Want to use your NDIS funding to have healthy, tasty meals delivered right to your door? In this article we look at how the NDIS can fund meal preparation and delivery and how you can get budget in your plan specifically for this purpose.
Can the NDIS cover the cost of a home delivered meal?
In short, yes. If you’re unable to cook a meal or shop for ingredients because of your disability, you should be able to use your NDIS funding to pay for meals to be prepared and delivered to you.
What costs are covered?
The NDIS will cover the cost of preparing a meal and having it delivered to you. It won’t cover the cost of the ingredients used to make the meal, because the NDIS classifies these as ‘everyday expenses.’
Rather than list the exact price of ingredients included in a dish, service providers use a standard formula for all their meals. This breaks down how much of the total cost is for preparation and delivery and how much is for the ingredients. While this varies between providers, it generally works out that about 70% of the price of the meal can be paid for using your NDIS funds, while you will have to pay 30% out of your own pocket. Many providers call this “co-pay” or a “co-payment.”
How can I pay for meal preparation and delivery with my NDIS funding?
There are two ways you can use your NDIS funding to pay for meal prep and delivery:
- As part of your Core funding
- Have funds allocated in your NDIS plan especially for this purpose
There are some key differences between these two options, so let’s take a closer look at each:
Using your core funding
If you have funding for Core supports in your budget, you can use any of your core funding (except Transport) to cover the cost of having a meal prepared and delivered to you. Of course, you will still have to cover the cost of ingredients.
If you are plan managed or self managed, you're able to order from a much wider range of meal delivery services than people who are agency (NDIA) managed. This is because you can use unregistered providers, like YouFoodz. You can even order from restaurants listed with Uber Eats or other delivery services. Just be aware that you will have to pay a bit more out of pocket for these – usually around half the total cost.
Meal prep included in your plan
You can request to have meal preparation specifically included in your NDIS plan under the category 1 (line item 01_022_0120_1_1). This means you have funding especially for meals and can save your core budget for other supports.
This could be a good option if you get meals delivered regularly, as the NDIS can provide you with funding for a set number of meals from a specific provider. A big advantage of this method is that you don’t have to reimburse every meal you have delivered, saving you time and effort.
If you want to get meal preparation included in your plan, you’ll need to provide the following things to your planner in your planning meeting:
- A quote from a meal provider, detailing how many meals they will deliver to you over the course of your plan, and the total price.
- Any supporting evidence that will help the NDIS see why it’s reasonable and necessary for you to get funding for meal preparation and delivery. An example of this would be a letter from an occupational therapist explaining why you’re unable to prepare meals yourself.
Because all your meals must come from a single provider, choose a menu that you will continue to enjoy over the course of your plan. This is where the wider choice of providers available through plan management and self management is so useful.