14 Oct 2020

Respite care and the NDIS - what do you need to know?

You can request funds for respite care in your child’s NDIS plan. Respite can be included in your child’s plan where it is considered a reasonable and necessary support. Here’s everything you need to know about respite and the NDIS.

What is respite care?

Respite care allows for a break from usual routine for people with disability and their parents or full time carers. Respite can be provided informally when friends or family care for your child or formally through your child’s NDIS funding for in-home services or centre-based respite.

Respite and the NDIS

The NDIS recognises that respite care can contribute to the health and wellbeing of everyone involved and is an important part of the holistic care of a person with a disability. Within the NDIS, respite is known as “Short term accommodation (STA) and assistance”. This is a broad description that covers various types of short term accommodation supports, one of which is respite.

Funding for Short term accommodation (STA) and assistance – including respite – is categorised under Core Supports – Assistance with Daily Life. If you have this budget, in your child’s plan, then you can choose to use some of this funding for respite care.

How does respite work in the NDIS?

The NDIS funds respite care to support the ongoing provision of informal care for people with disability. That is, care that is provided informally and without funding by parents, family members and other carers.

Respite provides the opportunity for your child with disability to get the support that they need giving you, their full time carer, the opportunity to take a break or focus on other things in your life. Under the NDIS, short term accommodation is generally funded for up to 14 days at a time while longer term arrangements fall under a different funding category called Medium Term Accommodation or Supported Independent Living.

How much does respite care cost?

The NDIS Price Guide determines the maximum prices a provider can charge for respite care based on the days of the week and the ratio of staff to participants. The rates take into account:

  • Weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays and public holidays
  • Metro, regional, remote and very remote locations

What’s included in respite care?

When you are paying for respite care from your child’s NDIS funds, basic day-to-day expenses should be included, such as:

  • Accommodation in an appropriate facility
  • Overnight support
  • Assistance with self-care or community access activities
  • Food
  • Other support that your child needs as agreed with your STA provider

How to request funding for respite

To receive funding for respite care, the NDIS must consider that the support is “reasonable and necessary”, just like other supports under the NDIS. The NDIA will take into account the amount of informal support provided but being well prepared for your planning meeting or review meeting will help. Ahead of your meeting, have a think about the below and include this information with your request for funding.

  • Are there times when informal care is not available and if so what is the regularity and length of time?
  • Will respite care help you to provide ongoing informal care?
  • Will respite care help your child to achieve any of the goals set out in their plan such as increasing confidence or independence?

Finding respite care

Xavier Place is our purpose built, 6 bed respite centre in the Brisbane suburb of Yeerongpilly. Here we provide a centre-based home-away-from home respite service for children, teenagers and young people with complex disability and related health needs.

Further information

For further information on Xavier Place, short term accommodation and respite for children and young people with complex disabilities, please give us a call on 1800 XAVIER or visit the Xavier Place page.