Making the NDIS work for you: Gardening, cleaning and home maintenance
For many people, the phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness” is a motto they live their life by. But for some people with a disability, gardening, cleaning and home maintenance can be extremely difficult – and in some cases, impossible.
We often get questions from NDIS participants who want to know if they can use their funds to hire a gardener, cleaner or handyman. What you can or can’t fund depends on your particular situation and what’s in your NDIS plan, so there’s no single answer to this question.
That said, there are some basic things to keep in mind, and some handy hints that can make the decision as easy as possible for you.
Does the NDIS fund gardening, cleaning and home maintenance?
In short, yes - the NDIS can provide funding for support with gardening, cleaning and home maintenance. But it’s important to point out that it will only fund these supports if they’re reasonable and necessary and directly related to your disability.
So, if you’re unable to perform a task, like vacuuming or mowing the lawn, because your disability makes it impossible, then the NDIS can fund it. If a person without a disability would have to hire a specialist to perform the job, such as hiring an electrician to rewire a socket, it won’t be covered by the NDIS.
Use this chart to help you work out if you can use your NDIS funds to help pay for a gardener, cleaner or even a handyman:
Gardening, cleaning and home maintenance in your NDIS plan
The NDIS includes support with gardening, cleaning and home maintenance under the support category Assistance with Daily Living in your NDIS plan. So if you have budget allocated to this category in your NDIS plan, you can use it for this support, provided you meet the criteria outlined in the above section. Its also worth noting that, as Assistance with Daily Living is a ‘core support’, you can use this budget in other core support categories (Transport, Consumables and Assistance with Social & Community Participation) as well.
What if they are not registered with the NDIS?
Because a lot of cleaners, gardeners and handymen are small businesses, the majority are likely not to be registered with the NDIS. They may not be aware of the NDIS, or haven’t gone through the process of registering with the NDIS. However, you can still access them with your NDIS funds – provided your NDIS funds are plan or self-managed.
One of the big benefits of Plan Management is that you can use non-registered service providers - so, if you want to get support with gardening, cleaning or home maintenance, request to have Plan Management included in your NDIS plan. Read more about the difference between registered and unregistered providers.
Things to take into account when hiring a gardener, cleaner or handyman
- Set up a service agreement – As with any service provider you engage, it’s always a good idea to establish a service agreement with a gardener, cleaner or handyman. This is a simple written agreement that states how and when your services will be delivered, and will help protect you from any misunderstandings about the services being provided.
- Agree upon a price – The NDIS uses an hourly-rate system for these services, so you and your service provider will need to agree on how much this is prior to starting the job. Keep in mind the NDIS won’t pay for any amounts outside of the hourly rate, so any incidental costs will need to be built into this. If they’re not, be aware that you may have to cover them out of your own pocket.
- Point out our guide - Plan Partners has produced a guide for gardeners, cleaners and handymen, detailing how they should invoice their services under the NDIS. It's important that their invoices comply to the rules and regulations of the NDIS, so they are more likely to get paid and can continue to deliver their services to you.
To summarise, here are our top tips:
- The NDIS can help pay for support with gardening, cleaning and home maintenance, but only if:
- your disability is preventing you from doing it yourself; and
- most people wouldn’t require a specialist to complete it
- Most gardeners and cleaners are likely to be unregistered with the NDIS, so you’ll need to either have Plan Management or self-manage your NDIS funds to access them.
- Gardeners and cleaners must charge at an hourly rate, so be sure to agree on this first.
- If there are any additional costs, they can’t add these to their NDIS invoice. They’ll either need to build them into their hourly rate or you’ll have to cover them yourself.
- Set up a service agreement with them to ensure you’re not caught out!
- To ensure their invoices comply to the NDIS rules and regulations, point out our handy guide to your gardener, cleaner or handyman.
If you have any more questions about accessing a gardener, cleaner, or any other service under the NDIS, please give our friendly team a call on 1300 333 700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the third blog post in our 'Making the NDIS work for you' series. Read our other blogs in this series here:
- Playing sport
- Meal preparation and delivery
- Equipment and Assistive Technology
- iPads, smartwatches and other tech