Can your NDIS funding be used on holidays?
If you are a person with a disability, you may be wondering how NDIS holiday funding works..
The NDIS will not fund a holiday, but it will cover the expenses related to a support person.
This means that expenses like flights, transport and accommodation are not covered by the NDIS. But support services you may require during travel are funded.
So if you’d like to take a holiday and need a support person to accompany you, the NDIS may cover it.
As we know, the NDIS is a government organisation, with bureaucratic processes. Knowing your way around the NDIS application system will boost your chances of success.
First, your LAC meeting
Your Local Area Coordinator meeting is the beginning of getting approval for NDIS holiday funding for the associated costs of your support person.
If you’re familiar with the operational model of the NDIS, you no doubt know how the LAC meetings work. Essentially you need to request funding for support for any area of your life that needs funding – including holidays.
Align your funding request to your goals
In your LAC meeting, you need to present your goals. Particularly you should show how the funding for your support person will help you reach those goals.
For example, you could show that your travel is required for one of these goals:
- increasing independence and self-sufficiency
- enjoying more social connection and adventure
- seeing friends and family
- visiting a wish-list destination
- attending a special event
- gaining confidence by learning something new
- being active in a new place
- improving confidence by extending your comfort zone
When you connect your request for NDIS holiday funding support to your goal, this may improve your chances of a successful outcome.
During your LAC meeting, you need to present the paperwork supporting your request. Make sure to supply as much detail as possible for all related expenses related to the cost of your support person, including quotations from approved providers.
Take an advocate
There’s plenty of information to provide and questions to answer in your LAC meeting, so it can be onerous. We strongly recommend having someone by your side who can advocate on your behalf. Particularly if you feel anxious about your LAC meeting, which is common. There can be a lot of bureaucracy with the NDIS. So having someone to help you navigate it will be valuable.
- Your advocate can be in charge of:
- arranging any paperwork and documentation
- ensuring the communication method is appropriate for your needs
- managing the pace of the meeting
- helping you feel more confident
- asking questions on your behalf
- recording information for later reference
The NDIS is interested in making things fairer for people living with disabilities. As such, it will consider partially covering costs. For example, if you need to hire a specially-equipped vehicle during your travel, you may be able to claim the difference between that cost and the cost of standard car hire. This means that the price you pay is the same as anyone else, regardless of ability.
A story from Peter: the trip that rocked a Darwin karaoke bar
Our director Peter Negri says:
‘Last year I took a group to a karaoke bar in Darwin – it was going off. The place was pumping and our passengers were having a great time belting out the hits. The karaoke bar owner thanked me because they had one of the biggest Monday nights ever – our crew was enjoying themselves so much that walkins couldn’t resist stopping in. An NDIS planner happened to be in the bar, and we got chatting. She told me, ‘this is what we want from our funding-to see people living a great life and having a terrific time.
‘Sometimes, the NDIS can seem like a faceless government entity. But really, it’s filled with people who want to do good in the world. People who have the best intentions for your wellbeing and quality of life. I keep this in mind when I’m dealing with the NDIS and find it helpful.’
After your LAC meeting
Once you’ve made your request for the NDIS holiday funding to cover your costs of a support person, you can expect a decision in about a week or two. (But this is the NDIS, there are no guarantees.) We have found that outcomes of decisions vary greatly from planner to planner. Some planners will readily agree to requests for support, and others will reject the same request. So there is an element of luck involved.
If your request is approved
As your nominated provider, we can then start booking your travel and arranging your support person. We make the claim for funding directly through the NDIS, meaning you don’t have to worry about claiming back the associated costs. We will invoice you for the quoted amount for the travel expenses not covered by the NDIS.
All you need to do next is get ready to travel – bon voyage!
Ready to take an amazing trip?
Check out our 2022 travel brochure and 2023 travel brochure or contact us to start planning your ideal getaway.