There is a lot of information to digest and understand when it comes whether the NDIS will fund travel and transport costs for both participants and providers. In this article, we take a deep dive into the most up to date information from the NDIS Price Arrangement and Price Limits (Price Guide) to assist all parties in this space.
Will the NDIS cover my travel costs as a provider?
The rules for providers being able to claim their travel costs from a participant’s plan are well defined. Each of the following criteria must be met by the provider to be eligible:
- The NDIS participant must agree beforehand the provider can claim for these costs from their plan. The provider must explain to the participant why paying for provider travel is good use of their NDIS funds.
- The NDIS Price Guide must state providers are eligible to claim transport costs for the particular support item and the proposed claim must meets the requirements in the price guide.
- The travel must be connected to delivering a specific disability support to the participant.
- The support must be delivered in person.
- Travel time can be claimed if a) the provider has to pay the worker for their travel time, or b) the provider has their own business (sole trader).
What is the NDIS transport allowance for providers?
There are seven zones defined by population and location the NDIS uses to set prices for supports and services including travel allowance for providers. Zone 1 includes major cities, zone 7 covers very remote areas and each of the remaining zones fall in between.
Generally speaking, the further one has to travel to provide the service, the higher the allowance will be. The maximum time providers can claim for travelling to each participant per session is:
- Zones 1-3: 30 minutes
- Zones 4-5: 60 minutes
- Zones 6-7 (remote and very remote areas): as agreed up to the hourly rate for the support item.
Capacity Building providers may be able to claim for time spent travelling from their last participant to their usual place of work. Core support providers cannot claim for time spent travelling back to their usual place of business.
Can I ‘apportion’ my travel costs between NDIS participants?
A provider who provides services to more than one participant in the same region is able to split their travel costs between participants, however each participant must agree to this arrangement in advance. This cost may include the journey to and from the location the support is delivered.
What travel costs will the NDIS fund?
The NDIS will fund a per kilometre amount for provider travel if the participant’s support budget includes funding for transport and the participant approves the costs in advance. The NDIS deems $0.85 per kilometre for a vehicle not modified for accessibility a reasonable amount to claim for provider transport.
Other costs incurred while travelling including public transport, tolls or parking fees may be claimed. Once again, the participant must agree to this in advance.
If a participant’s plan doesn’t include transport, these costs may be charged as an out-of-pocket expense to the participant.
How do I prepare my invoice to reflect travel costs?
Providers must separate support costs from travel costs on their invoice. In some instances, there will be three separate line items on the invoice:
- The support item provided
- Provider travel – labour costs (time)
- Provider travel – non-labour costs (e.g., cost per km, parking fees and tolls).
Will the NDIS cover costs for transport to community activities?
Where a provider accompanies a participant to a social activity or transports them from home to an activity, the worker’s travel time can be charged at the hourly rate for the relevant support item if the participant agrees in advance.
To learn more about NDIS transport funding, you can read the NDIS Pricing Arrangement and Price Limits document here.