Transportation is a crucial aspect of freedom and independence, allowing you to see friends, commute to work, and travel across town. Let’s take a look at four ways the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can help fund transportation, as well as some transportation advice from our team.
Getting yourself around
If your disability makes it difficult or impossible for you to utilise public transportation, the NDIS may find that providing funding for taxis, ride shares, community transportation, and other suitable modes of transportation is reasonable and necessary.
The amount of transport allowance provided by the NDIS each year is determined by your personal circumstances and how frequently you work or study.
Transportation Allowance, a core support, has three levels of funding that can be incorporated into your plan:
Level 1: The NDIS can provide you with $1,606 per year for transportation if you are not working, studying, or attending day programs but want to improve your community access.
Level 2: The NDIS can give you up to $2,472 per year for transportation if you work or study less than 15 hours per week or attend day programs.
Level 3: If you work, study, or look for work for more than 15 hours per week, you may be eligible for up to $3,456 in transportation funds per year.
These funds can only be used to hire a driver to take you to an activity or an appointment with another service provider. This support is not intended to cover tips forto your driver, gasoline, or other expenses incurred during the trip. You cannot use it to pay for informal transportation, such as family members or friends.
Traveling with a support worker
The NDIS may also be able to help you pay for a support worker to drive you about or accompany you out in public. This can include shopping trips, social activities, and transportation to medical appointments.
This funding is designated as Assistance with Social and Community Participation in your plan, also a core support. These trips are billed at an hourly rate that covers the overall time your support worker spends at the outing as well as the time it takes for your support worker to get to and from your home.
Additional travel fees, such as tolls, parking, or a public transportation ticket, may be charged by your support worker. It’s always a good idea to talk about these things ahead of time and sign a service agreement that spells out the agreed-upon hourly rate and any additional expenditures you’ll be responsible for.
Transportation can help you gain freedom
A typical NDIS goal is to help people become more independent, and transportation plays a key role in that. Suppose your disability makes it difficult for you to go around, but you want to learn how to overcome these obstacles and travel freely. In that case, you may be eligible for funding for public transportation training or driving lessons.
This funding comes from Support Category 15 (Improved Daily Living), a Capacity Building program that helps you gain independence, skills, and confidence.
If your disability necessitates a specialised or modified vehicle, the NDIS may be able to assist with the cost of modifications under the ‘Assistive Technology’ category (category 5).
The NDIS will not cover the cost of the car, but it may fund modifications to allow you to do things like:
- Drive the vehicle with specialised controls or other adaptations
- Get in and out of the vehicle with or without a wheelchair
- Carry your wheelchair in or on the vehicle without lifting
- Be transported safely while seated in your wheelchair
- Drive the vehicle with specialised controls or other modifications
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will only cover a vehicle modification if it is deemed to be cost-effective. The NDIS will most likely reject your request if offered a less expensive but equally effective alternative. They may also choose to fund only a portion of the amount they think is reasonable and necessary, leaving you to cover the rest.
Need some assistance?
Both plan management and support coordination can be beneficial when it comes to transportation.
To be reimbursed, your plan manager will need a receipt from your transportation provider. Taxis and ridesharing services such as Uber should be able to deliver these on-demand. If you have a taxi or community bus account, they can send their invoice directly to your plan manager, who will take care of getting it paid.
If your plan includes support coordination, your support coordinator can locate and connect you with the best transportation providers for your needs.
Contact us, and our team would be happy to assist you!