Updated 11 August, 2020
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has unlocked many opportunities for gardeners, cleaners and handymen. But for any business or sole trader who wants to work with NDIS participants, it’s important to understand the many NDIS rules and regulations. This article breaks down all you need to know about the NDIS, so you can get paid quickly and without fuss.
What does the NDIS fund?
The NDIS only funds a support if it is considered ‘reasonable and necessary’ and is directly related to a person’s disability. As each NDIS participant’s plan is unique, exactly what’s covered varies from person to person.
As a general rule, if a person can’t perform a task – like vacuuming or mowing the lawn – because of their disability, the NDIS can fund it. If a task requires a specialist, regardless of whether the customer has a disability or not – such as hiring an electrician to rewire a socket – it won’t be covered by the NDIS.
Can any business work with NDIS participants?
Yes – so long as you have a valid ABN, you can get paid under the NDIS.
While the NDIS encourages businesses to go through a formal registration process, it isn’t a requirement. If you’re a small business and don’t have the time, money or desire to register with the NDIS, you can still work with participants who either self-manage their funding or enlist the support of a Plan Manager like Plan Partners. If you’d like to work with all participants, including those whose funding’s managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency, you’ll need to become registered NDIS provider.
How to invoice your NDIS customers
The NDIS has very specific requirements for invoicing. To avoid having your invoice rejected and instead get paid as quickly as possible, follow these rules:
- Invoice at an hourly rate
The NDIS uses an hourly-rate system, so your invoice must clearly state how many hours you worked and at what hourly rate. The NDIS will not accept just a price for the job on your invoice without breaking it up into hours.
- Don’t add on additional costs
If a job involves any incidental costs, like cleaning chemicals, paint or lawn fertiliser, you cannot just add these on to the invoice. Instead you’ll need to build them into your hourly rate. One additional cost that you can charge for is travel expenses – these can include up to 30 minutes of travel to support in metro areas and up to 60 minutes in regional areas, as well as any other costs like tolls or parking fees. Before adding these costs to your invoice, you’ll need to discuss them with the customer to make sure they agree.
- Invoice correctly
The NDIS has very specific requirements for invoices. If your invoice is missing information or has been filled out incorrectly, it won’t be processed and you’ll have to wait longer to get paid. Learn more about how to invoice correctly… Want to see a good example? Here’s one.
The NDIS prefers invoices not to be handwritten – but if you do, make sure that everything is clear and can’t be misinterpreted.
- Follow the price guide
The NDIS regulates the maximum hourly rate that you can charge. You can learn more about these using our NDIS Price Guide Navigator, a handy search tool that makes it easy to find the right line item and current price limits. The current NDIS Price Guide 2020/2021 amounts are capped at:
Maximum hourly rate (incl GST)
|NDIS line item|
House and/or Yard Maintenance
|House Cleaning and other Household Activities||
The easiest way to create and submit NDIS invoices
Creating and submitting NDIS invoices can be a rather complex process. However, if your customer is Plan Managed by Plan Partners, you can use our online Fast Payment System. Not only does this allows you to create and submit NDIS compliant invoices in just 3 simple steps, you’ll be paid a lot quicker too – usually within 4 business days! You can also track the status of your invoices and more using our online Dashboard which is also available as an App.
Have any question?
- While the NDIS can fund services like cleaning and gardening, they only do so if a person’s disability is preventing them from doing the job themselves.
- To get paid under the NDIS you must have a valid ABN
- If you’re not registered with the NDIS, you can provide services to NDIS participants who Plan Manage or self-manage their funding, but not those who are NDIA managed.
- Break your price up into an hourly rate and include all the above information on your invoice.
- If a job might cost more than the NDIS will cover, be sure to raise this with your customer first. The customer will have to pay the additional costs out of their pocket.
- You can charge for travel costs, but discuss these with the customer first.
- Setting up a service agreement with your NDIS customers will help both of you be on the same page.
- Use handy tools such as Plan Partners’ NDIS Price Guide Navigator and our Fast Payment systems, that make invoicing under the NDIS really easy.
- If your customers have questions about how to use your services under the NDIS, read our other NDIS guide: ‘Making the NDIS work for you: Gardening, cleaning and home maintenance.’