The NDIS defines transport costs in 2 ways: General Transport Supports and Activity-Based Transport.
Activity-Based transport costs can as a result of delivering both CORE (personal care) and CAPACITY BUILDING supports (social, therapeutic supports etc).
This resource answers the following questions:
- What is the general rule about claiming for travel?
- What happens when a support worker uses their car or some other way to drive me somewhere?
- What about my support worker's additional costs like parking, tolls and petrol?
- How much can a support worker claim as additional transport costs?
- When can an NDIS support provider charge you for travel?
- How much can my NDIS support provider charge me for travel?
- How much can an NDIS provider charge me for travel when they provide Capacity Building supports like therapies?
- How do I submit a claim for travel in the MyPlace Portal?
- What transport costs CAN'T be claimed from my NDIS Plan?
1. NDIS General Transport Supports
What is the general rule about claiming for travel/transport?
Here are the key points:
Transport funding is for participants who cannot use public transport due to their disability.
They receive funding to pay a provider (support worker, taxi, uber) to transport them to an activity. For example: travelling to and from work or appointments.
This funding can only be used for transporting a participant and cannot be paid to someone in your family to drive you around.
- The amount of funding you receive will depend on your individual circumstances.
- As a self managed participant you 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
This is travel that is required by a provider to deliver a service or for you to access a service. Here are some examples:
What happens when a support worker drives you somewhere?
- You may need a support worker to accompany you on a community outing and/or to transport you from your home to the community (and back) for things like shopping, social events, or appointments.
The time the support worker spends transporting you can be claimed at their agreed support hourly rate.
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 travel amount can be claimed from the relevant Assistance with social and community participation support item in the participant’s CORE budget.
- It can also cover the time it takes your support worker to travel to and from your residence.
- Core support providers cannot claim for time spent travelling back to their usual place of business.
- If more than one person is being transported, group support rates apply.
What about my support worker's additional costs like parking, tolls and petrol?
- If a support worker incurs extra 'non labour' costs, you can now claim these as part of the community participation support funding in your plan (from your 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: You have to agree to pay these amounts first, so providers will need to discuss it upfront - your service agreement should cover this.
- This amount is claimed in the portal under Assistance with social and community participation > Activity Based Transport in the CORE section of your plan.
How much can a support worker claim as additional transport costs?
The amount that you 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 your NDIS plan is:
3 hours of support + $5 Toll + $15 parking + $0.85 x 40km running costs
When can an NDIS support provider charge you for travel?
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 (look for a 'Y' in the column called 'Provider Travel' next to each line item).
- Your service agreement specifies that travel costs can be claimed); and
- The provider pays the worker delivering the support for the time they spent travelling OR
- The provider is a sole trader and is travelling from their usual place of work to or from the participant, or travelling between participants
Note: a provider cannot charge for the time spent travelling between their last participant and their home.
How much can my NDIS support provider charge me for travel?
A support provider can claim for:
- the time spent travelling to a participant with a maximum amount of time claimed as:
- 30 minutes in MMM1-3 areas (most participants fall into this MMM area as it includes major cities, inner regional and some outer regional)
- 60 minutes in MMM4-5 areas (Regional)
- Negotiated for MMM 6-7 areas (Remote)
- Where a worker is travelling to provide services to more than one participant in a ‘region’ then the provider must apportion that travel time between the participants, with the agreement of each participant in advance.
How much can an NDIS provider charge me for travel when they provide Capacity Building supports like therapies?
Capacity building supports include services like Occupational therapy, Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy, Behaviour Therapy etc.
Capacity building providers are able to claim for provider travel if there is a 'Y' in the 'Provider Travel' column in the Support Catalogue for the service line item.
These providers can charge you for the travel time spent travelling to your appointment and also the time spent getting home afterward if you are their last appointment.
Capacity building providers can claim for:
The time spent travelling to each participant with a maximum amount of time claimed as:
30 minutes in MMM1-3 areas (most participants fall into this MMM area as it includes major cities, inner regional and some outer regional)
60 minutes in MMM4-5 areas (Regional)
PLUS they can charge for the time spent travelling from the last participant back to their usual place of work.
The maximum amount of travel time that they can claim for the time spent on return travel is identical:
- 60 minutes in MMM4-5 areas (Regional)
Where a worker is travelling to provide services to more than one participant in a ‘region’ then the provider should apportion that travel time (including the return journey where applicable) between the participants, with the agreement of each participant in advance.
How do I submit a claim for travel in the MyPlace Portal?
The claim for travel is submitted separately to the claim for the primary support (the support for which the travel is necessary).
For Core Supports: the same line item as the primary support and the “Provider Travel” option in the Myplace portal.
When claiming for travel in respect of a support, a provider should use the same hourly rate as they have agreed with the participant for the primary support (or a lower agreed rate for travel) in calculating the claimable travel cost.
For Capacity Building Supports: you can 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 Transport support item. For example:
How has this changed recently (March 2020)?
Previously if your support budget did not include funding for transport, you could NOT use your plan funds to pay this cost. These additional non-labour costs would have been charged as an out of pocket expense.
Now you can claim this amount from your CORE (Assistance with social and community participation > Activity Based Transport) or from your CAPACITY BUILDING (Select Categories > Activity Based Transport)
What transport costs CAN'T be claimed from my NDIS Plan?
- Doctor's appointments
- Visiting friends
- Travelling independently - for example if you are catching public transport to a community participation event, you cannot claim this amount.
- Providers of SLES supports cannot be paid for Activity Based Transport related to the delivery of the supports.