10 informonline.org.au NDIS Feature NDIS SERIES TRANSPORT Transport Funding Transport is an important aspect of our daily lives. It’s much more than simply a way to get from home to work or to school. Access to transport provides access to our communities. It means freedom and independence and often creates opportunities to spend time with friends, earn an income or further our education. That’s why it’s worthwhile to take the time to learn about NDIS transport funding and how you can get the most out of it. A core support Transport is an NDIS support category that falls under Core Supports. You may be able to access funding through the NDIS for transport assistance if you’re unable to use public transport without substantial difficulty because of your disability. To receive transport funding, you’ll need to show how funding would help you meet your goals. Transport funding does not include coverage for transport assistance for family or carers. If you received a Mobility Allowance prior to coming onboard with the NDIS, eligibility for Mobility Allowance will cease as this will now be covered in your NDIS plan. There are three levels of support for transport assistance: • Level 1 - The NDIS provides up to ,606 per year if you are not working, studying or attending day programs but are seeking to enhance your community access.
NDIS Feature informonline.org.au 11 • Level 2 - The NDIS will provide up to ,472 per year if you are currently working or studying part-time (up to 15 hours a week), participating in day programs and for other social, recreational or leisure activities. • Level 3 - The NDIS will provide up to ,456 per year if you are currently looking for work or working or studying at least 15 hours a week, and are unable to use public transport because of your disability. • Exceptional circumstances: you may receive higher funding if you have either general or funded supports in your plan to enable your participation in employment. What are the other funding options? The transport support category is not the only way you can access transport related funding through the NDIS. You may be eligible to include additional support in your NDIS plan by utilising other support categories under Core, Capacity and Capital supports. Under the Core support category assistance with social and community participation, you may be eligible for funding to support you to engage with your community. For example, support to travel to an art class or to play sport. Under the Capacity building support category improved daily living, you may be eligible for funding for public transport training or driving lessons. And, finally, under the Capital support category assistive technology, you may be eligible for a specialised vehicle or vehicle modifications. Many public transport operators offer free or reduced fare travel alongside companion cards that provide free travel. What else is available? If you’re not eligible for transport funding through your NDIS plan, and even if you are, there are other transport options that are worth investigating. Many public transport operators offer free or reduced fare travel alongside companion cards that provide free travel. Contact your local operator to see what is available. Some local service providers or community organisations offer free bus services. Reach out to the providers or organisations in your area and find out what options are available. New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria offer Taxi Subsidy Schemes that subsidise the cost of travel if your disability prevents you from using public transport. Applications for the scheme can be made through the relevant state government. Plan ahead If you’d like to include transport funding in your plan or you’d like to access support through one of the other related support categories, ensure you discuss it in your planning meeting and be clear about why you want support and how it will help you meet your goals. Will public transport training help you apply for a job? Or maybe playing sport or attending an art class helps you engage with your community? Spend some time thinking about the ways transport funding could help you meet your goals and actively participate in your community. Talk to your family and friends about the supports that you might need and then take that information into your planning meeting. Accessing transport funding, whether you need public transport training, support to travel to your sporting commitments or vehicle modifications, can be complex. Understanding and navigating the options isn’t always easy. And because everyone’s circumstances are different, there’s no one approach to transport funding. But with a little planning, you could soon be hitting the road.