Transport is an important part of freedom and independence, allowing you to see friends, get to work, and travel around town. Let’s look at the four ways the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can fund transport arrangements and hear some of our team’s transport tips.

Getting yourself around

If your disability makes it uncomfortable or impossible for you to use public transport, the NDIS may decide it’s reasonable and necessary to provide funding to access taxis, rideshares, community transport, and other suitable transport methods.

The amount of transport allowance the NDIS provides each year depends on your personal situation and how often you work or study.

There are 3 levels of funding that can be included in your plan as Transport Allowance, a core support:

Level 1 – If you are not working, studying, or attending day programs but want to increase your community access, the NDIS can provide you with $1,606 per year for transport.

Level 2 – If you are working or studying less than 15 hours a week, or attending day programs, the NDIS can provide you with up to $2,472 per year for transport.

Level 3 – If you spend more than 15 hours a week working, studying, or looking for work, you can receive up to $3,456 per year for transport.

These funds can only be used to pay a transport provider to drive you to an activity or appointment with another provider. This support isn’t intended to cover tips to your driver, petrol, or any other expenses during the trip, and cannot be used to pay an informal support, such as a family member or friend, to drive you around.

Travelling with a support worker

The NDIS can also provide you with funding to pay a support worker to drive you around or accompany you out into the community. This can include things like shopping trips, social events, or transport to medical appointments.

This funding is included in your plan as Assistance with Social and Community Participation, which is also a core support. These trips are charged at an agreed hourly rate, which includes the total time your support worker attends the outing, and can also cover the time it takes your support worker to travel to and from your residence.

Your support worker may also charge you for additional travel costs, such as road tolls, parking costs, or a ticket for public transport. It’s always a good idea to discuss these beforehand and sign a service agreement outlining the agreed hourly rate and which extra costs they’ll charge you for.

Building your independence through transport

Building independence is a common NDIS goal, and transport plans a big part in that. If your disability makes it hard for you to get around but you would like to learn to overcome these challenges and travel independently, you might be eligible for funding for things like public transport training or driving lessons.

This funding is included in your plan under Support Category 15 (Improved Daily Living), which is a Capacity Building support designed to build your independence, skills and confidence.

Specialised Vehicles

If you require a specialised, or modified, vehicle because of your disability, the NDIS may be able to help pay for modifications under ‘Assistive Technology' (category 5). The NDIS won’t pay for the vehicle but may cover modifications so you can do things like…

  • get in and out of the vehicle with or without a wheelchair;
  • carry your wheelchair in or on the vehicle without lifting;
  • be transported safely whilst seated in your wheelchair; or
  • drive the vehicle with specialised controls or other adaptions.

The NDIS will only provide funding for a vehicle modification when it’s seen as offering value for money. If a less costly but equally effective alternative is available, the NDIS will likely reject your request. They may also choose to only fund an amount they deem as being reasonable and necessary and you’d have to cover the remaining amount.

Need some support?

Both plan management and support coordination can be useful services when it comes to transport.

Your plan manager will need a receipt from your transport provider to reimburse you. Taxis and rideshares like Uber should all be able to provide these on request. If you have an account with a taxi or community bus company, they can send their invoice straight to your plan manager who will arrange to have it paid directly.

Claiming a reimbursement is quick and easy through your Plan Partners Dashboard. Just take a photo of your receipt and submit it for reimbursement - and get reimbursed the next business day.

If you have support coordination in your plan, your support coordinator can find and connect you with the best transport providers for your specific needs.