Out of pocket expenses. What are they? How are they paid for?

Resources: NDIS ‘For Participants’ page.

Transcript
Erin

Out of pocket expenses. What are they? How they are paid for?

I’m Erin O’Neill.

Richard

And I’m Richard Brown.

Erin

Welcome to our podcast.

Erin

There seems to be an idea, not quite correct however, that out of pocket expenses are paid for by the NDIS. That’s not the case. Can you tell me a bit more about out of pocket expenses and how that all works for Supported Independent Living?

Richard

Sure. For Supported Independent Living you receive a funding package from the NDIS and that covers the providers services to you. But it doesn’t cover things like your rent, your food, consumables and your Utilities payments.

Erin

So Utilities is things like water, electricity, etc.

Richard

That’s correct. And within the food of course is, your consumables which includes your toothpaste and those other things that buy on a weekly or two weekly basis when you go to get the groceries.

Erin

So typically where does that money come from? Some people have pensions of course?

Richard

That’s right. A lot of people that are in Supported Independent Living have a Disability Support Pension and there is a general rule that around about 0.7 to 0.75 of the pension is the contribution that’s made by the participant to the provider and it does cover all those things. Food, rent and Utilities.

Erin

OK. So that means then that people are obviously working to a budget. However that doesn’t mean that people can’t have good circumstance, good housing and also allow for social events such as going out.

Richard

Absolutely. One of the things that, the NDIS does not pay for, and that’s made clear in the information that does come from the NDIS. You can find that on the website in ‘Advice for Participants’ [ https://www.ndis.gov.au/participants ] They don’t cover things that happen on the social side of things. They don’t cover going out for a coffee. There is no allowance for going to the pictures or swimming or going to the gym. Generally entertainment expenses are ‘Out of Pocket’ expenses, just like rent, food and Utilities. So there’s no allowance in funding from the NDIS for either Supported Independent Living or Respite to cover those things.

Erin

So, just to sum up. The NDIS covers some major components, however things like rent, food, Utilities and entertainment costs have to be covered by the participant. Often that happens through things such as their pension.

Richard

That’s correct.

Erin

Excellent. Thank you very much.

Richard

Thank you.