NDIS Provider Travel refers to the journey you and your team travel to participants' homes. Unlike Activity Based transport, Provider Travel covers the time and costs incurred by support workers while travelling to provide face-to-face support to participants. In this article, we'll provide insights on how to handle Provider Travel within the framework of NDIS guidelines effectively.
For more information on Activity Based Transport, which focuses on the journey support workers transport their participants, please read here.
What is NDIS Provider Travel?
Provider Travel framework is designed to reimburse travel costs and the time a worker spends travelling to a participant’s location to provide direct support. In some cases, it may also cover the time spent travelling back to the provider’s place of business.
Service providers can only claim from a participant’s plan for Provider Travel if all of the following conditions are met:
- The NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits indicate that you can claim for Provider Travel related to that support item.
- The travel charges must comply with the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits.
- The travel must be a part of delivering a specific disability support item to that participant.
- The support must be delivered directly, through face-to-face interaction.
- Service providers must explain to the participant why paying for provider travel is a good use of their NDIS funds.
- Service providers must have the participant's advance agreement, which should specify the travel costs that can be claimed.
- Service providers must pay the worker delivering the support for the time they spent travelling unless they are sole traders travelling from the usual place of work to or from the participant, or between participants.
The NDIS allows for travel claims in two types:
- Labour Costs: the time and effort of support workers
- Non-Labour Costs: kilometre cost, parking fees and road tolls
NDIS Provider Travel - Labour Costs (Travel Time)
Provider Travel - Labour Cost is the time spent travelling to (and sometimes from) a participant, and it must be claimed separately from the claim for the primary support.
Modified Monash Model (MMM)
The Modified Monash Model is a system the NDIA uses to categorise different areas as regional, remote, or very remote. Instead of relying on geographical distance, population density data provided by the Bureau of Statistics is used to determine these classifications. To see where you are located according to the MMM, please click here to access the MMM complete list.
How much can you claim for Provider Travel - Labour Cost?
When it comes to claiming for Provider Travel - Labour Cost, understanding how much you can claim is crucial. The amount you can claim largely depends on the region, as defined by the Modified Monash Model (MMM), and the nature of the support provided.
Here's a breakdown of the key points to consider when calculating your claim:
- You can claim up to 30 minutes (MMM1,2,3 areas) or 60 minutes (MMM4,5 areas) for travelling to each participant.
- If you’re delivering core and capacity-building supports and you must pay your worker for this return travel time (as part of the employment agreement), you can claim up to 30 minutes (MMM1,2,3 areas) or 60 minutes (MMM4,5 areas) for the return journey from the last participant to your usual workplace.
- If a worker serves multiple participants in a 'region’, you can distribute the travel time (including the return journey, where applicable) among these participants, with prior agreement from the participants.
- Submit travel claims separately from the primary support claim using the same line item and the "Provider Travel" option in the Myplace portal.
- Calculate the claimable travel costs using the agreed hourly rate for the primary support (or a lower hourly rate) with prior agreement from the participant.
NDIS Provider Travel - Non-labour Costs
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 travelling to deliver face-to-face support, such as road tolls, parking fees, and vehicle running expenses.
The NDIA defines reasonable contributions as follows:
- Up to the full amount for other transportation-related costs like road tolls, parking, and public transport fares.
- Up to $0.97 per kilometre for provider or worker-owned vehicles
You can only claim for non-labour costs as part of Provider Travel related to a support item if it is allowed by NDIS.
Similar to the worker’s time, if you travel to multiple participants on one trip, you should divide non-labour costs amongst participants, with the agreement of each participant in advance.
Moreover, claims for non-labour costs related to Provider Travel must be made separately from the claims for the primary support and the travel time. These non-labour costs should be claimed under the "Provider Travel - non-labour costs" support item specified in the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits.
NDIS Provider Travel Example
Your support worker travels 35 minutes (20 kilometres) to help a participant in Zone 3 of the Modified Monash Mode to provide two hours of Core support (Assistance With Self-Care Activities).
You and the participant have agreed to an hourly rate of $72.13. They have also agreed that the you can claim for travel time and for the non-labour costs associated with that travel (at $0.85 per kilometre). Zone 3 has a travel claim limit of 30 minutes; this means you can claim a maximum of 30 minutes for the travel to the participant.
Moreover, the worker has to pay a toll fee ($10). The participant has agreed that you can claim this toll cost too.
So technically, your claim for this support comes in four separate parts:
- $144.26 for the two hours of direct support. (01_015_0107_1_1, no longer 01_301_0104_1_1)
- $36.07 for the 30-minute travel to the participant (30/60 * $72.13) as Provider Travel (Labour cost) (01_015_0107_1_1)
- $17 for the 20-kilometre travel to and from the participant ($0.85 * 20) as Provider Travel (Kilometres) (01_799_0107_1_1)
- $10.00 for the toll fee as Provider Travel (Toll charges) (01_799_0107_1_1)
To see how you can claim for Provider Travel in Comm.care, check out this tutorial.
NDIS Provider Travel FAQs
If the travel time is 20 minutes, can I claim the 30-minute maximum time cap? No. The claim must reflect the actual travel time.
I operate my business from home, can I charge from home to the first participant? Yes. If your home is the registered business address.
Can travel costs be claimed for non-face-to-face support activities? No, Provider Travel is specifically for travel related to face-to-face support services. Travel costs for non-face-to-face activities are not claimable under this category.
Can I claim the return travel time to my usual place of work? Yes, if you’re a provider of core and capacity-building services, you can claim return travel time when you must pay your workers for the return journey. The maximum claimable time for return travel varies based on MMM classifications.
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