Exploring NDIS Overseas Respite: Can You Use Your Funding to Travel Abroad?

Navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be complex, but it offers valuable support and opportunities for individuals with disabilities in Australia. One intriguing aspect is the possibility of utilizing NDIS funding for overseas respite. In this article, we delve into the concept of NDIS overseas respite, addressing key questions and considerations for those interested in exploring this option.

NDIS Overseas Respite

Can I Use My NDIS Funding to Go Overseas?

In the words of the NDIS: “For participant’s, as with other members of Australian society, overseas travel, including extended holidays, is considered to be an ordinary part of life.” 

You can use your NDIS funding to pay for the normal supports you would usually require in Australia whilst overseas for up to 6 weeks. 

How long can I go for?

An NDIS participant can be absent from Australia for up to 6 weeks (from your departure date) without affecting their plan. This may be extended on application (and if denied is a reviewable decision). Since your plan will be suspended after 6 weeks, be sure to let the NDIS know as soon as possible if you are going to be away for longer!

You can find out more information about this on the NDIS website here

What Can and Can't Be Covered?

The NDIS will pay for everything they usually would in Australia and everything must meet the same criteria as it would in Australia, being:

For a cost to reasonable and necessary it must:

  • must be related to a participant’s disability
  • must not include day-to-day living costs not related to your disability support needs
  • should represent value for money
  • must be likely to be effective and work for the participant, and
  • should take into account support given to you by others, for example the government, your family or your community

To find out more about the reasonable and necessary criteria go here

Essentially, they generally will not cover things such as flights, food, accommodation, and entertainment. If however you need to get accessible accommodation or a wheelchair accessible vehicle due to your disability you may be able to have NDIS cover the difference.

They will usually cover things like renting a mobility scooter, renting a wheelchair accessible vehicle, acquiring essential supplies that you regularly use or hiring a support worker to assist with personal care needs during the trip.

If you need a wheelchair accessible vehicle in Australia do not hesitate to reach out to us on 1800 133 320 or info@wheelaway.net.au

Who can you go with?

Another aspect to consider is who can accompany participants on their overseas respite. Depending on individual circumstances and support needs, family members, friends, or carers may join the trip. It’s essential to discuss these arrangements with your NDIS planner or support coordinator to ensure adequate support is in place throughout the journey.

NDIS Overseas Respite

Paying for invoices

This is important. When you get the bill, it will be in a different currency. The NDIA portal or your plan manager needs to know how much you paid in Australian dollars (AUD). The easiest way is to pay with a credit card, so you can show them the AUD amount on your credit card statement. If you can’t do that, you can use the exchange rate for that day to figure out how much it is in AUD.

Finding a Support Worker

If travelling far from home, you may wish to save money by finding a Support Worker in the destination you are travelling to.

You can use international online travel communities for this like Facebook groups and  Linkedin Groups. Just post your request and see who is available at your location and time.

Facebook groups you could try include Bucketlist Bombshells Community, The Adventure Bucketlist, Accessible Travel, Accessible Travel Club, and Accessible Group.

Additional Resources

If you would like to hire a wheelchair accessible vehicle call us on 1800 133 320 or email us at info@wheelaway.net.au

Renting a Wheelchair Van

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