Just over a year in to the national NDIS rollout, and there are a few sore points for many families. One of these is respite. We field a lot of questions about it so we’ve created this blog to help provide clarity.
Why the confusion?
Initially it was believed that respite would not be offered as part of NDIS funding packages because it was thought to benefit family/carers, rather than the person with a disability who receives the funding.
To this, people spoke up, and the NDIA now recognises that sustaining the informal support of family or carers is very important to meet the needs of people with a disability and maintaining close supportive relationships.
But I can’t find respite in the NDIS price guide?
Currently there is no item listed under NDIS specifically as ‘respite’, which has caused confusion. However, respite is available but in ways you may not be used to describing, such as:
- Short term accommodation and assistance
- Assistance in living arrangements (host family/alternative family) solution
- Assistance with self-care overnight (different levels)
In a nutshell this means that respite options in your area – such as flexi, in-home respite, centre based day respite or overnight respite are able to be funded as part of plans, providing you’re eligible.
How do I get NDIS funding for respite?
We've prepared a downloadable fact sheet that includes applicable NDIS support items and reference numbers to enable you to understand how to specifically request respite options in your plan.
It’s also worth noting that to give yourself the best chance of getting what you need, you will need to justify to your planner why respite is reasonable and necessary. Anecdotally, we have been finding that the people who can best justify why supports are reasonable and necessary have been getting the best results. To read more about this in action, click through to this blog.
What kind of respite support is available under the NDIS?
There are three levels of respite-like supports available for funding as part of plans:
- Level 1: 7 to 14 days per year to allow the carer to attend key activities
- Level 2: 14 to 28 days per year and includes a strategy to build capabilities for future independence.
- Level 3: Equivalent of 28 days per year, when the carer provides support most days and informal support is at risk of not continuing due to the intensity of the support required or severe behavioural issues.
These levels of support will be determined by the level of disability and intensity of support required from family or informal carers, and other commitments – like work or study – of carers.
Higher levels of respite may be provided where there are:
- Unstable sleep patterns
- Invasive medical supports
- A lot of behavioural management
- More than one child with disability in the household
- Other assistance actively required overnight