Funding for the specific transport needs of people with disability is included in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) but exactly what the funding covers and how to use it can be confusing.
Transport funding confuses many people
In this Q and A we cover some of the main questions about transport funding
Below are the answers to what transport can be funded, where funding comes from and how to get help to claim it
To help with the confusion we’ve made a list of the main questions around transport funding and brought together information from a range of sources to answer your questions.
What kind of transport can be funded under NDIS?
You can pay a provider for general transport for you to be supported to travel to activities or specialised transport to employment, educational facilities or to access the community, including shopping centres or medical centres.
For transport relating to activities it might be funded under different rules and from different areas of your plan, so if you want to access it you can ask your support coordinator how this might work.
Transport can be funded for a group - for example on an outing in the community with other people with disability - or for an individual.
What transport can't be funded under NDIS?
Transport funding is only provided for you, so it can’t be used to transport family members, carers or service providers.
Funding also can’t be used for regular public transport tickets, as that is an everyday living cost for all people regardless of their disability status.
In regard to public transport, funding can only be used to pay for support to help you travel.
The NDIS also specifically doesn’t fund transport which can be funded by other Government departments or services.
What transport is funded by other services?
Transport to school for students with disability may be covered by State and Territory education departments for the student to be able to attend the nearest public school which meets their needs.
This could be either a mainstream school, a specialist disability support school or a school with a specialist class or unit and the form of transport could be a bus, taxi or access cab.
You could ask the school or your State or Territory’s education department what options are available for your child.
State and Territory health departments, St Johns Ambulance and Red Cross organisations may be able to provide you with transport to and from hospital or medical appointments if it is not an emergency requiring an ambulance.
You will need to contact the State or Territory branch of each of these organisations to arrange this transport.
Can public transport training be covered?
Training to catch public transport confidently and safely can help you to live more independently, access employment or education, attend social outings and visit friends and family.
You may also be able to receive funding for other transport training, for example to learn how to catch a taxi.
Usually public transport training for activities like reading timetables and crossing roads is funded under an NDIS plan as a daily living skill, as an occupational therapist will assist with training.
It can also come under core funding for assistance with social and community participation if other support staff provide the training.
How much transport funding is available?
Transport funding is split into three levels which are determined based on your situation, but additional funding may be included in your plan to support you to be employed.
The levels are:
Up to $1,606 a year if you are not employed, not attending day programs, not studying, but want more access to the community.
Up to $2,472 a year if you are studying for up to 15 hours a week, participating in day programs or working, although the funding can also be used for social, recreational and leisure activities.
Up to $3,456 a year if you are working, seeking work or studying for more than 15 hours a week and are unable to use public transport as a result of your disability.
What part of the plan is transport funding from?
Transport funds can be accessed under the core funding section - from the category for transport.
However, if your transport is plan managed as well as your other core categories then it gives you more flexibility to use other core funding for transport.
Can different kinds of transport be provided by more than one provider or does it need to be the same provider?
There can be more than one provider you rely on for transport as some providers may have services which suit you better than others.
For example you might have a provider which is experienced in connecting you with a wheelchair accessible taxi and a different provider which has qualified support workers to help you with public transport training.
What is the most common thing which people get confused about when it comes to transport funding?
The most common aspect that confuses people about transport funding is that you may incur out of pocket expenses as the NDIS expects the funding to be a contribution to the cost of your transport and not necessarily cover the entire cost of your transport.
This is because the NDIS will only fund an additional cost of transport which you would not have incurred if it wasn’t for your disability support needs.
What do I need to do to claim transport funding?
If you self manage your transport funds you need to keep receipts of transport services which you pay for and claim them by calling the NDIS, making an online payment request through the myplace Participant Portal or completing the Purchase Payment Request form and emailing it to [email protected].
If your transport is plan-managed by someone else there is no need to do anything for it to be claimed.
Where can I get help to understand the kinds of transport funding I need and how to get it?
On our website DisabilitySupportGuide.com.au you can search for providers of transport services and supports.
You can also ask your support coordinator or local area coordinator or call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 and there is some additional information on the transport section of the Disability Gateway website.
Are you confused about transport funding? Tell us in the comments below.