For many people with disability, the support provided by family members is vital to their daily life. These ‘informal supports’ not only play a big part in ensuring your wellbeing, they can also go a long way to helping you achieve your NDIS goals.

What are informal supports?

Informal supports refer to any assistance that your friends, family, and community provide. They cover a wide range of activities, ranging from basic human interaction and helping around the house through to more involved daily care tasks.

The NDIS take your informal support network into account when creating your NDIS plan. A support worker is essentially a paid professional who can fill any gaps in your informal network, helping provide essential practical and emotional support.

Can I pay a family member to provide support?

Unfortunately not, as the NDIS does not allow you to use your plan’s funding to pay a family member to provide support – even if your regular support worker is unable to provide you with support. There are some rare exceptions to this rule however, so if you feel you have no other option, we suggest giving the NDIS a call on 1800 800 110 and explaining your situation.

Why can’t I pay a family member?

The support provided by family and friends is regarded by the NDIS an integral part of life for everyone, disability or not. Therefore, the NDIS doesn’t consider it reasonable and necessary to fund these informal supports.

Paying a family member to provide support could also have a negative effect on your relationship by changing the dynamic between the two of you. In some cases, it might even make it hard for you to ensure you’re getting the best support possible to achieve your NDIS goals.

What if I’m struggling to find a support worker?

If you’re having trouble finding the right supports for you, a support coordinator can help. They’ll work with you to understand your NDIS plan, then find and connect you with local service providers that align with your goals and needs.