Food for thought: Meals and the NDIS.
Here at Leap in! HQ, we are regularly asked by our members… “how do meals work under the NDIS?”.
We know it can be confusing, so we’ve prepared this guide on all things food-related to help answer your questions.
Are food and groceries covered by the NDIS?
Will the NDIS cover the cost of your weekly food shopping: things like fruit, vegetables, bread, milk and meat? The short answer is no.
The NDIS only covers day-to-day living costs which are related to your disability support needs. Everyone needs to buy food and groceries, whether they have a disability or not. So, for this reason, they are not covered by the NDIS.
Is meal preparation and delivery covered by the NDIS?
If you are unable to prepare food or cook for yourself, you may be eligible to receive funding for meal preparation and delivery in your NDIS Plan. This can cover a portion of ready-made meals delivered to you at home, or for someone to come to your home and prepare meals for you.
Whether meal preparation and delivery is covered by the NDIS depends on whether it is considered “reasonable and necessary” and is related directly to your NDIS goals. If the answer if yes, your NDIS Plan will only cover the portion of each meal that relates to making/cooking and delivering the food. It does not cover the cost of ingredients.
Which budget category should I use?
Meal preparation and delivery will be under Assistance with Daily Life (includes Supported Independent Living). The cost varies with the number of meals prepared and deliveries required.
Do I need to obtain a quote?
Yes. You will need to contact the service provider and ask them to give you a price in writing for ready-made meals delivered to your door or someone coming to your home to prepare food.
If you are using a ready-made meal supplier, the quote needs to include:
- The cost of the ingredients (this is the amount you pay direct to the meal service company). You can usually expect to pay 20-30% of the total cost.
- The cost of preparation, packaging and delivery (the portion covered by the NDIS). This quote can then be taken to your next NDIS Plan meeting (with the NDIS) or sent to your planner (if you already have your new Plan).
Choosing a ready-made meal supplier.
It may be that you would like to use a company that specialises in cooking ready-made meals, snacks and desserts and delivers them where you’d like.
The benefit of these meals is that they may arrive ready to heat, or they may be warm and ready to eat, depending on what you need.
Here are some tips for choosing the right service provider:
1. Make a list of what you want
- Research online, talk to people you know or ask us for help
- Make sure the company can meet any special needs such as pureed or gluten free meals
- Ask for a menu (or check their website) – you want them to make food you like!
- Make sure they can do everything on your list (including delivery times).
We can help you.
The Leap in! Crew works closely with range of different meal suppliers across Australia and can help to find the right one for you in your area.