Did you know that the NDIS can cover the cost of the supports you require when going on a holiday? Learn how you can utilise your NDIS funding when booking your next trip.
How the NDIS funds holidays
The NDIS only funds supports and services it deems reasonable and necessary; a big part of which is that they’re directly related to your disability. This means that the NDIS generally won’t fund your holiday costs, such as travel, accommodation, food, entertainment and many other costs associated with a holiday, as these costs usually won’t meet the reasonable and necessary criteria.
However, the NDIS can cover the cost of supports that you require while on your trip. So if a support worker accompanies you, you can use your NDIS funding to pay for their time. However, you can only get their time funded, not the travel, accommodation and other costs for your support worker.
The costs of a support worker are usually funded out of the Core Supports budget in your plan, specifically out of ‘Assistance with Social and Community Participation’ (Category 4). As Core Supports funds are flexible, you use your budgets from other Core Supports categories as well.
Getting value for money
As you can imagine, having around the clock support from a support worker can quickly become very expensive and eat into your Core Supports budget. But fortunately, there are a few things that can help you to enjoy your holiday while also keeping costs down.
1. Discuss the trip with your support worker before you book
While this will depend on the level of support you require and the individual support worker, you should come to an agreement on a reasonable daily rate for the duration of the holiday before you leave.
Remember, while your support worker might not be providing support 24/7, they’re also away from home and essentially on call. An open, honest discussion about budgets and who will pay for what will help to set expectations and avoid any potential awkwardness while on the trip. It’s very important to agree to this before the holiday.
2. Get a quote or create a service agreement with your support worker for the holiday
Getting the arrangement with your support worker in writing before your holiday can protect all parties and ensure there’s no nasty surprises at the end of the trip.
3. Travel with a group
If you travel with several people who require support, you can split the time – and thereby costs – of the support workers who accompany you. While there’s nothing stopping you from arranging a group trip yourself, there are many businesses that specialise in packaged holiday deals for people with disability. Not only does this save you time, they have the added advantage of understanding how to invoice correctly under the NDIS and providing a full breakdown of costs, including what you can pay for with your NDIS funding and what you’ll need to cover privately.
4. Get support
If you have a support coordinator, they might be able to help you determine what the best holiday options are for you and help you find the right support workers or group holidays. Plan Partners offers support coordination throughout Australia and our support coordinators know all about the best holiday options.
If you have a plan manager, you can contact them to see how your NDIS plan could cover a holiday, and help you track your budgets. At Plan Partners our team knows exactly how the NDIS funds holidays and we offer a handy Dashboard to help you track your spending.