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NDIS Short Term Accommodation (STA) Explained

NDIS Short Term Accommodation (STA) Explained

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NDIS Short Term Accommodation (STA) Explained

Short Term Accommodation (STA) is a crucial component of the NDIS. These services provide temporary support for participants and their primary carers. 

This blog is your guide to unraveling the fundamentals of STA services. We will provide you with a foundational understanding that is crucial for effectively navigating claims, staff hours, and participant support.

What is Short Term Accommodation (STA)?

Short Term Accommodation (STA), also known as respite care, is a specialised support service offering a short-term break from regular caregiving responsibilities for participants and their primary carers. STA offers a temporary stay in alternative accommodations, where participants are supported by qualified support staff. 

This service aims to enhance participants' overall well-being by offering a change of environment, fostering social engagement, and ensuring their health and safety needs are met. STA is tailored to accommodate each participant's unique needs and preferences, providing flexibility and respite for them and their dedicated caregivers. 

The NDIS funds ‘STA and Assistance’ under the Core Support and Assistance with Daily Living Category throughout many line items. These items vary based on Time of Day, Day of Week, and the staff-to-participant ratio.

What does STA include?

An STA support service includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Assistance with self-care or community access activities
  • Food
  • Negotiated activities 

While commonly provided in group-based facilities, STA can also be delivered at the participant's home or in alternative accommodations like apartments or hotels. The service delivery varies for each participant based on their needs and preferences.

How long can STA support be used for?

STA is a 24-hour support service that is invoiced by the number of days. However, if a participant receives considerably less than 24 hours of support, it's reasonable to negotiate a lower rate than the maximum NDIS rate based on the actual support hours. 

For instance, if a participant stays in a STA/respite facility only during the evening and leaves early the next morning, or arrives late in the day, it might be appropriate to claim the daily rate for the primary day of support.

According to the NDIS guideline, a participant can have STA support for up to 14 consecutive days (with exceptions allowed) and for a total of 28 days per year. In practice, the application of STA can be flexible, accommodating the participant’s needs, such as using STA support in week-long blocks or for one weekend a month, etc.

Furthermore, alternative options such as Supported Independent Living (SIL) or Medium Term Accommodation (MTA) may be more suitable when a longer-term arrangement is required.

How much STA can be funded?

The NDIS specifies standardised rates for STA support, detailed in the latest NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits.

The NDIS generally provides funding for STA services at a group rate, which may involve sharing support with other participants. This is indicated in the staff-to-participant ratio (for example, 1:2, 1:3, or 1:4) in the STA line items. 

However, exceptions can be made for individual support (ratio 1:1) when necessary due to the participant's disability. This flexibility ensures that each participant receives the level of support they need, whether in a group setting or through more personalized, one-on-one care.

How to claim for STA successfully?

To get funded for STA, participants usually look for providers that:

  • Have a track record in providing STA services.
  • Provide group packages.
  • Provide support aligning with the participant's needs and goals, providing clear benefits.
  • Demonstrate value for money through their services.
  • Bundle food, accommodation, and all relevant supports into a comprehensive package price.

On the other hand, if you’re offering services that fall into any of the cases below, you might not be able to claim them as STA:

  • Emergency accommodation: The NDIA has specific rules for emergency accommodation, and each State and Territory has specialised services for such cases. 
  • Medium or longer-term stays: If the stay takes longer than 14 days, it's not considered STA. The NDIA has separate guidelines for stays longer than this, called "Medium Term Accommodation" used during transitions between residences.
  • Accommodation-only without additional supports: If the service only provides accommodation, and it's unclear how it helps the participant achieve their goals in their Plan, the NDIA might see it as a holiday and not be eligible to claim.
  • Unjustifiably expensive supports: Value for money is crucial, and the NDIS outlines specific price limits for each type of support that can be invoiced in STA.

Challenges in Documenting STA Service Delivery

As an STA service provider, managing staff hours can be challenging when a support service, invoiced based on quantity, involves multiple staff members working at different times. To tackle this, you need to:

  • Create individual appointments and progress notes for the STA support service to manage staff hours and meet the NDIS documentation requirements. 
  • Enter the correct quantity of the support line items to claim for the STA support successfully later. 

Fortunately, Comm.care simplifies these tasks for you. For detailed guidance, refer to our step-by-step tutorial on invoicing for STA using Comm.care.

NDIS Short Term Accommodation (STA) Explained
NDIS Short Term Accommodation (STA) Explained
NDIS Short Term Accommodation (STA) Explained

Comm.care Team

Comm.care is a comprehensive platform designed to seamlessly streamline care management, invoicing, rostering, and compliance process. Comm.care offers a unified platform for organisations to collaborate with other care institutions and manage care for the elderly, people with disabilities, along with their families and friends.

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