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NDIS guide for gardeners, cleaners and handymen: Getting paid under the NDIS

Updated 19 November, 2020
A male gardener with a beard and white shirt crossing his arms.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has unlocked many opportunities for gardeners, cleaners and handymen. But for any business or sole trader who wants to work with NDIS participants, it’s important to understand the many NDIS rules and regulations. This article breaks down all you need to know about the NDIS, so you can get paid quickly and without fuss.

What does the NDIS fund?

The NDIS only funds a support if it is considered ‘reasonable and necessary’  and is directly related to a person’s disability. As each NDIS participant’s plan is unique, exactly what’s covered varies from person to person.

As a general rule, if a person can’t perform a task – like vacuuming or mowing the lawn – because of their disability, the NDIS can fund it. If a task requires a specialist, regardless of whether the customer has a disability or not – such as hiring an electrician to rewire a socket – it won’t be covered by the NDIS.

Can any business work with NDIS participants?

Yes - so long as you have a valid ABN, you can get paid under the NDIS.

While the NDIS encourages businesses to go through a formal registration process, it isn’t a requirement. If you’re a small business and don’t have the time, money or desire to register with the NDIS, you can still work with participants who either self-manage their funding or enlist the support of a Plan Manager like Plan Partners. If you’d like to work with all participants, including those whose funding’s managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency, you’ll need to become registered NDIS provider.

Learn more about registered and unregistered providers.

How to invoice your NDIS customers

The NDIS has very specific requirements for invoicing. To avoid having your invoice rejected and instead get paid as quickly as possible, follow these rules:

  • Invoice at an hourly rate
    The NDIS uses an hourly-rate system, so your invoice must clearly state how many hours you worked and at what hourly rate. The NDIS will not accept just a price for the job on your invoice without breaking it up into hours.  
  • Don't add on additional costs
    If a job involves any incidental costs, like cleaning chemicals, paint or lawn fertiliser, you cannot just add these on to the invoice. Instead you’ll need to build them into your hourly rate. One additional cost that you can charge for is travel expenses – these can include up to 30 minutes of travel to support in metro areas and up to 60 minutes in regional areas, as well as any other costs like tolls or parking fees. Before adding these costs to your invoice, you’ll need to discuss them with the customer to make sure they agree.
  • Invoice correctly
    The NDIS has very specific requirements for invoices. If your invoice is missing information or has been filled out incorrectly, it won’t be processed and you’ll have to wait longer to get paid. Learn more about how to invoice correctly… Want to see a good example? Here’s one.
    The NDIS prefers invoices not to be handwritten – but if you do, make sure that everything is clear and can’t be misinterpreted.
  • Follow the price guide 
    The NDIS regulates the maximum hourly rate that you can charge. You can learn more about these using our NDIS Price Guide Navigator, a handy search tool that makes it easy to find the right line item and current price limits. The current NDIS Price Guide 2020/2021 amounts are capped at: 
Service

Maximum hourly rate (incl GST)

NDIS line item

House and/or Yard Maintenance

 $49.30 01_019_0120_1_1
House Cleaning and other Household Activities

 $50.20

01_020_0120_1_1

The easiest way to create and submit NDIS invoices

Creating and submitting NDIS invoices can be a rather complex process. However, if your customer is Plan Managed by Plan Partners, you can use our online Fast Payment System. Not only does this allows you to create and submit NDIS compliant invoices in just 3 simple steps, you’ll be paid a lot quicker too – usually within 4 business days! You can also track the status of your invoices and more using our online Dashboard which is also available as an App.

Have any questions?

Have questions about getting paid under the NDIS? We're here to help. Chat with us online or give us a call on 1300 333 700.

Alternatively, discover more information on our service provider page.

Top tips 

  • While the NDIS can fund services like cleaning and gardening, they only do so if a person’s disability is preventing them from doing the job themselves.
  • To get paid under the NDIS you must have a valid ABN
  • If you’re not registered with the NDIS, you can provide services to NDIS participants who Plan Manage or self-manage their funding, but not those who are NDIA managed.
  • Break your price up into an hourly rate and include all the above information on your invoice.
  • If a job might cost more than the NDIS will cover, be sure to raise this with your customer first. The customer will have to pay the additional costs out of their pocket.
  • You can charge for travel costs, but discuss these with the customer first.
  • Setting up a service agreement with your NDIS customers will help both of you be on the same page.
  • Use handy tools such as Plan Partners’ NDIS Price Guide Navigator and our Fast Payment systems, that make invoicing under the NDIS really easy.
  • If your customers have questions about how to use your services under the NDIS, read our other NDIS guide: 'Making the NDIS work for you: Gardening, cleaning and home maintenance.'

Disclaimer

19

19 comments

Plan Partners logo
Jacky Hughes (not verified)   27th February, 2019

Can you tell me how I get started to be a contractor with NDIS in Queensland. What forms do I fill out. Where do I find this information? Thanks

Plan Partners team, 12.11.2018
Hi Jacky,
If you'd like to get registered with the NDIS, you'll have to do this through the NDIS website. Here's some more information: https://providertoolkit.ndis.gov.au/3-how-do-i-register-0.
Registration is only needed when your customers have their funds managed by the NDIS. If they have a Plan Manager (such as Plan Partners) or manage their funds themselves, they can use non-registered providers as well. In this case, you only have to make sure your invoices are compliant with the NDIS guidelines.
For more information, just give us a call on 1300 333 700.
Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Plan Partners logo
Joshua Heraud (not verified)   11th February, 2019

Hi i was enquiring about partneri g with w NDIS as a sole træder i own my own lawn mowing business and would Like to help your clients with lawn Jobs we have a team
that can cover multiple areas within Sydney.
Look forward to hearing from you.

JOSHUA HERAUD

Plan Partners logo
Plan Partners   27th August, 2020

Hello Joshua,

Thanks for your comment.

Please send us your details through to info@planpartners.com.au and the team in Sydney will get into contact with you!

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Plan Partners logo
Marta Krasnodebski (not verified)   29th April, 2019

Hello, I am interested in registering to work with your clients, helping with self care assistance. Could you please get in touch with me, my mobile number is 0424620902, email : mkrasnodebski@hotmail.com. Thank you.

Plan Partners logo
Plan Partners   29th April, 2019

Hi Marta,

Thank you for your comment.

If you would like to join the Plan Partners network, feel free to sign up online here: https://www.planpartners.com.au/serviceprovidercontact. Once you've signed up, we'll contact you within 1 business day! Alternatively, give our friendly team a call on 1300 333 700 and we can see how we may be able to help you.

In the meantime, take a look at our service provider page for more information: https://www.planpartners.com.au/service-providers.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Plan Partners logo
Jason Whelan (not verified)   09th May, 2019

Hi i would like to talk to sameone about being a contractor with the ndis as a gardener as im starting my own business

Plan Partners logo
Plan Partners   09th May, 2019

Hi Jason,

If you would like to talk to someone about becoming a NDIS registered service provider, we recommend you call the NDIA on 1800 800 110. Here's some information on getting registered from the NDIS website: https://providertoolkit.ndis.gov.au/29-becoming-registered-provider.

In the meantime, we encourage you to join Plan Partners' Service Provider network. You can learn more about the network and its benefits here: https://www.planpartners.com.au/service-providers.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Plan Partners logo
Sachin (not verified)   12th June, 2019

Hi there, I have a cleaning and mowing business located in South East of Melbourne.
I would love to provide service to NDIS

Thank you

Plan Partners logo
Plan Partners   12th June, 2019

Hi Sachin,

Thank you for your comment. To learn more about how to get your business 'NDIS-ready' and provide services to NDIS participants, read this eBook: https://go.planpartners.com.au/working-with-the-ndis

Also feel free to join the Plan Partners network for service providers. You can learn more about the network and how to sign up here: https://www.planpartners.com.au/service-providers

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Plan Partners logo
Honour (not verified)   09th September, 2019

I have been asked to clean for a lady that receives NDIS. Do I need a certain level of insurance to do this for her? I currently have cover for upto 5million, which is plenty for the domestic cleaning jobs that I do.
Kind Regards
Honour

Plan Partners logo
Plan Partners   09th September, 2019

Hi Honour,

Thank you for your question. Our friends over at MyCareSpace have information about insurance for servicing NDIS participants, you can take a look here: https://mycarespace.com.au/resources/ndis-disability-insurance

If you have further questions, we encourage you to contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110 for assistance.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Plan Partners logo
Kate (not verified)   23rd September, 2019

Hi, I'm wanting to start cleaning for the NDIS as a contractor, how do I go about it, any information would be helpful.
Thank you

Plan Partners logo
Plan Partners   23rd September, 2019

Hi Kate,

Well, reading this guide was a great first step. You can begin providing fully funded services to NDIS participants straight away, learn how to get started with our guide: https://go.planpartners.com.au/working-with-the-ndis

However if you are not NDIS registered, you will be limited to participants who are 'Self Managed' and 'Plan Managed' participants. You will not be able to provide services to 'NDIA or Agency Managed' participants unless your business is NDIS registered. More on that here: https://planpartners.com.au/everything-you-need-know-about-unregistered…

If you would like, take a look at the Plan Partners Service Provider Network. You can learn more about the benefits and how to join here: https://planpartners.com.au/service-providers

For more information, we encourage you to contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Plan Partners logo
Dyaln Peterson (not verified)   01st October, 2019

It's good to know that the NDIS funds support if it's considered reasonable and necessary. My brother has been telling me about how he got injured on the job and can't work anymore. I'll share this information with him so that he can look into his options for getting NDIS support.

Plan Partners logo
Plan Partners   01st October, 2019

Hi Dylan,

Thank you for your comment. We're pleased to hear that you have found our guide useful!

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Plan Partners logo
commercial cle… (not verified)   16th March, 2020

Nice Blog! Thank you so much for sharing this kind of wonderful things.

Plan Partners logo
Reena (not verified)   16th March, 2020

Hi
i wanted to register NDIS for Cleaning Contract

Plan Partners logo
pmp.admin   16th March, 2020

Hi Reena,

If you would like to talk to someone about becoming a NDIS registered service provider, we recommend you call the NDIA on 1800 800 110. Here's some information on getting registered from the NDIS website: https://providertoolkit.ndis.gov.au/29-becoming-registered-provider.

In the meantime, we encourage you to read the information on our website and download our handy eBook 'Working with the NDIS': https://www.planpartners.com.au/service-providers.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Plan Partners logo
Joe (not verified)   27th July, 2020

Hi there, I'm interested to provide gardening services and was trying to register my business but the links above seem not to work. Can you please provide the correct link. Thank you

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