The NDIS defines transport costs in 2 ways: General Transport Supports and Activity-Based Transport
1. NDIS General Transport Supports
- This funding is for participants who cannot use public transport due to their disability. They receive funding to pay a provider to transport them to an activity. For example: travelling to and from work or appointments.
- This funding cannot be used by a participant to transport a carer or for someone in their family to drive them around.
- The amount of funding they receive will depend on their individual circumstances.
- Self managed participants will receive a transport allowance every 2 weeks.
- This funding is claimed from the Transport support category in the CORE budget.
2. NDIS Activity Based Transport
Support worker accompanying participants for community access (CORE)
- A participant may need a worker to accompany them on a community outing and/or transport them from their home to the community (and back). The time the support worker spends transporting them can be claimed at their agreed hourly rate.
- For example: A support worker drives a participant to a community activity which is 30 min away. The time spent at the activity is 2 hours. They drive home again afterwards, The total amount used from the NDIS plan is 3 hours @ support worker hourly rate.
- This amount is claimed from the relevant Assistance with social and community participation support item in the participant’s CORE budget. Different rates if more than one participant travelling.
Additional transport cost when accompanying participants for Community Access (CORE)
- If a support worker incurs extra 'non labour' costs, they can now bill a participant for these as part of the community participation support funding in a participants plan (from their CORE).
- Extra non-labour costs may be:
- the cost of a ticket for public transport
- road tolls
- parking fees
- the running costs of the vehicle
- IMPORTANT: A participant has to agree to pay these amounts first, so providers will need to discuss it upfront - your service agreement should cover this.
- This amount be claimed in the portal under Assistance with social and community participation > Activity Based Transport in the CORE section of their plan.
Additional transport cost for Capacity Building Supports (CAPACITY BUILDING)
- A participant can also pay providers of the following capacity building line items for Activity Based Transport when they are delivering their supports
- Finding and keeping a job
- Improved learning
- Improved living arrangements
- Increased social and community participation (cost of the activity)
- Improved relationships
- Example: include supermarket trips with a support worker, going to the footy with a support worker or going for a coffee with a support worker.
- This amount can be claimed from the relevant CAPACITY BUILDING support item. For example:
How much can I claim as additional transport costs?
The amount that a participant can pay a provider is not price-controlled, but the NDIS has provided a guide as to what is considered reasonable:
- up to $0.85 a kilometre for a vehicle that is not modified for accessibility
- up to $2.40 a kilometre for a vehicle that is modified for accessibility or a bus
- other forms of transport or associated costs up to the full amount, such as road tolls, parking, public transport fares
For example: A support worker drives a participant to a community activity which:
- is 20km away
- takes them 30 min to drive each away
- the support worker uses their own car that is not modified
- there is a toll cost of $5
- there is a parking cost of $15
- the time spent at the activity is 2 hours
The total amount that can be claimed from their NDIS plan is:
3 hours of support + $5 Toll + $15 parking + $0.85 x 40km running costs
How has this changed recently (March 2020)?
Previously if their support budget did not include funding for transport, a participant could NOT use their plan funds to pay this cost. These additional non-labour costs would have been charged as an out of pocket expense.
Now they can claim this amount from their plan's CORE (Assistance with social and community participation > Activity Based Transport) funds or from their plan's CAPACITY BUILDING (Select Categories > Activity Based Transport) funds.
What transport costs CAN'T be claimed from my NDIS Plan?
- Doctor's appointments
- Visting friends
- Providers of SLES supports cannot be paid for Activity Based Transport related to the delivery of the supports.
What happens to a participant's current NDIS Transport Allowance?
If a participant has chosen to receive a periodic payment for transport, then that payment continues.