Transportation is an essential component of liberty and autonomy because it makes it possible to visit friends and family, go to work, and move freely about a city. Let’s take a look at the four different ways that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can provide funding for transportation arrangements, and then we’ll hear some of the transportation advice that our team has to offer.
How to navigate your environment
The NDIS may decide that it is reasonable and necessary to provide funding to access taxis, rideshares, community transport, and other suitable transport methods if your disability makes it uncomfortable or impossible for you to use public transportation. This could be the case if your disability makes it impossible for you to use public transportation.
Your individual circumstances, as well as how frequently you work or go to school, will determine the annual transportation allowance that the NDIS provides for you.
There are three different funding tiers that can be incorporated into your plan as part of the Transportation Allowance, which is a fundamental support:
If you are not working, studying, or attending day programmes but want to increase your community access, the NDIS can provide you with $1,606 per year for transport if you are at the Level 1 eligibility level.
If you are working or attending school for fewer than 15 hours per week, or if you participate in day programmes, the NDIS may be able to provide you with up to $2,472 per year to cover the cost of your transportation.
You are eligible to receive up to $3,456 per year in transportation assistance if you are enrolled in Level 3 and spend more than 15 hours per week working, studying, or looking for work.
Only payments to a transport provider who drives you to an activity or appointment with another provider can be made with these funds. This assistance is not meant to cover tips for your driver, the cost of gasoline, or any other expenses incurred during the trip. Additionally, it cannot be used to pay an informal support person, such as a member of your family or a friend, to drive you around.
Taking a trip with a caregiver by your side
Additionally, if you qualify for the NDIS, you could receive funding to pay a support worker to either drive you around or go with you when you go out into the community. This can include activities such as going shopping, going to social events, or transporting someone to a medical appointment.
You have already accounted for this funding in your plan under the heading of Assistance with Social and Community Participation, which is also a core support. An agreed-upon hourly rate is applied to the cost of these outings. This rate takes into account the total amount of time that your support worker is present at the activity, and it may also include the amount of time that it takes your support worker to travel to and from your home.
Your support worker may also charge you additional fees for travel, such as road tolls, parking fees, or the cost of a ticket for public transportation, depending on the circumstances. It is always a good idea to discuss these matters in advance and sign a service agreement that details the agreed-upon hourly rate as well as any additional costs that you will be charged for.
Increasing your autonomy through the use of transportation
Building independence is a common objective of the NDIS, and transportation planning plays a significant role in achieving that objective. If you have a disability that makes it difficult for you to get around, but you would like to learn how to overcome these challenges and travel independently, you may be eligible for funding for things like public transport training or driving lessons. This is because your disability makes it difficult for you to get around.
This funding is included in your plan under Support Category 15 (Improved Daily Living), which is a Capacity Building support designed to build your independence, skills, and confidence. This support will help you improve your daily living.
Vehicles with a Specialized Purpose
If you have a disability that requires you to have a specialised vehicle or one that has been modified in some way, the NDIS may be able to assist you in paying for the modifications under the heading of “Assistive Technology” (category 5). The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will not pay for the vehicle itself but may cover modifications that enable you to do things like…
- manoeuvre in and out of the vehicle regardless of whether or not you are utilising a wheelchair;
- transport your wheelchair without having to lift it into or onto the vehicle;
- receive secure transportation while remaining seated in your wheelchair; or
- You will need to use specialised controls or other modifications in order to operate the vehicle.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will only pay for the modification of a vehicle if it is deemed to be cost-effective. Your request will most likely be denied by the NDIS if there is an alternative that is not only less expensive but also just as effective. They could decide to fund only what they consider to be a reasonable and necessary amount, in which case the remainder of the cost would be your responsibility to cover.
In need of some assistance?
When it comes to transportation, services such as plan management and support coordination can be helpful in various capacities.
In order to reimburse you, the administrator of your plan will need a receipt from the company that provided your mode of transportation. On demand, these should be available in all modes of transportation, including taxis and ridesharing services like Uber. If you already have an account with a taxi or community bus company, the company will be able to send their bill directly to your plan manager, who will then make arrangements for it to be paid directly.
If your plan includes support coordination, your support coordinator will be able to locate the most suitable transport providers for your individual requirements and put you in touch with them.