Working out what you can spend your NDIS funds on across the various budget categories can be confusing.
Here at Leap in! we are regularly asked questions about each of the budget categories, what they can be used for and what the rules mean in practice.
So, today we are taking a fresh look at Assistance with Social and Community Participation.
If you’d like a little refresher on the three budget categories – Core, Capital and Capacity Building supports – check out NDIS Plan budget categories explained.
What is Assistance with Social and Community Participation?
Assistance with Social and Community Participation is a budget under the NDIS Core supports category. You can use your Assistance with Social and Community Participation funding to improve your ability to participate in community, social and recreational activities.
This includes things like support to attend community-based activities and assistance to participate in social groups. The activities may take place in a range of locations such as in the community, in a centre or at a sporting venue.
Activities that may be funded.
There are many potential benefits associated with being actively involved in and connected with your community. Assistance with Social and Community Participation funding is designed to help break down some of the barriers you may face to participating fully in society.
Some of the things that may be funded include:
- Recreational and sporting activities
- Support to participate in social groups or spend time with friends
- Visiting your local library
- Building skills, taking up a new interest or learning new things
- Camps, classes and vacation activities
- A support worker to assist you to participate in social and community activities such as the above.
What you can pay for with Social and Community Participation funding.
Social and Community Participation funding is most likely to cover costs associated with getting to and participating in activities rather than the costs of the activities themselves.
For example, you might want to attend your local community centre to learn a craft-based activity like woodwork.
You may be able to use your Social and Community Participation funding to pay for a support worker to:
- Transport you to and from the activity
- Attend with you
- Help you get the most out of the class such as providing Auslan interpreting, communication support or assistance with completing activities
- Support with using the bathroom, eating or other personal care requirements while you are out and about.
The worker’s time can be claimed at the agreed hourly rate for both transport time and time spent accompanying you during the activity.
What is not covered?
This is where Social and Community Participation funding can get a little tricky. You can’t generally use your NDIS funding to pay for the cost of tuition, courses or classes such as a woodworking class.
However, if it is a ‘reasonable and necessary’ cost that relates to your disability and is closely connected to the goals in your NDIS Plan, you may be able to use the Social and Community Participation budget to pay for some other costs associated with participating.
Keep in mind, the following are generally not covered by the NDIS:
- Ticket prices or entry fees such as movie tickets or entry to a museum
- Ticket prices or entry fees for your support worker or a person accompanying you
- The cost of meals, coffee or other food items while you are attending activities
- Equipment costs such as buying sporting gear except for the purchase of specialised equipment related to your disability.
Leap in! can help you.
Talk to us about the best way to prepare for your NDIS Plan or Plan Review meeting – we can make sure you have the very best chance of getting the help you need. Call 1300 05 78 78 or chat with us online via our website.
Initially published 14 March 2019, updated 8 October 2020 .