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Funding Your Short-Term Accommodation

Following your Planning meeting, Short Term Accommodation (STA) may be allocated as a claimable support under the NDIS for when you need to be away from your place of residence for a short amount of time. STA funding can be used for respite to support you and your carers, which can also give your carers a short break from supporting you.


More information on what STA is and what it can contain can be found in our previous post here: STA or Holiday? (first2care.com.au)

Instead, this post is intended to go into how an STA can be accessed and planned, and what your options may be on increased flexibility.


Typically, STA is arranged and managed by a dedicated provider who is able to plan, book, and bill the entire support. This provider is generally a third-party agency who specialises in this type of support, designing programs which include all necessary supports within the discussed 24 hour period.


These STA agencies are located throughout the country and can offer a wide range of different services and supports to their guests. They are also able to invoice in a compliant manner for NDIS guidelines with STA supports. This means that you will not be required to pay out of pocket for these supports, as the STA agency will arrange the invoicing between the providers and your plan manager.


STA is different to standard supports and services, as it is invoiced against a 24 hour period inclusive of all supports, activities and accommodation costs (including food). The NDIA have calculated this to consider the appropriate hourly rate of the support workers services being delivered. As a result of this, it is best practice for only a single invoice to be received that covers all expenses in the STA on any given day.


However, you have choice and control to access supports suitable to your individual needs and what the NDIA has recognized as reasonable and necessary. Through plan management, you have the flexibility to not necessarily be restricted to utilising STA through one of these agencies. It is possible to construct a “build-your-own STA”, where you get to arrange the accommodation, activities, and other eligible expenses associated with the stay.


While this can potentially give you some more freedom and flexibility in the itinerary for your STA, you and your providers are still required to comply with the rules and regulations of the NDIS guidelines. If you choose that this is more suitable to your needs, it should be recognized that many of the individual STA components may need to be paid as upfront costs and reimbursed after the STA as reimbursements.


Given the NDIS requirement for STA to be billed as a single invoice per day, our advice is to follow the following process:

  • Your support worker accompanying you on this STA purchases the daily expenses out of pocket.

  • Your support worker then compiles these individual receipts into a single invoice which can be billed to us.

So long as the supports meet the NDIS Reasonable & Necessary guidelines, and the total cost is not more than the maximum capped daily limit for STA, we will then be able to process these invoices and ensure that the supports are fully compliant. Effectively, this means that your support worker would be acting as an unofficial STA agency.


To avoid any unwelcome and nasty surprises, it is always worth checking the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits before organising any STA to ensure that your planned supports will not exceed the maximum rates. You can find this guide here: NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits | NDIS


Should you be intending on organising your own STA and aren’t sure about anything, it’s always best to confirm first. We are always happy to answer any queries you may have.

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