There’s a lot of talk in the media about the cost of living, especially the price of rentals and mortgage repayments.
Whether you’re about to move house, looking for a new place, somewhere cheaper to live, can’t stay where you are or are moving out of home for the first time, you may be wondering if the NDIS can assist.
Like any NDIS-funded support, the answer depends on your individual circumstances.
While the NDIS doesn’t generally pay for the cost of moving, there are some exceptions. The NDIS may also fund some related supports to make relocating easier.
What does the NDIS consider when funding moving costs?
It’s helpful to keep in mind that the NDIS won’t usually fund the cost of moving house because everyone in the community who moves has to pay these costs.
However, the NDIS may cover some costs if:
- Your need to move is related to your disability
- There are aspects of moving that you are unable to do because of your disability
- Moving house is more likely to be value for money than completing home modifications to your current home
- Your new house will be appropriate for you with minimal modifications or none at all.
Top tip: Be sure to check with the NDIS before committing to moving so you can find out what might be covered and what won’t be covered.
Costs the NDIS may fund.
If there are tasks related to moving that you cannot do because of disability, you may be able to pay for these with your NDIS funds. This includes:
- Packing up your items
- Furniture dismantling and reassembly
- A removalist to move your items if you are unable to drive
- Unpacking at your new home
- Bond cleaning at the end of a rental tenancy.
Keep in mind that the NDIS will only cover reasonable and necessary costs related to your disability that are considered good value for money.
What won’t the NDIS fund?
- Any general moving costs that everyone is expected to pay such as removalists, transport and packing materials (with some exceptions outlined above)
- Moving costs because you want to move to a bigger home
- The cost of a rental bond
- Mortgage repayments, rent and ongoing housing costs including maintenance
- Costs that are not directly related to your disability
- The cost of disconnecting and reconnecting essential services (with some exceptions)
- Temporary or short-term housing.
The role of home modification assessments.
If your current housing situation doesn’t suit your disability needs, it’s a good idea to get a home modification assessment before you decide to move.
A home modification assessor is an occupational therapist with skills to provide detailed and complex home modification assessments.
They can identify changes to your existing home required to meet your disability needs, particularly in important areas like the living room, bedroom, bathroom and entry. For example, the installation of ramps, rails, hoists etc.
They’ll also be able to provide evidence if your need to move is related to your disability and whether any proposed new home will be appropriate for you.
This assessment can be used to source quotes for home modifications and/or moving costs. Then you can provide the assessment report and quote to the NDIS for consideration.
Moving from a home you own into a new home.
If your current home cannot be modified or will be too expensive to modify, the NDIS may consider funding supports to help you move to a more accessible home.
The NDIS provides an example of a situation where they may fund some moving costs.
Example: Barry has an acquired brain injury and lives with his partner in a double storey home on a steep block. A home modification assessor provides a report to say complex or extensive modifications, including installing a lift, are required for Barry to stay in his home. Two quotes confirm the estimated cost of the changes.
Outcome: Modifications to the home do not meet the NDIS funding criteria as they are not considered good value for money. It would be more cost effective to pay moving costs so they can move into a more suitable home. The cost of the minor modifications to make Barry’s new home accessible, plus the moving costs, are much less than the cost of modifying Barry’s old home.
The types of costs that may be covered in this situation include:
- Removal expenses
- Stamp duty, inspections, mortgage fees and real estate costs if you are selling your existing home.
What if you want to move house and the NDIS has funded home modifications to your existing home?
Reach out to your NDIS planner or LAC to discuss your desire to move and the home modifications that have already been funded. They can provide guidance on how to proceed.
You may need a reassessment of your current NDIS Plan or home modification assessment to determine if any modifications can be transferred to your new residence or if adjustments are needed.
What happens if you need to move urgently?
If you have a sudden change in circumstances, safety concerns or any other situation that means you need to leave your current residence quickly, it’s best to contact an emergency housing service in your state.
The NDIS cannot fund crisis or emergency accommodation, even through the Short-Term Accommodation budget in an NDIS Plan.
However, if you have an urgent or significant change in circumstances and your NDIS Plan no longer meets your needs, the NDIS may approve emergency funding until you have a plan reassessment.
How the NDIS can help you prepare for moving house.
The NDIS may be able to help you prepare for a move as well as settle into your new home and neighbourhood, depending on your disability support needs.
- A support worker may be able to assist with things like packing, organising belongings, arranging transportation and other aspects if you are unable to do them yourself
- Someone to help with organising phone connection, power, water and additional services if you are unable to do this yourself.
- If moving out of home into your own home is one of your goals, you may be able to use Capacity Building supports to help you prepare for independent living
- Help with learning to use public transport in a new location
- Funding to make your new house more safe, through assistive technology such as non-slip bath mats or more accessible through home modifications such as ramps or handrails (check with the NDIS before you move to see what they may fund).
Make a pre-move checklist.
Making a pre-move checklist can help make the moving process go more smoothly.
- Set some goals: Identify your needs and preferences, such as accessibility features, being close to essential services, or a support network.
- Notify the NDIS: Contact your NDIS planner or LAC to discuss your planned move and any assessments required.
- Get a home modifications assessment: This will help determine what the NDIS may fund.
- Create a moving timeline: Set dates for various tasks. Be sure to give enough notice on any existing rental property.
- Find an accessible home: Select a new residence that meets your accessibility needs, such as ramps, wider doorways, or adapted bathroom facilities. The NDIS won’t always fund modifications if you choose to move to a home that doesn’t meet your disability needs.
- Hire professional movers: Research and hire professional removalists experienced in handling accessible equipment or sensitive medical devices, if needed.
- Organise your things for the move.
- Packing assistance: Enlist help from friends, family, or support workers to pack your belongings, ensuring essential items are readily accessible.
- Notify important parties: Inform healthcare providers, support workers, the NDIS, your plan manager, utility companies and other essential services about your address change.
- Plan your moving day: Plan and schedule accessible transport and check times with the moving company.
Ready to learn more about plan management?
If you’re not currently a Leap in! Member and you’d like to know more about how we can help you get the most out of your NDIS Plan connect with us on 1300 05 78 78, use web chat on our website or email email@example.com