Getting out in the community and making friends is an important part of life for every child and young adult. And, the NDIS Assistance with Social and Community Participation budget is designed to help.
But what activities and supports are covered and how does it all work? Experienced Leap in! plan manager, Tabitha, answers some of your most frequently asked questions.
What is Assistance with Social and Community Participation?
Assistance with Social and Community Participation (officially called Assistance with Social, Economic and Community Participation) is one of the Core supports budgets. You can use this funding to improve your child or young adult’s ability to participate in community, social and recreational activities.
What can I use this budget to pay for?
Assistance with Social and Community Participation funding is usually used to cover the costs associated with supporting someone to engage in community, social or economic activities. Which means that this budget could assist your child, teen or young adult to participate in group activities, learn new skills, play a sport or attend an event.
This budget can cover a support worker to attend the activity with your child or young adult if it is “reasonable and necessary” but doesn’t generally cover the cost of the activity itself.
Can you provide some examples of activities covered?
Sure! There is a range of activities that the NDIS may cover:
- Recreational and sporting activities.
- Other group-based activities such as music lessons or coding classes.
- Visiting the local library or attending an event.
- Building skills to participate in social and community activities.
How do I know if I can use my son’s funds from this budget to pay for a support worker?
Any purchase made with your son’s NDIS funds must be “reasonable and necessary”, related to their disability and connected with the goals in their NDIS Plan.
The NDIS will consider if your son needs additional help compared with others the same age because of his disability.
It’s important to remember that as parents usually help their children to get to and from social and recreational activities, the NDIS is unlikely to cover transport costs. Also, the NDIS will not usually fund support for a young child to attend or participate in social or recreational activities where a parent or carer would usually be expected to stay and support their child.
What types of assistance can a support worker provide?
Assistance with Social and Community Participation can fund a support worker to provide communication support (including Auslan and interpreting) or assistance with completing activities.
It can also cover personal supports such as helping your child or teenager use the bathroom or eat if more assistance is needed for such tasks due to their disability.
Can I use NDIS funds for a support worker to accompany my daughter to a museum or other ticketed event?
Yes, you may be able to use NDIS funds for a support worker to accompany your daughter to a museum or other paid, ticketed event.
Note that the NDIS will not cover the cost of entry fees for your daughter or their support worker.
What are some things you can’t pay for with Assistance with Social and Community Participation funding?
Generally, you can’t use NDIS funds to buy things everyone has to pay for including concert tickets, entry fees, class fees, uniforms, memberships, meals, coaching and general equipment costs.
However, if it is a “reasonable and necessary” cost that relates to your child’s disability, and is closely connected to the goals in their NDIS Plan, you may be able to use your funds to pay for some costs associated with participating in social and community activities.
Help! My child has run out of Assistance with Social and Community Participation funds but needs a support worker over the next few months.
The good news is that Assistance with Social and Community Participation is a Core support, so it’s flexible! That means you can also pay for a support worker with Assistance with Daily Life or Consumables funding.
There seems to be two community participation budgets with similar names. What’s the difference?
Assistance with Social, Economic and Community Participation funding from the Core budget can be used for a support worker to help your child participate in social, employment and community activities.
Increased Social and Community Participation funding from the Capacity Building budget is used for development and training to build independence and help your child access the community. Examples include peer support, public transport training and funds to try out new activities connected with the goals in their NDIS Plan.
Leap in! is Australia’s leading NDIS plan manager and proudly not-for-profit. Get support to manage your child’s NDIS Plan and tailored advice from a team experienced in the NDIS and the Early Childhood Approach. Call 1300 05 78 78 or email [email protected] to learn more.
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