Reliable and accessible transportation is important for people with disabilities to help them build independence and participate in the community.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) recognises the significance of mobility for NDIS participants and provides dedicated funding for transportation.
This guide explains NDIS transport funding and how it works.
Understanding NDIS transport funding
Who is eligible for NDIS transport funding?
To qualify for NDIS transport funding, individuals must meet specific criteria related to their disability and support needs.
The eligibility process considers how the disability affects daily life, especially in terms of mobility and participation in community.
Factors such as whether a person faces challenges in using public transport and if they require specialised or modified transportation are considered.
How to get NDIS transport funding included in your plan?
If your participant would like to have transport funding covered in their NDIS plan, be sure to ask for it in the initial planning meeting.
Make sure you are clear about why the participant needs it and emphasise how the disability affects their ability to get around.
How does the NDIS fund transport in an NDIS plan?
There are four main ways the NDIS can fund transport:
- Annual transport funding – paying for transport services such as taxi’s or rideshares if you are unable to catch public transport
- Core support budget – paying a support worker to drive you or travel with you,
- Capacity building support budget – building your capacity to get around by yourself
- Capital support budget – funding modifications to a vehicle
Funding for participant transport
NDIS transport funding is designed to enable individuals to move from one location to another efficiently, helping to increase community participation, independence, and the achievement of their NDIS plan goals.
If a participant’s disability makes it difficult for them to catch public transport, the NDIS may find it reasonable and necessary to fund access to transport support services.
The NDIS provides an annual travel allowance based on predetermined levels of activity.
Participants receive recurring fortnightly payments directly into their bank account for transport costs.
The NDIS does not fund specific services however participants can choose how they use these funds to access transport services such as a private car services, taxis, Uber, or buses to enable them to get to an activity or appointment.
Funds cannot cover costs associated with travel for informal supports such as a family member or friend and they aren’t intended to cover tips, petrol or any other expense during a trip.
There are three levels of transport funding based on a participants’ needs:
- Level 1 – Up to $1,606 annually for participants who are not working, studying or enrolled in day programs but want to improve their community access
- Level 2 – Up to $2,472 annually for participants who are working or studying up to 15 hours a week
- Level 3 – Up to $3,456 annually for participants who are working, job-seeking or studying for 15 or more hours a week
Funding for travelling with a support worker
Funding under the ‘Assistance with social and community participation’ category in the Core Support budget, allows funding for a support worker to drive a participant around or accompany them out into the community including shopping trips, social events or medical appointments.
These trips are charged at an agreed hourly rate with the support worker and will include the total time the support worker attends the outing and can also cover the time it takes to travel to and from the participants residence.
It may also include travel costs such as road tolls, parking costs or public transport tickets.
Funding for training to enable independent travel
The NDIS can provide funding to support participants in developing essential life skills including learning to travel more independently.
Included under ‘Improved Daily Living’ category in the Capacity Building Supports budget participants may be eligible for funding for training to use public transport, driving lessons or assistive technology.
Funding for vehicle modifications
Under the ‘Assistive Technology’ category in the Capital Support Budget specialist transport funding is available for those requiring modified vehicles or assistive technology ensuring customised solutions for unique needs.
Funding for provider travel to deliver support
Providers travelling to deliver Core or Capacity Building Supports to participants can claim both labour and non-labour costs associated with that travel.
Labour costs cover the time spent travelling, while non-labour costs can include public transport fees, petrol, tolls, parking, and vehicle maintenance.
Providers can only claim travel costs when delivering support if the NDIS Support Catalogue (price list) includes a line for the cost of travel when delivering the service and the service agreement they have in place with the participant specifies that travel costs can be claimed.
Need help with NDIS transport funding?
NDIS transport funding plays an important role in improving independence and community engagement for participants.
Understanding what NDIS transport funding options are available empowers participants to make the most of the support available, achieve their goals and enhance their overall quality of life.
As an experienced provider of NDIS Plan Management services MyIntegra can assist participants in managing their NDIS funds and help you understand NDIS transport funding and what is and isn’t covered.