Weekly Q and A – 27 October

Posted on 27 October 2017

Is there a time limit on how long a planning process is allowed to take?

During your planning conversation, you can ask your National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) representative for an estimated turnaround time as this is based on your local area.

If I take my support worker on holidays with me will the NDIS only cover hours worked, or can I claim towards cost of airfares, accommodation and meals?

The NDIS doesn't pay for you to go on holidays, or for the travel of support workers if you choose to go on holiday.

The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports – such as personal care – to help people with disability live an ordinary life and participate in everyday activities.

If you have funding in your plan for personal care and choose to go on holiday, the NDIS will continue to fund those supports while you're on holiday.

However, if you require a support worker to travel with you to provide supports, travel costs are not covered by the NDIS.

All participants have flexibility in their budgets and are encouraged, where appropriate, to purchase local supports at their destination.

How do I claim wages back after I have paid our employee? We self-manage our plan and directly engage our own staff.

When you self-manage your NDIS plan and directly engage your own staff, you have the same legal and regulatory obligations as an employer, such as:

  • Workplace relations
  • Taxation
  • Superannuation
  • Insurance
  • Work health and safety

You can find details on these responsibilities, and how to go about meeting them in the Directly Engaging My Own Staff factsheet.

Some participants pay their invoices as soon as it comes through, and then request a payment (reimbursement) via the myplace Participant Portal.

Other participants may choose to request a payment through the myplace Participant Portal and once the money has been deposited into their nominated bank account, they then pay their employee.

It's up to you.

It usually takes 24 hours for the payment request to be processed through the myplace participant portal and be deposited into your nominated bank account.

It's important to remember that if you self-manage your NDIS funding you can directly employ your own support staff. Direct employment of staff gives you more control over:

  • the people who work with you,
  • the hours they work, and
  • the tasks that they perform.

In this situation you become the employer and have additional responsibilities to the Australian Taxation Office and your employees through Australia's workplace laws. You can use this option on its own or in combination with using self-employed contractors or other service providers (regardless of whether they are registered with NDIS).

You can read about employing and paying staff in the 'Paying Support Staff' section of the 'Self-managing Your Plan' factsheet available here.

To help you manage these responsibilities, you should refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman website (external), and seek help from an accountant or financial advisor so that you know you are paying wages, super and tax correctly.

You will also need to consider insurance and work health and safety requirements, which are outlined at Safe Work Australia (external).

If you would like to self-manage but are unsure whether you are ready to self-manage aspects of your NDIS Budget, talk with the NDIS about suitable options that could be included in your NDIS Plan to help you develop the skills that you need.

We are self-managed and just received a service provider invoice. It covers a whole term. What start and finish support dates do I enter? The whole term? Or do i break it down into each session and enter that way?

You can claim for the whole term in one single claim when you have received a single invoice.

Unless there are conditions in their Service Agreement with the provider then it would be easier to claim as one item you should always keep the invoice for your records to justify the services delivered in line with the claim.

I've been given a website link to provide feedback about my NDIS experience. Is this real?

We are testing a new way to collect feedback from participants to help the NDIA improve our services and develop quality plans that lead to a better life.

People in areas of Box Hill and Boronia in Victoria, Charlestown in New South Wales and Mt Gambier in South Australia are being offered the opportunity to participate in the four week pilot beginning on 16 October 2017. A small number of people who request access to the NDIS through the National Access Team will also be offered the opportunity to participate.

The pilot allows participants to log into a web-based platform and provide feedback at each step of their journey with the NDIS.

Participation in the pilot is voluntary and each participant's responses will remain private and confidential.

Responses will help us to improve the NDIS and we encourage you to take part. The survey takes about two minutes to complete.

If you are in an area participating in the pilot you will be provided with more information by your local NDIS representative.