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Will the NDIS fund my holiday?

Updated 28 September, 2020
Illustration of man laying down on a beach holding a drink with palm trees in the background.

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 online Dashboard to help you track your spending.

You can also utilise online directories, such as MyCareSpace and Clickability, to find service providers in your area.

More information?

As with anything to do with the NDIS, there are lots of variables and everyone’s circumstances are different. If you’d like to speak with someone to discuss how you can access support while on holiday, just contact our helpful team on 1300 333 700 or chat with us online.

Top tips

  •  As the cost of a holiday may not be reasonable and necessary, you generally cannot fund it under the NDIS. You can, however, use your Core budgets to pay for a support worker to accompany you.
  • This funding only covers the support worker’s services, not their travel or accommodation costs. Make sure you can pay for this yourself or come to an agreement with your support worker about how much each party is covering.
  • Before leaving on your trip, establish how many hours of support your support worker will be invoicing for and ensure it’s documented in a quote or a service agreement.
  • Also ensure you have enough funding to cover your support worker, not only for the time away, but for the remainder of your plan. If you have a Support Coordinator, they will able to assist you with this process. If you have Plan Management with Plan Partners, you can easily track your spending in your online Dashboard.
  • Think carefully about which support worker you take with you. As you and your support worker will be spending a lot of time together while on the trip, it’s important you feel comfortable with them and vice-versa.
  • Consider travelling in a group and sharing support workers, which can be an effective way to help keep costs down.
  • We highly recommend getting travel insurance to protect yourself from any unexpected incidents. Make sure you read the terms and conditions closely though, as some have loopholes that mean you might not be covered for certain situations.
  • Respite or short term accommodation could also provide you with a change of scenery and a break from routine, while your informal support network also get some time to themselves.

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