Suppose you need assistance travelling from point X to point Y and you are an NDIS participant.
What are your options?
You can receive transportation assistance through the NDIS. Back in 2020, the Australian Minister for the NDIS Stuart Robert made an announcement to provide transportation funding in the NDIS plan.
The announcement was implemented w.e.f 2020, March 1, where the participants were allowed to use the flexibility in the support funds and claim every service provider cost associated with transportation.
This article will discuss what transport assistance is, what it includes, and what options are available. In addition, we will work with your support coordinator to ensure that you have the best transport schedule possible!
What does transportation funding entail for the NDIS?
A participant with a disability who cannot use public transport without substantial difficulty will generally have access to funding under the NDIS for transport assistance.
A taxi subsidy scheme is considered when determining whether to fund but not transport assistance for family carers to transport their disabled family members daily.
These are transportation arrangements for the NDIS participants.
NDIS participants can receive transportation assistance to help them get from one location to another. In addition to transport assistance when you’re getting from point X to point Y on a shopping trip includes travelling between your house and an appointment.
A taxi, a bus, or a vehicle with specialized equipment may be used to transport you. Participants of the NDIS can quickly enter and exit these vehicles, as they are usually designed to be wheelchair accessible.
The transport assistance offered by the NDIS allows the participants to move around freely without worrying about transportation arrangements.
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What are the three new transport support levels available for the NDIS?
NDIS has divided the participants into three levels. Based on the levels, the travel budget is released annually.
Level 1: The NDIS participants who are not studying, working, or not attending any of the programs but are looking to work for the community are entitled to receive $1606 per year.
Level 2: NDIS participants who are working for 15 hours a week or studying and are participating in social recreation are entitled to receive $2472 per year.
Level 3: The NDIS participants seeking opportunities in the work sector (15 hours a week), academics, and refraining from transportation accessibility are entitled to receive $3,456 per year.
A participant may qualify for higher funding if they have either general or funded supports in their plan that enable them to participate in the employment process.
What about NDIS core support for Transport?
Core support funding aids you in achieving your objectives, most of which are connected to day-to-day requirements and your current disability-related needs. Core Support fund is given as a single lump sum payment, and it is not required to be used; it may be kept aside for a particular goal.
A Core budget includes four categories of support:
- Consumables (includes the purchase of everyday used items)
- Daily Life Activities (e.g. assistance with personal care, meal preparation, taking decisions for the household, doing domestic duties, etc.)
- Assistance with Social and Community Participation (it helps to engage in the community, society and other recreational activities (art classes, sports coaching, vacation camps, etc.) related to your goals)
- Transport (it helps on making you move outside the home to attend specialized educational programs, attend TAFE or university, and commute to your place of employment)
You can receive NDIS core support for transportation funding if your disability prevents you from using the modes of transportation, such as a bus or train.
In addition, the funding can be used to pay for transportation fortnightly in advance. However, transportation funding is not available for a caregiver or family member driving you to events.
As a registered NDIS provider, Wise Choice works with you to access your NDIS core supports.
What can the participants avail themselves of in transportation assistance?
You may be able to receive community transportation assistance based on where you live.
You will be taken to your chosen destination by private transportation or the public transportation selected.
Buses with wheelchair accessibility will typically stop at various locations so that the NDIS participants can quickly get through the destinations.
1. Public transportation service:
Travel assistance for the NDIS is available only if you meet the laid-out criteria by the NDIS program.
The assistance can get used for the public transportation service if they want accessibility. The NDIS plan covers the travel expense. If the participants cannot travel around alone, their caretaker can assist them.
2. Private transportation service:
The NDIS plan will cover the cost of this private transport service.
You might be able to use a taxi or Uber service or arrange a specially designed-vehicle to pick you up from your location.
Further, it is necessary that you also move spontaneously to finish your shopping or to see your family and friends if need be.
What can the NDIS participants do to create an interdependence with transportation funding?
Your NDIS plan includes funding for Support Category 15 (Improved Daily Living). Support provided by Capacity Building is intended to help you become more independent.
Among the goals of the NDIS is promoting independence, and transportation plans play a significant role in this process.
It might be possible for you to get funding for things like public transportation training or lessons on how to drive if you find it hard to get around because of your disability.
How can the NDIS participants avail of the specialized vehicle?
If you need a specialized or modified vehicle due to your disability, you may qualify for modifications assistance under ‘Assistive Technology‘ (category 5).
The NDIS will likely reject your request if there is a less expensive but equally effective alternative.
A vehicle modification will be funded by the NDIS only if it is considered a value-for-money modification.
In addition, they may only fund part of the project if they deem it reasonable and necessary. You’ll be responsible for the remaining expenses.
What is the transportation support available for the NDIS participants?
The NDIS covers only travel services for the individual participants, not those of their families, caregivers, or support providers.
However, the caretaker can make a travel claim when accompanying the NDIS participants.
The NDIS travel funding is available only for:
o Public and private transportation options.
o Two-way school transportation.
o Modification of the participants existing private vehicle.
o Aid and equipment for the transport.
o Training & assessment.
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How do the NDIS participants receive the transportation fund?
The core support for the NDIS participants is available under “Support Category 2” in the form of transportation allowance. The funds shall be directly transferred to the participant’s bank account every two weeks so that the participants face no transportation issues.
What must additional information be investigated for transportation funding?
Before appealing for the NDIS transportation fund, you need to check the following:
- Check your plan for the transportation funding under category 15.
- If you are new to the NDIS plan, inform your support coordinator about the requirement for transportation funds.
- You can also ask the support coordinator to find you a suitable NDIS service provider to address your transportation needs.
- Emphasize your needs that might get affected by the disability.
- NDIS can support the participants by allowing funds for the rideshares, paying your support worker to travel with you, allowing modifications on your private vehicle, and through capacity building.
- If unsure about the NDIS plan, get help from the NDIS plan manager for proper fund management.
- There are plenty of support programs for NDIS participants. Ask your service provider to get hold of the best ones for greater accessibility. A taxi subsidy scheme allows NDIS participants to access private vehicles (cabs) at a concessional rate.
Remember, the NDIS program provides greater flexibility, so take support from the experts to crack into the most beneficial deals for long-term transportation access. If you are eager to find one of the ideal funding options, connect with us!