Demystifying transport with the NDIS.
Transport is an important part of everyday life. You might need it to get to work, a place of study, medical appointments, run day-to-day errands and to generally access the community. For this reason, it is important to consider your transport needs prior to any NDIS plan management occurring.
How transport works under the NDIS?
For people with a disability, travel can incur an extra cost. Because of this, the NDIS will fund reasonable and necessary transport supports in your NDIS Plan.
What is a reasonable and necessary transport support?
The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports that will help a participant to reach their goals, objectives and aspirations. This can include transport that enables participation in community, social, economic and daily life activities and where you cannot use public transport without substantial difficulty due to your disability. The NDIS will also consider what is reasonable for families, carers, informal networks and the community to provide.
Some reasonable and necessary transport supports may include:
- Transport related aids and equipment
- Travel to and from work or study
- Vehicle modifications like special seating
- Cost of taxis for those who cannot travel independently.
How does my NDIS Plan affect my Mobility Allowance?
Prior to transitioning to the NDIS, participants may have received a Mobility Allowance. However, this will cease once you have your new NDIS plan in place.
It is important that you are prepared and can explain your transport needs in your NDIS Plan meeting so that you are allocated adequate funding to replace your Mobility Allowance.
How can I prepare for my NDIS Plan meeting?
We can help you through the process of preparing for your Plan meeting but some good starting points are to:
- Think of examples of situations where you cannot travel independently
- Be prepared to discuss whether you need any personal transport related aids and equipment
- Be ready to suggest any training that you may need so that you can use public transport.
What are the NDIS transport funding levels?
By exception some plans may receive more, however in most cases there are three budget levels of transport funding support:
Level 1 – Up to $1,606 per year for participants who are not working, studying or attending day programs but are seeking to enhance their community access.
Level 2 – Up to $2,472 per year for participants who are currently working or studying part-time (up to 15 hours a week), participating in day programs and for other social, recreational or leisure activities.
Level 3 – Up to $3,456 per year for participants who are currently working, looking for work, or studying, at least 15 hours a week, and are unable to use public transport because of their disability.
Can NDIS participants access more transport supports by using their Core supports budget?
While NDIS participants can use their Core supports (Refer to our article NDIS Plan budget categories explained.) flexibly across all allocated support categories (including transport) there are some exceptions to the rule.
- When a participant’s total transport funding is set up as periodic payments.
- If a participant has not been funded for transport supports at all.
Additionally, participants can only use transport funding flexibly within Core supports if their transport funds are plan managed by a NDIS plan manager or managed by the NDIA. This way, you can use your allocated Core budget flexibility to access additional transport funding.
Let us know if you have more questions or would like help with your NDIS pre-planning for your first meeting or plan review.