We get asked all the time, ‘Can my therapist charge me for travel, and if so, how much??’
In short, the answer is yes, and the amount can differ depending on what you agree to before you start services.
This resource sets out:
- Which NDIS therapists/providers can charge for travel
- How much a therapist can charge for travel
- Additional travel costs
- Tips to reduce travel costs.
Which NDIS capacity building providers can charge travel?
Capacity building services include services like Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy, Physiology, Psychology and more.
Capacity building providers (mostly allied health professionals) are able to claim for provider travel if there is a 'Y' in the 'Provider Travel' column in the NDIS Support Catalogue for the service line item.
In truth, there is a Y for almost all items!
These NDIS providers can charge you for:
1. Labour Costs (their time)
This is the time they spend:
- travelling to your appointment and
- returning to their usual place of business afterwards if you are their last appointment.
2. Non-Labour Costs
With your agreement (via a service agreement) a therapist may charge you for a portion of their non-labour travel costs.
This may include parking, running costs of the vehicle, tolls etc.
This travel cost could include:
- up to $0.85 a kilometre for a vehicle that is not modified for accessibility; and
- other forms of transport or associated costs up to the full amount, such as road tolls, parking,
- public transport fares.
How much can NDIS capacity building providers/ therapists charge for travel?
Your therapist can charge for:
- Labour costs: Time spent travelling
- Non-labour costs: Distance travelled and additional travel costs
The maximum amount of time therapists can claim is:
- 30 minutes in MMM1-3 areas (most participants fall into this MMM area as it includes major cities, inner regional and some outer regional)
- 60 minutes in MMM4-5 areas (regional and remote areas)
- Travel time is charged at their consulting rate (ouch!).
- This is applicable to both the travel to your appointment and their travel to their usual place of business if you are their last consult. You could even end up paying both sides!
- Where a therapist is travelling to provide services to more than one participant in a ‘region’ then the provider should apportion that travel time (including the return journey where applicable) between the participants, with the agreement in advance of each participant.
- Ask your provider about ALL travel costs BEFORE you start services. Confirm how much you will be charged for provider travel including any additional costs parking, tolls, km costs before you sign your Service Agreement. Your Service agreement should outline the terms of any travel costs.
Tips to reduce travel cost
- Ask your provider BEFORE you start services. Confirm how much travel will cost before you sign your Service Agreement. Your Service agreement will outline the terms of any travel costs.
- Find another provider. Ask the connections team at MyCareSpace to find you a therapist closer to your location so you are able to get more therapy and spend less on their travel!
- Collaborate with people in your area to share the travel costs of a single therapist.
- Don't be the last consult of the day!