services and engage in activities that enhance their independence and quality of life.
The NDIS provides funding for transportation services, which can be personalised to suit each participant's unique needs and objectives. This flexibility ensures that individuals can make choices that align with their specific circumstances, making mobility an integral part of their journey toward independence.