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All you need to know about NDIS holiday funding

All Access Holidays is an NDIS-registered travel company with a focus on taking people with a disability on fun and innovative holidays across Australia.

The NDIS covers supports and services it deems reasonable and necessary. So, if travel supports the goals in your NDIS plan, the NDIS will fund those supports related to your disability. This included costs for a support worker to accompany you while on holiday.

What the NDIS won't fund are the everyday expenses and holiday costs such as flights, meals and accommodation for both you and your support worker. In this post, we go into more detail about NDIS supported holidays so that you know exactly what is funded by the NDIS.

Holidays and the NDIS

People may have disagreements with regards to the NDIS but there's one thing we can all agree on: its implementation will revolutionise the provision of disability services in Australia. The move to ensure that choice and independence become an integral part of the way services are offered and delivered to people with a disability can, ultimately, only be a good thing.

However, introducing a scheme as ambitious and comprehensive as the NDIS was inevitably going to lead to teething problems for both consumers and providers.
One question and enquiry that we receive on a daily basis goes something like this; “Does the NDIS fund my holiday?” We thought we'd answer it here.

Are NDIS holidays possible?

Three people standing in front of a sign that says 'Twelve Apostles'.
Clearly there is a lot of confusion around exactly what the NDIS will pay for and what it will not pay for.

The NDIS will pay for all “reasonable and necessary" supports. It will not cover things such as food, accommodation or entertainment. In practical terms this means that the NDIS will pay for the care/support that you require whilst you are on holiday.

However, the costs that are not associated with the care will need to be paid for privately. The NDIS will not pay for flights to destinations; the cost of the flights is to be paid for separately.

It’s important to bear in mind that everyone has different support needs and requirements. The amount that All Access Holidays will invoice the NDIS for support needs could be different to the amount we will invoice the NDIA for a client with higher support needs, therefore drastically changing the amount you have to contribute to your holiday.

What does the NDIS pay for?

Support worker: If you're travelling, you may need your support worker to accompany you for the duration of your trip. While they might not be providing around the clock support, they'll be away from home and may have certain expectations as to what's covered. This could add up to an expensive invoice so it's best to iron out all these details and agree on a daily rate prior to booking your holiday.

Equipment: If you need to hire portable equipment while on holiday, you may be able to claim from your NDIS plan. Speak to your Support Coordinator or Plan Manager about your goals and they will be able to determine whether you can claim or not.

Transport and accommodation: If your transport and holiday accommodation costs are significantly higher due to your disability, you may be able to claim the difference between the cost of a normal taxi or room and an accessible taxi or room. The same applies if you have to hire an accessible vehicle for your holiday.

How does NDIS holiday funding work?

To give some clarity, here are a few examples of how the payments work with regards to disability supported holidays.

Example 1: Minimal assistance

John Smith wishes to go to the Gold Coast, the cost of the all-inclusive holiday is $5000 and goes for 1 week, Saturday to Saturday. John is quite independent and requires minimal assistance, his support needs would be classed as a ratio of 1 carer to 4 clients.

John has been transitioned over the NDIS and wants to know how much they will pay and how much he will have to cover privately. To work this out, All Access Holidays will tally up how much care and support John requires in terms of hours and then invoice the NDIA accordingly.

For John’s care needs the total invoiced to the NDIA would be $2,083. Meaning that John would have the remaining amount of $2,917 to pay for privately. On our holidays, this fee includes accommodation, food, entertainment and transport, except for flights.

Example 2: More support

Jane Smith would also like to go to the Gold Coast. Jane requires some help with personal care, dressing and assistance with eating. Jane’s support needs would be classed as 1 Carer to 2 clients (1:2).

Jane would like to know how much the NDIS will cover for her holiday and how much she will need to pay herself.

As in John’s case, All Access Holidays will tally up how much care and support Jane requires in terms of hours in line with the NDIS price guide. For Jane’s care needs the total invoiced to the NDIA would be $3,420, leaving the outstanding amount for Jane to cover.

The cost of care while on holiday will differ

Confused? Clear as mud? We hope not! We appreciate the system has changed and is now unfamiliar territory for many people who are planning their holidays. As you can see, the cost of care (and therefore the holiday) differ for clients.
So, in answer to the question, “Does the NDIS cover holidays?”, technically the answer is ‘no’. But (and again this depends on the client) the NDIS will pay for the care that you receive whilst you are on holiday. Sometimes that care is quite extensive, so the cost of the holiday will in some cases be met by the NDIS to a large extent.

All Access Holidays listens to a customer’s needs and wishes, reviews their NDIS funding, and only then determines how much the holiday will cost.

Prior to a client coming on holiday with us, we will always offer a no-obligation quote that will break the price of the holiday down into two components, the cost that the client will be expected to pay and the amount All Access Holidays will invoice the NDIA for the care provided.