While the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) does not fund holidays for participants or their informal carers or family members, there are other avenues to explore if you are planning a short or long-term break.
There comes a point for carers where they need a break or the family as a whole needs to get away from it all.
For carers just needing a small break, there’s always Short Term Accommodation for NDIS participants, according to the NDIS.
Short Term Accommodation, including respite, is funding for support and accommodation for a participant for a short time away from their usual home.
It covers the cost of a participant’s care in another place for up to 14 days at a time - sometimes a much-needed break for carers as well as the participant.
They might have a short stay with other people, or by themselves. It’s often funded when a participant’s usual carers aren’t available, or for the participant to try new things.
To find out if you are eligible, check the guidelines.
When deciding what support the NDIS will fund, it also thinks about a participant’s informal supports. Informal supports are their family, friends, and community networks who support them.
The NDIS considers if they’re able to continue to support you in the long term.
The NDIS will also think about if it might fund other things that can help support carers, like funding Short Term Accommodation with other supports that provide a respite effect, and helping carers keep supporting participants in the long term.
This may include:
The NDIS consider the risk to a participant and their family’s wellbeing if they continue to support you (without Short Term Accommodation). It will also look at how the support provided by a participant’s family and networks affects their independence and compare this to the independence and opportunities Short Term Accommodation may provide.
The NDIS will also consider the role and responsibility of parents in caring for children.
However, sometimes an adventure or holiday outside of assisted accommodation or respite is preferred, either just for the participant or the participant and their carer/family.
While the NDIS will not fund a holiday, as such, it will help fund support to make that holiday a reality.
There are many NDIS providers who can help participants plan their holiday - whether it be to the country for a bed and breakfast weekend retreat, to the city for a week or even another state or overseas!
Some providers actually specialise in holidays, like Lifestyle Solutions or Queensland’s own Supported Travel eXperiences, which will be at the Brisbane Disability Connection Expo 2022 on April 29 and 30.
The NDIS only funds supports and services it deems reasonable and necessary; a big part of which is that they’re directly related to your disability.
This means that the NDIS generally won’t fund your holiday costs, such as travel, accommodation, food, entertainment and many other costs associated with a holiday, as these costs usually won’t meet the reasonable and necessary criteria.
However, the NDIS can cover the cost of supports that you require while on your trip. So if a support worker accompanies you, you can use your NDIS funding to pay for their time. However, you can only get their time funded, not the travel, accommodation and other costs for your support worker.
The costs of a support worker are usually funded out of the Core Supports budget in your plan, specifically out of “Assistance with Social and Community Participation” (Category 4). As Core Supports funds are flexible, you use your budgets from other Core Supports categories as well.
According to Plan Partners, having around the clock support from a support worker can quickly become very expensive and eat into your Core Supports budget.
But fortunately, there are a few things that can help you to enjoy your holiday while also keeping costs down.
If you have a support coordinator, they might be able to help you determine what the best holiday options are for you and help you find the right support workers or group holidays.
If you have a plan manager, you can contact them to see how your NDIS plan could cover a holiday, and help you track your budgets.
You can also utilise online directories, such as MyCareSpace and Clickability, to find suitable service providers in your area.
Supported Travel eXperiences (STX) is an NDIS-registered travel agency specialised in crafting bespoke travel experiences for people with disabilities, their families and friends.
As a nationally registered travel agency and NDIS service provider, STX can ensure your travel experiences aligns with your NDIS goals and personal circumstances.
Whether you want to go to Broadbeach or Barcelona, their friendly team will give you expert advice and guidance on booking a holiday that suits your individual needs, taking care of all the support you may need so you can be confident to travel knowing everything is taken care of.
Of course, they take into account accommodation accessibility and all other particular needs of participants.
You can find them at site at the Brisbane Disability Connection Expo 2022 on April 29 and 30 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
It’s not too late to grab your tickets to check out this and almost-200 other exhibitors! Register today at https://www.developingauscommunities.com.au/brisbane-expo-2022/visitor and join us!
Want to find out more about holidays for people living with a disability, check out the Disability Gateway, a great springboard to holidaying in your state.