You need to feel relaxed and safe with your supports. For many people with disabilities, friends, and family provide that safe and comfortable environment. It’s no surprise that NDIS participants frequently ask if family members or friends can step in as paid support.
What are formal and informal supports?
Informal support (or unpaid) is the support you receive from your family, friends, and community. During your plan review or planning meeting, you will typically be asked about the informal support you receive from your family, friends, community, and others. The Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA planner will ask you about your current informal support so that they can identify gaps in your support system and provide formal (paid) supports.
Formal support can be a professional who is not your family member or friend and can offer paid support and services that meet your needs. A support worker can help you with everyday tasks like getting into and out of bed, cooking meals, cleaning, etc., or a service provider such as a speech pathologist or physiotherapist.
Is it possible to pay a family member as a support?
Simply put, no. Your NDIS funding cannot pay for the support provided by a family member. To be eligible for funding, the support must be reasonable and necessary. It must also be relevant to your disability. These criteria are not met by support from your family, friends, or the community. This type of support is often part of daily life for people with disabilities.
Why doesn’t the NDIA allow family members to be paid supports?
Any funding from NDIA must be reasonable and necessary. It also needs to be related to your disability. Family support is generally provided regardless of whether someone has a disability. Another reason a family member may not be eligible for funding is that it could:
- Limit your options and control over the implementation of support
- Reduce your ability to achieve independence
- Increase vulnerability to abuse, neglect, and exploitation
- Conflict of interest between participants’ best interests and income support for family members
- This will result in limited respite for the family member in a support worker role
- Family dynamics and relationships can be negatively impacted
Is there any way to fund a family member?
The NDIS might approve family members as paid support if they have no other options in exceptional circumstances. This could include:
- Participants are at risk of being hurt or neglected.
- A family member may be financially able to support a loved one because of religious or cultural reasons.
- Participants have strong personal views.
- Participants live remote and cannot access the support and services they require.
If all other options are exhausted, having a friend or family member provide financial support would be possible.
It’s important to remember that even if the NDIA approves a friend or family member to provide support, the rules will apply depending on how the NDIS plan is managed. If a person with a disability were agency managed, the person providing support would need NDIS registration.
If you have any queries regarding your NDIS Plan or NDIS community nursing in Rhodes, we have a team of experienced professionals at Ebenezer Mission who can assist you. You can reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone at 0478 831 731, or live chat on our website.