26 September 2023

Disability transport to get wheels

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The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is to introduce greater flexibility and choice for participants’ transport from 1 March.

Minister responsible for the Scheme, Stuart Robert said NDIS participants would be able to use their plan’s core support funding flexibly to claim service provider costs associated with transport to and from NDIS-funded community-based activities under the new plan.

“Providers will be able to claim some of their vehicle running when offering transport to a participant in conjunction with the community activities identified in their NDIS plan,” Mr Robert said.

“These costs — which are in addition to the support worker’s time — are factored at a per kilometre rate and can be claimed by providers as a separate item as part of the support they are delivering to participants.”

He said transport funding in NDIS plans was about assisting participants to access the community and maintain or increase their independence.

“This change will give participants more autonomy in their plans, and greater choice and control over the services and support they need,” Mr Robert said.

“‘As we deliver our plan for the final 20 per cent of the NDIS, we will continue to make considered changes that ensure the sustainability of the scheme, while maintaining the core objective of choice and control for participants.”

He said that last October, the Council of Australian Governments’ Disability Reform Council endorsed an approach to improve the provision of transport support under the NDIS.

He said this included interim measures to increase transport funding for NDIS participants who were significant users of the taxi subsidy scheme, and a commitment by the Commonwealth to fully reimburse States and Territories for their taxi subsidy schemes for NDIS participants.

Mr Robert said participants and providers could discuss and agree on non-labour costs when arranging a service booking.

He said this included up to 85 cents a kilometre for a standard vehicle not modified for accessibility; up to $2.40 a kilometre for a vehicle that is modified for accessibility or a bus; and other forms of transport or associated costs up to the full amount, such as road tolls, parking and public transport fares.

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