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Making the NDIS work for you: Gardening, cleaning and home maintenance

Updated 7 September, 2020
Female cleaner in a blue shirt and yellow gloves cleaning a window.

Have you ever wondered if you can use your NDIS funds to hire a gardener, cleaner or a handyman? This is one of the questions we’re most frequently asked, so let’s take a closer look at the topic and get some of our team’s top tips.

Does the NDIS fund gardening, cleaning and home maintenance?

The NDIS can indeed provide funding to pay for those household activities, but only if they meet the reasonable and necessary criteria and directly related to your disability. For example, if you can’t mow the lawn because of your disability then you can hire a gardener to do so using your NDIS funds.

In some cases, what’s reasonable and necessary can get a bit more complex. If you live in a share house (or at home with your parents) and are unable to clean your room, then the NDIS will cover the cost of a cleaner – but only to clean your room. Because the rest of the house can be cleaned by the other residents, the NDIS does not consider it reasonable and necessary to cover the whole house.

In most cases, 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 or a plumber to fix water pipes, 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:

diagram does the NDIS fund this

 

How is it funded in my plan?

The NDIS includes these various household activities under Support Category 1 (Assistance with Daily Living). This is a Core Support, so if you have funding in your plan’s Core budget you can use it to get help around the house or garden.

Another option is to enlist a Support Worker to assist you with the jobs you’re unable to do. This is described as ‘Assistance with Personal Domestic Activities’ and This also falls under the Assistance with Daily Living Support Category.

Do I need to use specific businesses that are registered with the NDIS?

Many cleaners, gardeners and handymen are small businesses who are unlikely to be registered with the NDIS, due to a lack of time or resources. Fortunately, if you are Plan Managed or self-managed, you can still use your NDIS funding to access them. If you are NDIA managed, you will need to find a provider who has registered with the NDIS.

Learn more about the benefits of Plan Management and how it can help you access unregistered providers

What else should I do when hiring someone?

If you’re ready to reach out to a gardener, cleaner or handyman, there are some simple steps you should take to make the experience as smooth as possible for both of you.

  • 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 it.
  • Set up a service agreement – a service agreement is just a simple written contract that states what services will be delivered, why and at what price. It’s always a good idea to set up a service agreement with any service providers you engage.
  • Show them our guide - because navigating the NDIS can be tricky for small businesses, we’ve put together a guide for gardeners, cleaners and handymen, which covers things like invoicing correctly so the NDIS will pay them!
  • Make sure the provider has a valid ABN (Australia Business Number) – although the cleaner, gardener or handyman do not need to be registered with the NDIS, they still need a valid ABN to claim their services.

Like to learn more? 

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 leave your details here and we'll contact you. 

Top Tips

  • The NDIS will only fund household activities if your disability is preventing you from doing them.
  • If you live with others who are able to help around the house or garden, the NDIS likely won’t consider it reasonable and necessary to pay for a professional to service the entire property – only your room or part of the house.
  • Support workers can be a great resource for assisting you with household activities.
  • 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, including GST, so be sure to agree on this first. If there are any additional costs, they can’t add these to their NDIS invoice as they won’t be paid, but they can factor them into the hourly rate.
  • Set up a service agreement  is a great way for you and your provider to be on the same page, so you can keep track of your NDIS funds.

    Disclaimer

 

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