The NDIS only funds supports and services it deems reasonable and necessary; a big part of which is that they’re directly related to your disability. This means that the NDIS generally won’t fund your holiday costs, such as travel, accommodation, food, entertainment and many other costs associated with a holiday, as these costs usually won’t meet the reasonable and necessary criteria.
However, the NDIS can cover the cost of supports that you require while on your trip. So if a support worker accompanies you, you can use your NDIS funding to pay for their time. However, you can only get their time funded, not the travel, accommodation and other costs for your support worker.
We have seen many "new" businesses pop up over the past few months offering STA (Short Term Accomodation/Respite) or blatant claims of NDIS Funded Holidays, in some cases (the latter), these "supports" do not fall in line with the Reasonable and Necessary and is simply a cash grab for these providers, as we are advocates for people living with a Disability and/or Mental Illness, we spend several hours per day, every day researching NDIS providers.
Businesses need to start somewhere, we have all had humble beginnings, however, what we can say is many of these new "providers" are only registered as Sole Trading business rather than a Company, this posing a significant risk to participants, the NDIS and themselves should they not perform all of their necessary risk assessments. We find that many of these micro-businesses also not have the appropriate insurances or business concept knowledge, they are more often than not, looking for a cash grab, unfortunately, this is at the detriment of a participant.
What Will NDIS Cover?
Support worker: If you're travelling, you may need your support worker to accompany you for the duration of your trip. While they might not be providing around the clock support, they'll be away from home and may have certain expectations as to what's covered. This could add up to an expensive invoice so it's best to iron out all these details and agree on a daily rate prior to booking your holiday.
Equipment: If you need to hire portable equipment while on holiday, you may be able to claim from your NDIS plan. Speak to your Support Coordinator or Plan Manager about your goals and they will be able to determine whether you can claim or not.
Transport and accommodation: If your transport and holiday accommodation costs are significantly higher due to your disability, you may be able to claim the difference between the cost of a normal taxi or room and an accessible taxi or room. The same applies if you have to hire an accessible vehicle for your holiday.
Plan Goals and the NDIS
The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) was implemented to assist participants of the scheme to gain their required supports, live as independent as possible and to provide funding and support to assist participants to achieve their goals. While there are thousands of categories where funding can be used to fund supports and assistance, each category must be in line with the NDIS's Reasonable and Necessary.
Reasonable and Necessary is the key to working with the NDIS, while a participant has Choice and Control over their supports and services, everything must validate a Reasonable and Necessary aspect, if the request a reasonable request and is it necessary to support a participants goal(s), independence or will making the purchase, improve a participants life.
Approved But Not Reasonable And Necessary
NSIA Self or Plan Managed participants can submit invoices themselves for payment, these are not always verified for a Reasonable and Necessary status, however, if a plan audit is conducted, even though payment was made, if the supports or services provided were not deemed, Reasonable and Necessary, then you maybe requested and required to repay the money to the NDIS. This is why it is very important that participants check prior to booking these kinds of services if it falls within this category.