NDIS holidays! It's an interesting topic for sure. If an NDIS-supported holiday is 'reasonable and necessary' given your funding and plan goals, it's certainly a great opportunity to reunite with loved ones and escape the monotony of daily life.
Let's jump right in... will the NDIS fund my holiday?
Generally, the answer is NO. The NDIS doesn't typically fund holidays, however, you might be able to use your funding for the normal NDIS supports and services that you need while on holiday - if they relate directly to your disability.
To ensure your holiday is the palm tree swaying sojourn you’re dreaming of, we’ve put together a handy NDIS holiday article.
We’ll dive deeper into the question... will the NDIS pay for holidays? And suggest ways to save funding by finding a Support Worker in the area you’re travelling to.
Whether it’s attending a business conference, travelling for work, or achieving your NDIS plan goals, or that almighty expedition or a staycation up the road, being prepared will ensure your NDIS support trip is stress-free and better supported.
What does the NDIS pay for?
So what exactly will the NDIS pay for on holidays?
If you’re hoping they’ll cover bottomless cocktails and 7 new bikinis, you’ll be sorely disappointed, but support expenses may be covered if related to your disability.
The first thing to make sure of is whether or not the travel or holiday lines up with achieving the goals mapped out in your approved NDIS plan.
If so, you may find the NDIS will cover some of your holiday expenses.
Think about what costs you are incurring as a direct result of your disability.
For example, do you need to take special equipment or need a Support Worker.
Some holiday expenses the NDIS may cover:
- Expenses related to using a Support Worker during your trip if required
- Expenses related to taking specialised equipment with you (ie. excess baggage)
- Extra accommodation costs, such as fees required for an accessible room
- Extra travel costs, such as the additional fees for hiring an accessible vehicle
Finding a Support Worker in your holiday destination
If travelling far from home, you may wish to save money by finding a Support Worker in the destination you are travelling to.
On Kynd, you're able to post jobs ahead of time in locations you're travelling to. You can even search for Support Workers to help you with NDIS holidays, in the particular area that you’re travelling to.
You can use filters to search for location, age, gender or specific qualifications.
Once you’ve found someone that ticks your boxes, you can chat further using Kynd’s secure message system.
This gives you a chance to get to know each other prior to confirming a booking.
This can save you spending your NDIS funding on flights, accommodation, meals and overtime hours versus paying for a Support Worker to travel all the way from your area. Learn more about maximising your NDIS funds.
What about NDIS holidays overseas?
If you're thinking of taking a bigger journey overseas, there are a few more complexities to consider when it comes to NDIS funding.
If you bring your own support workers with you, you 'might' typically be able to use your NDIS funding for up to 6-weeks when abroad.
Everyone’s circumstances are different. If you’re planning an overseas holiday as part of your NDIS plan goals and need to take your support worker with you, talk to your Plan Manager or Support Coordinator.
They’ll be able to help you understand how your NDIS funding can support you.
You might need to hire a Support Worker who doesn't live in Australia.
Typically you can use your NDIS funding for this - they simply won't be have an ABN (Australian Business Number), so you'll likely need to pay yourself and then claim these NDIS holiday costs back later.
For Participants who have NDIA Managed funding, bad news. As you're required to use Registered NDIS Providers, you'll have fewer choices about any organisations who could assist you while overseas. Some Providers offer organised travel, so click search!
Planning ahead with Support Workers
If you decide you would prefer to take your own Support Worker on your holiday with you, a bit of preparation and good communication is helpful before you book anything. Some things to consider for NDIS holidays include:
- Where will your Support Worker sleep?
Will they have a private bedroom and bathroom or need to share?
- What will your Support Workers work hours be?
It’s a good idea to allocate some free time, particularly on a holiday of more than 2 or 3 days, so that your Support Worker can recharge their batteries.
- What will your Support Worker eat?
Will they share meals with you or need to arrange their own food?
- What tasks will you need help with?
Perhaps there are additional tasks that you don’t usually require from them.
- Who else will they be interacting with?
For example, will you be meeting friends or staying with family?
- Rates of pay. This could be different to usual fees, particularly if additional tasks are required or the days fall over a holiday or long weekend.
Things to consider for NDIS holidays
Once you’ve wrapped your head around the ways your NDIS funding might support your holidays, it will be time to map out the finer details of your trip.
It’s easy to get caught up in the journey there and the journey home. The time in between spent actually enjoying the activies and goals of your holiday can sometimes get forgotten.
Think ahead about any special activities you might like to do and what you may need to make them easier to enjoy.
Tip - Discuss your NDIS support needs for travelling and holidays early on in your initial planning and ongoing NDIS plan review meetings.
Ensure everything makes sense and aligns with your plan goals. Speak with your LAC (Local Area Coordinator), Plan Manager and if possible, involve your Support Coordinator. It's a lot simpler to plan ahead to ensure you can claim certain costs.
With the right preparation, an NDIS-supported holiday is within reach!