Is respite care available under the NDIS? - Leap in!
01 Feb

Respite and the NDIS.

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Throughout the NDIS rollout, it seems that there is a lot of confusion around respite care NDIS support.

We hear from a lot of people who believe that respite isn’t covered as part of the NDIS funding so we thought we’d try to explain a little more and clear up some common misunderstandings.

Firstly, what is respite care?

Respite care allows for both a person with a disability and their carer to have a break or a change of scenery. It is the alternative care that is put in place while a usual care giver is unavailable. Respite can be provided informally by friends or family or formally through paid in home services or centre-based services.

Is respite support available under the NDIS?

The NDIA recognises that looking after family, carers and support networks is an important part of the overall care of a person with a disability and respite care can be a valuable part of this bigger picture.

While some of the wording around this support has caused confusion, respite-like care is available under the NDIS but you have to know what to look for.

Some examples include:

  • Short term accommodation and assistance
  • Assistance in living arrangements (host family/alternative family) solution
  • Assistance with self-care overnight

There are three levels of respite-like supports available through NDIS funding:

  • Level 1: 7 to 14 days per year to allow the carer to attend key activities
  • Level 2: 14 to 28 days per year and includes a strategy to build capabilities for future independence
  • Level 3: Equivalent of 28 days per year, when the carer provides support most days and informal support is at risk of not continuing due to the intensity of the support required or severe behavioural issues.

Like other supports under the NDIS, these levels of support are determined by the impact of disability and the amount of support that a person with a disability needs from family or informal carers.

How to make sure respite-like supports are included in my plan?

The key to getting the most out of your NDIS Plan is to know  how to prepare for your plan meeting. We recently wrote an article Are you prepared for your Plan meeting? that might be of help.

We suggest you start by:

  • Start preparing now and give yourself time to think big
  • Make notes in the relevant sections of the app
  • Find your best support person
  • Be specific when you record your thoughts
  • Start your planning early.

How do I know if I have funds to purchase respite?

Respite is purchased under the Core supports category “Assistance with Daily Life” budget. If you have this budget, then you can choose to use some of these funds to purchase respite (unless it is linked to a Stated Support*).

As you prepare you’ll no doubt end up with a few more questions and that’s where we can really help. Our experienced plan managers can help make your whole NDIS journey easier. Call us on 1300 05 78 78 to ask any questions or sign up to Leap in! plan management today.

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