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Are flights and travel to STA covered?

Flights and STA 

We have recently discussed STA/Respite and how they can be funded by the NDIS. You are welcome to review our previous blogs to determine whether STA meets the Reasonable & Necessary criteria to be funded through your plan. 


This blog is focused more on how you can get to and from your STA and what the NDIS will fund. 


 

Can I Get My Flights Covered? 

Generally speaking, the advice from the NDIA is that flights are not a reasonable and necessary expense and should not be covered. 


If flying is the only way you can access your STA/Respite, then the NDIA may question why similar supports can’t be arranged closer to home. The same is true for social camps funded by the NDIA. 


Flights are therefore considered to be the duty of the client or their representative to cover when accessing distant STA/Respite supports. 


If you need to have a support worker with you on the flight, then their hours can be claimed through their usual support work line codes. Their flight expenses would also not be covered by NDIS funding. 

 

What About Other Travel? 

In similar justification, the NDIA will consider excessive travel by taxi, train, or other method to not meet the Reasonable & Necessary criteria. What is considered excessive does not have any hard criteria, so it is generally best practice to check in with your Support Coordinator, Plan Manager, or NDIS Planner for advice before making any

bookings. 


Any travel expenses incurred going to or from the STA would need to fall under the capped daily price limit, so this is another thing to keep in mind. 

 

Why Is This the Case? 

As part of the Reasonable & Necessary criteria, the NDIA considered cost effectiveness. This is not just based on the support itself, but on periphery costs as well, including travel. 


Flights are an expensive way to travel, especially if travelling a long way. If the cost of return flights significantly increases the overall cost of the support, then this is no longer cost effective. If the cost of a flight is prohibitive for you to pay out of pocket, then the NDIA will encourage a similar support closer to home where you can be transported by a support worker by car or a more reasonable form of transport.

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