Transport funding under the NDIS is a consideration for many.
At Assured Home Care, we receive many questions about the level of funding accessible to support skills development, and independent and carer accompanied travel.
In short, transport funding can relate to any costs associated with:
- supporting day to day living (i.e. getting you from a to b);
- increasing your mobility or independence – from supporting and assisting you in building confidence to use public transport, to providing mobility equipment and vehicle modifications;
- your carer accompanying you on community visits, or your therapist visiting you at your home (provider travel).
Transport funding, therefore, links to all three of the primary support purpose areas identified under the NDIS:
- Core : Enables completion of daily living activities.
- Capital : An investment in technology, equipment or modifications to home or vehicle.
- Capacity Building : Enables building of skills and independence.
The NDIS has a focus on enhancing the life experience of People Living With Disability.
The NDIS recognises that transport is an essential component supporting day to day life.
NDIS funding, however, is not a substitute for accessible public transport, independent mobility and/or family and community responsibility.
How are your transport needs assessed?
As with all NDIS items, cost of transport must be assessed as ‘reasonable and necessary’, assisting you to achieve your goals, to increase independence, and/or to increase social and economic participation. It must represent value for money and provide ongoing benefit.
An assessment of your transport needs will consider:
- your current situation;
- whether transport costs are directly associated with your disability;
- any existing transport support, both formal and informal, that you currently receive;
- what could reasonably be expected of you, your family and community, and
- any alternate transport options.
It is expected that parents/primary carers will have responsibility for the transport needs of children (under the age of 18) with a disability, unless the nature of that disability requires additional assistance not reasonably expected to be provided by family.
What happens with the current mobility allowance?
The former mobility allowance is now known as the transport allowance under the NDIS.
The transport allowance can be accessed if you are unable to use public transport. It provides fortnightly funding to support any travel to and from community, educational and workplace programs. Increased funding may be provided where the purpose of transport is related to employment outcomes.
The NDIS transport allowance includes three levels of funding:
*the NDIS will provide up to $1,606 per year for participants who are not working, studying or attending day programs but are seeking to enhance their community access.
*the NDIS will provide up to $2,472 per year for participants who are currently working or studying part-time (up to 15 hours per week), participating in day programs and for other social, recreational, or leisure activities.
*the NDIS will provide up to $3,456 per year for participants who are currently working, looking for work, or studying, at least 15 hours per week, and are unable to use public transport because of their disability.
*Note: Reproduced in entirety from NDIS materials
My carer attends community sessions with me? Do I need to pay for their travel?
If your carer incurs costs of travel/transport through assisting you to participate in the community, then they may seek a contribution toward this. This can be negotiated with your provider and should be identified within your service agreement.
You will need to consider incorporating likely costs within your NDIS plan to cover this type of expenditure.
Did you know about Companion Card?
Companion Card is a national program that promotes the rights of people with a disability, who require a companion, to fair ticketing at events and venues, and for some transport options. Participating affiliate organisations provide companion ticketing at no charge. Find out how to apply at http://www.companioncard.gov.au/
My therapist comes to my home? How is this paid for?
If your therapist is required to travel more than 10 kms to your home, then you will need to consider incorporating this cost within your NDIS plan (up to a maximum allowance of $1000 per annum). This can be negotiated with your provider.
However, the NDIS will assess whether alternate providers or options for therapy support are available within your area.
I live in a remote area. How will I get to my workplace training program?
If you have an approved NDIS Plan and live outside of the metropolitan area or a main regional centre, without any public transport services, then the cost of any transport related to accessing approved supports – whether it be to attend community care sessions, training and education or employment opportunities – should be fully funded under the NDIS.
In a precedent case, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) lost an appeal last year in the Federal Court that found the agency responsible, under the NDIS, to fully fund the cost of transport associated with accessing approved disability supports.
Known as the McGarrigle case, the finding essentially supports the principle that People Living With Disabiliity should be fully funded for any supports identified as ‘reasonable and necessary’ under the NDIS – including ancilliary costs such as transport directly related to a funded support – and that PLWD, their families and community should not be any worse off under the Scheme.
Transport is an issue that impacts many, and one that needs to be considered when preparing your first NDIS Plan.
At Assured Home Care, we can assist you throughout the initial plan process to achieve best outcomes.
We are here to assist at every step of the way.