How Is NDIS Transport Funding Paid? A Guide for Providers

Rob Scott

Written on 29 July, 2022
NDIS transport funding is complex, with numerous funding levels, zones and invoice structures to take into account. However, claiming for it doesn’t have to be a headache.

Let’s break down NDIS transport funding. Below we’ll cover what you can claim for and how, so you can ensure participants and workers get the financial support and compensation they’re entitled to.

Does the NDIS Cover Transportation?

The NDIS pays transportation costs for both providers and participants, but only when certain criteria are met. There are also upper limits for some types of transport funding.

The NDIS Transport Allowance for Providers’ Travel to Deliver Support

When travelling to deliver supports, providers can claim for both labour costs and non-labour costs. 

Labour costs represent the time spent travelling to provide core and capacity-building supports. The total travel time you can charge for depends on whether the worker is travelling to an urban, rural or remote location. 

The NDIS uses the Modified Monash Model (MMM) to determine how remote a location is. You can claim up to 30 minutes of travel time to MMM1–3 areas and up to 60 minutes to MMM4–5 areas. 

Meanwhile, in remote and very remote areas (MMM6–7), you can reach your own agreement with the participant, providing you stick to the relevant hourly rate for the support item. Additionally, as of July 2022, if you cannot travel to a location from a major city without crossing a remote or very remote area, it will now be treated as an MMM6–7 location.

You can also claim for the time a support worker spends travelling back to their usual place of work after seeing their last client, providing you “must” pay the worker for this time. Unlike in the past, this is applicable for support workers providing both core and capacity-building supports. The return journey is subject to the same time and price caps as the outgoing journey. 

If a worker is visiting multiple clients in the same area, then the NDIS considers it reasonable to split the travel costs between them, providing the clients agree to this and it forms part of their service agreements.

Non-labour costs represent public transport fares, petrol prices, road tolls, parking fees, vehicle maintenance and any other associated costs of transportation. If the support worker owns the vehicle they’re travelling in, the NDIS suggests a per-kilometre rate. Otherwise, it suggests billing up to the full amount of the costs.

You may know that here at ShiftCare, our NDIS provider and invoicing software has an in-built price guide based on the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits. This includes the NDIS’ recommended “reasonable contribution” for the provider travel rate, which used to be $0.85 per kilometre. The first couple of iterations of the 1st July 2022 price guides also set it as $0.85. 

However, in the very latest version of the price guide, the NDIS has increased what they deem a reasonable per-kilometre rate from $0.85 to $0.97. As such, that’s the default rate we use at ShiftCare.

NDIS Transport Allowance for Transporting Participants

Some participants may also need support workers to transport them, for example, to community activities or to supports delivered by other providers. This is a core support that you should claim for separately to the above travel allowance. 

Transporting participants falls into two categories: general transport and specialised transport. General transport services do not have a price limit, which means you should agree on a price and billing schedule with the participant. 

Specialised transport services, meanwhile, should only be provided when they’re part of a participant’s plan.

NDIS Transport Allowance and Funding Levels for Participants

Participants also have a transport allowance that supports them in attending school or work, assisting appointments and more. It is generally designed for participants who are unable to use public transport.

There are three funding levels, based on the participant’s needs:

  • Level 1: Up to $1,606 annually for participants who are not working, studying or enrolled in day programs but want to improve their community access

  • Level 2: Up to $2,472 annually for participants who are working or studying up to 15 hours a week

  • Level 3: Up to $3,456 annually for participants who are working, job-seeking or studying for 15 or more hours a week

How to Invoice and Claim for Transport Costs 

As a provider, it’s the first two types of transport funding that will interest you:1)  labour and non-labour costs in travelling to provide supports, and 2) the general or specialised transport of participants as a core support. 

The good news is that once you’ve wrapped your head around the different types of transport funding and the price limits, claiming for them is relatively simple. 

When claiming for providers’ travel to deliver support, you’ll need to request payment for both the number of kilometres travelled and the travel time — in addition to the delivered support, of course! These should be charged as three separate items on the invoice. If your invoicing software integrates with your time and attendance and expenses, you can probably automate the generation of these invoices.

Claiming participant transport is a little trickier. Since there is no price limit here, the NDIS has given it a notional price of $1. Let’s say you’ve agreed on a price of $45: you’ll need to submit a payment request of 45 units at $1. Alternatively, your invoicing software may let you speed the process up by creating custom prices. Just make sure that it’s still compatible with NDIS claims.

NDIS Transport Funding Claims Made Simple

Your time is important, and it should be spent on ensuring clients receive the high-quality, life-altering support they are entitled to — not on deciphering NDIS transport funding rules.

Our software will help you automate NDIS invoicing and bulk claims, so requesting payment is quicker and easier. In fact, our clients find they now spend 90% less time on invoicing. See how much time you could save with a free trial.

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