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Making the NDIS work for you: Gardening, cleaning and home maintenance

For many people, the phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness” is a motto they live their life by. But for some people with a disability, gardening, cleaning and home maintenance can be extremely difficult – and in some cases, impossible.

We often get questions from NDIS participants who want to know if they can use their funds to hire a gardener, cleaner or handyman. What you can or can’t fund depends on your particular situation and what’s in your NDIS plan, so there’s no single answer to this question.

That said, there are some basic things to keep in mind, and some handy hints that can make the decision as easy as possible for you.  

 

Does the NDIS fund gardening, cleaning and home maintenance?

In short, yes - the NDIS can provide funding for support with gardening, cleaning and home maintenance. But it’s important to point out that it will only fund these supports if they’re reasonable and necessary and directly related to your disability.

So, if you’re unable to perform a task, like vacuuming or mowing the lawn, because your disability makes it impossible, then the NDIS can fund it. If a person without a disability would have to hire a specialist to perform the job, such as hiring an electrician to rewire a socket, it won’t be covered by the NDIS.

Use this chart to help you work out if you can use your NDIS funds to help pay for a gardener, cleaner or even a handyman:

diagram does the NDIS fund this

 

Gardening, cleaning and home maintenance in your NDIS plan

The NDIS includes support with gardening, cleaning and home maintenance under the support category Assistance with Daily Living in your NDIS plan. So if you have budget allocated to this category in your NDIS plan, you can use it for this support, provided you meet the criteria outlined in the above section. Its also worth noting that, as Assistance with Daily Living is a ‘core support’, you can use this budget in other core support categories (Transport, Consumables and Assistance with Social & Community Participation) as well.     

 

What if they are not registered with the NDIS?

Because a lot of cleaners, gardeners and handymen are small businesses, the majority are likely not to be registered with the NDIS. They may not be aware of the NDIS, or haven’t gone through the process of registering with the NDIS. However, you can still access them with your NDIS funds – provided your NDIS funds are plan or self-managed.

One of the big benefits of Plan Management is that you can use non-registered service providers - so, if you want to get support with gardening, cleaning or home maintenance, request to have Plan Management included in your NDIS plan. Read more about the difference between registered and unregistered providers.

 

Things to take into account when hiring a gardener, cleaner or handyman

  • Set up a service agreement – As with any service provider you engage, it’s always a good idea to establish a service agreement with a gardener, cleaner or handyman. This is a simple written agreement that states how and when your services will be delivered, and will help protect you from any misunderstandings about the services being provided.
  • Agree upon a price – The NDIS uses an hourly-rate system for these services, so you and your service provider will need to agree on how much this is prior to starting the job. Keep in mind the NDIS won’t pay for any amounts outside of the hourly rate, so any incidental costs will need to be built into this. If they’re not, be aware that you may have to cover them out of your own pocket.
  • Point out our guide - Plan Partners has produced a guide for gardeners, cleaners and handymen, detailing how they should invoice their services under the NDIS. It's important that their invoices comply to the rules and regulations of the NDIS, so they are more likely to get paid and can continue to deliver their services to you.

 

To summarise, here are our top tips:

  • The NDIS can help pay for support with gardening, cleaning and home maintenance, but only if:
    1. your disability is preventing you from doing it yourself; and 
    2. most people wouldn’t require a specialist to complete it
  • Most gardeners and cleaners are likely to be unregistered with the NDIS, so you’ll need to either have Plan Management or self-manage your NDIS funds to access them.
  • Gardeners and cleaners must charge at an hourly rate, so be sure to agree on this first.
  • If there are any additional costs, they can’t add these to their NDIS invoice. They’ll either need to build them into their hourly rate or you’ll have to cover them yourself.
  • Set up a service agreement with them to ensure you’re not caught out!
  • To ensure their invoices comply to the NDIS rules and regulations, point out our handy guide to your gardener, cleaner or handyman.

 

If you have any more questions about accessing a gardener, cleaner, or any other service under the NDIS, please give our friendly team a call on 1300 333 700 or email info@planpartners.com.au.  

 

This is the third blog post in our 'Making the NDIS work for you' series. Read our other blogs in this series here:

Disclaimer

 

8

8 comments

Stephen Mifsud (not verified)   14th May, 2019

Would like to know about the ndis and what it does for disabled people in tasmania please contact me on 0457077428

admin   14th May, 2019

Hi Stephen,

Thank you for your comment. Our friendly team would be happy to call you to discuss the benefits of the NDIS and Plan Partners' services. We will contact you soon!

In the meantime, feel free to read more about the NDIS here: https://www.planpartners.com.au/ndis

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

service for ND… (not verified)   24th June, 2019

I would like to know if I can work for the NDIS providers in NSW to provide service like Pest Control, Lawn mowing, gardening and Gutter Cleaning
I am a licensed pest controller and I also have a business (Pest Building and Maintenance)
Please guide me how to provide these services for NDIS providers

Thanks

admin   24th June, 2019

Hi,

If you'd like to get your business 'NDIS-ready' and begin providing services to participants, you'll love our eBook, "Working with the NDIS".

Here's the link: https://go.planpartners.com.au/working-with-the-ndis

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Augustine (not verified)   18th July, 2019

Hi I am operating a registered NDIS organisation in Canberra, where we support people with mental illness for shopping, outing, mentoring and cooking. I would like to know more about how to expand our services to gardening and cleaning services.
I can be contacted on 0474647873 or augustinebenny97@gmail.com
Thanks & Regards

admin   18th July, 2019

Hi, Thank your for your comment. Our team in Canberra will contact you today to discuss what we could do to support you. We probably are not able to give you specific business advice on how to expand your services with gardening and cleaning, but we can certainly discuss how we can help you with supporting people bringing their NDIS plans to life. Feel free to register to become part of our Provider Network too, this web page explains it all: https://planpartners.com.au/service-providers.
Warm regards, the Plan Partners team.

Cathy nursey (not verified)   09th September, 2019

To whom it may concern
I have mainternance in my plan
I would like to know exactaly what mainternance
Covers in and out of the home and what it does not cover please kind regards Cathy nursey

admin   09th September, 2019

Hi Cathy,

Thank you for your getting in touch with us.

Maintenance refers to essential house and/or yard activities that a NDIS participant is not able to undertake. As a general rule, if you can’t perform a task – like vacuuming or mowing the lawn – because of your disability, the NDIS can fund it. If a task requires a specialist, regardless of whether you have a disability or not – such as hiring an electrician to rewire a socket – it won’t be covered by the NDIS.

If you would like to know more, feel free to contact our friendly team to discuss how we may be able to support you. Our phone number is 1300 333 700 and email address is info@planpartners.com.au.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

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