Want to use your National Disability Insurance Scheme (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 this included in your plan.

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. However, the NDIS do look at your individual situation to decide whether it’s reasonable and necessary to provide this funding.

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 you pay for meal preparation and delivery with your NDIS funding?

The NDIS recently made it easier for more participants to use their funding to pay for meal preparation and delivery. Now, anyone with Core funding in their plan can use it for this purpose under line item number 01_023_0120_1_1.

Before, meal preparation and delivery was a stated line item, which meant only people with funding specifically for this purpose could access it. This is no longer the case.

Getting funding for meal prep included in your plan

While meal prep and delivery is no longer a stated line item, you may still wish to get funding for this purpose.
This is suitable for participants who require long-term meal deliveries through a meal plan service, like Lite n’ Easy or Kinela, and don’t want to use up all their core funding.   

If this applies to you, we recommend presenting the following information at your next 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.

Having the biggest choice of menu

If you're 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, as well as registered providers – giving you extra choice to keep things fresh and fun!