The NDIS introduces two mechanisms to ensure sustainable support related to Transport and Travel, namely Activity Based Transport and Provider Travel, respectively.
This blog will delve into Activity Based Transport, a crucial framework that can significantly impact service delivery efficiency, making it easier for participants to access necessary transportation services.
For more information on Provider Travel, which focuses on the journey support workers undertake to reach their participants, please read here.
What is NDIS Activity Based Transport?
As a service provider within the Assistance with Social, Economic and Community Participation and Capacity Building support categories, you can offer transportation when the participant requests.
If transport services are outlined in the Service Agreement and the participant consents, you can bill for the support worker's time in transport and any associated non-labour expenses.
It’s also crucial to note that Activity Based Transport and General Transport are two distinct NDIS services. Activity Based transport is about the transportation needed for community participation support. On the other hand, General Transport covers the transportation either to non-support activities or services offered by another provider.
The claimable Capacity Building support categories include:
- Finding and keeping a job
- Improved learning
- Improved living arrangements
- Increased social and community participation
- Support Coordination
- Increased social and community participation
- Improved relationships
How to claim NDIS Activity Based Transport?
You can claim the worker's time based on the agreed hourly rate for the primary support. This covers all the time spent supporting the participant, including time spent accompanying and/or transporting the participant. This claim should be made using the relevant Community Participation or Capacity Building support items.
For example, if a support worker drives a participant to a community activity that is 30 minutes away and spends 1 hour there, then drives the participant home again. So the total support worker’s time is 2 hours at the agreed hourly rate.
Activity Based Transport
In addition to the cost of a worker’s time, you can negotiate with participants to make reasonable contributions to cover additional costs incurred when transporting the participant (i.e. road tolls, parking fees, and vehicle running expenses).
The NDIA defines reasonable contributions as:
- Up to $0.97 per kilometre for a vehicle that is not modified for accessibility.
- Up to $2.76 per kilometre for a vehicle that is modified for accessibility or a bus.
- Up to the full cost for other transport or additional expenses like tolls, parking, and public transport fares.
If you offer transport services to multiple participants in one trip, you should divide the worker's time and additional costs among them based on the prior agreement from each participant.
A real case of NDIS Activity Based Transport
You agreed to support a participant with their community activities, including a trip to the local swimming pool (Access Community Social and Rec Activ).
The ride in a non-disability-modified vehicle takes 25 minutes to reach the pool. This time includes helping the participant in and out of the vehicle and preparing them for the activity. The worker travels with the participant. They offer assistance at the pool for 40 minutes. Afterwards, they take 20 minutes to bring the participant back home in the same vehicle. The pool is 10 kilometres away from the participant's home.
You and the participant settled on a $92.12 hourly rate. This is also the rate for the support worker’s time transporting the participant.
The participant also agreed that you can claim the support worker's car park fee ($4.50) and running costs ($0.85 per km for a total of 20 km) under the support item.
Your claim for this support comes in three separate parts:
- $130.50 for the 40 minutes of direct support at the swimming pool and the 45-minute transport to and from the pool (85/60 * $92.12). This is the primary support. (04_104_0125_6_1)
- $17 for the 20-kilometre travel to and from the pool (0.85 * 20) as Activity Based Transport (Kilometres) (04_590_0125_6_1)
- $4.5 for the toll fee as Activity Based Transport (Parking) (04_590_0125_6_1)
To see how you can claim for Activity Based Transport in Comm.care, check out this tutorial.
Note: You can also claim for the worker's travel time to reach the participant before the support begins, as discussed in this Provider Travel blog.
FAQs about NDIS Activity Based Transport
What transport costs CAN'T be claimed from the participant's NDIS Plan? Personal trips, vacations, or any other travel that doesn't directly support NDIS-funded activities.
If I am transporting and assisting a group, how are payments divided? You must calculate the individual share for each person and ensure that everyone consents to the cost.
Is it necessary to revise the service agreement to encompass transport expenses, such as kilometres and other related costs? To include transport charges, you should obtain the Participant's approval. The most effective approach to do this might be through an update to your service agreement.
If a participant needs support during transportation, how can we make a claim for this? If the participant is travelling by car, it's not feasible for one worker to both drive and provide support. Two workers are needed: one to drive and one to provide support. You can claim expenses as you would in a situation with two staff members assisting one participant. This involves two line items for worker time under the relevant support category and one line item for additional transportation-related costs.
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