13 Oct Can I hire a family member or friend To provide NDIS Support?
Family, friends, teachers and other members of the community play a vital role in the lives of persons living with a disability. This network of people is what is commonly referred to as your ‘informal supports’.
What are informal supports?
‘Informal Supports’ are defined as the supports a participant receives from the people around them, this might include family members, friends, teachers, neighbours etc. Your informal support network can support you in a number of ways, from assisting with your daily life and activities, to simply providing human interaction and emotional support.
Can I pay family members or friend to provide me with support?
Your parents or other family members, friends, acquaintances etc, are referred to as ‘informal’ supports because they are (in most cases) unpaid.
The support provided by an informal support network is an important part of everyone’s day to day life, whether living with a disability or not, and it is for this reason that the NDIS does not consider it reasonable and necessary to provide funding to pay a family member or friend to be a support worker.
Generally, only in the most exceptional circumstances will the NDIS consider providing funding to pay family members or friends to provide you with support. If you believe you may fall into this category, because you are in a remote area, you are unable to access formal disability support services, or for another reason, you should contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110 to discuss your situation.
An exceptional circumstance surrounding family members as paid support workers might include:
- Where the participant has exhausted all other options
- If there are religious or cultural reasons for a family member to provide support
- If there is a risk of harm or neglect to the participant
- If the participant has strong personal views regarding this matter
- Where the participant lives in a very remote area where there are no support services available
Participants should not engage a family member or other informal supports to provide them with ‘paid’ support under their NDIS plan without written approval from the National Disability Insurance Agency first.
Who can be paid to provide me with support?
If none of the above exceptional circumstances apply to you and you are having trouble finding or engaging with a support worker or someone to provide care or other services, your support coordinator can assist you.
To learn more check out our blog How Do I Find NDIS Service Providers.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to use your NDIS funding for supports such as:
- daily personal activities
- transport to enable participation in community, social, economic and daily life activities
- workplace help to allow a participant to successfully get or keep employment in the open or supported labour market
- therapeutic supports including behaviour support
- help with household tasks to allow the participant to maintain their home environment
- help to a participant by skilled personnel in aids or equipment assessment, set up and training
- home modification design and construction
- mobility equipment, and
- vehicle modifications.