When it comes to claiming for transportation and travel costs associated with providing services to your NDIS clients, it’s critical to know what you can claim and under what conditions so that your invoices comply with NDIS standards and so that you don’t end up out of pocket for client-related charges.
To summarise, support coordinators can only claim travel expenses directly relevant to providing an NDIS service or support, and all travel expenses must be agreed upon in advance by the participant.
We’ll look at how the NDIS handles transportation and travel so you can be confident you’re complying with the program’s criteria.
Using a participant's plan to make a claim
Support coordinators can only claim travel costs for delivering a support item from a participant’s plan if the following conditions are met, according to the NDIS Pricing Arrangements:
- Support coordinators can claim travel in relation to a support item if the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits indicate that they can.
- The proposed activity costs are in accordance with the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits.
- The activities are part of a face-to-face delivery of a specific disability support item.
- The provider explains to the participant the value of the activities and why they are the greatest use of their funds.
- The travel costs are agreed upon in advance by the participant.
When a support coordinator is eligible to claim travel costs
Travel expenses are deducted from your client’s NDIS Plan; therefore, keep in mind that the ‘reasonable and necessary’ standard applies. The cost must be relevant to the person’s disability, not include day-to-day living expenses, and be cost-effective.
Support coordinators can claim two types of travel expenses as long as they match the aforementioned criteria:
- Labour costs (the time it takes to travel to a location where the service will be delivered). The maximum rate varies depending on your location and your client’s.
- Non-labour travel costs include tolls, vehicle maintenance, parking, and public transportation tickets.
Labour costs (time)
Travel claims must be submitted independently from support claims, using the same line item as the support and the myplace portal’s “Provider travel” option.
Tips for claiming time:
- Each qualifying worker can claim a maximum of 30 minutes in zones 1-3 and 60 minutes in zones 4-5.
- Providers of capacity building services may also be eligible to claim travel time from the last participant to their typical workplace (30 minutes in zones 1-3 and 60 minutes in zones 4-5).
- For primary support, use the same hourly rate that was agreed upon with the participant (unless a different rate has been agreed for travel).
- Travel costs should be split among the participants with their consent when visiting more than one participant in a region.
Support coordinators may work out a deal with the participant to cover other transportation-related expenditures.
Here are several examples:
- Up to $0.85 a kilometre for a vehicle not modified for accessibility (your own car or that of your employer).
- Other transportation-related charges, such as tolls, parking, and public transportation fares – up to the full sum.
- Providers must separate support costs and travel costs on invoices. Non-labour expenses should be claimed against the support item “Provider Travel – non-labour costs.”
Capacity building providers in remote and very remote areas may make special arrangements with participants to cover travel costs up to the relevant hourly rate for the support item. The NDIS asks providers to cut costs by sharing resources or providing non-face-to-face services if at all possible.
What should a service agreement include?
A clear service agreement might help to avoid misunderstandings and confusion.
It’s critical to establish agreed-upon hourly rates for care provision and travel. Depending on whether an agency manages the individual, a plan, or self-managed, these may vary. Travel time is sometimes less expensive than face-to-face time with some service providers.
Don’t forget to include any other non-labour costs linked with transportation in the agreement.
Have more questions?
At Personalised Support Services (PSS), we are driven to help you lead a happier and more independent life. So whether you are looking for a helping hand around the house or building your independence, our friendly team is ready to support you every step of the way.