NDIS Releases the New 2020-2021 Price Guide – what changes will affect you?

18 August 2020

Photo by Sebastian Coman on Pexels

The NDIS has released the new 2020-2021 price guide and here are a few main changes that might interest you.

The 10% COVID-19 loading that was introduced on 25 March 2020 has now been removed. All rates that included a 10% loading have reduced back to the base rate as at 1 July 2020.

The notice period for cancelations has gone back to 48 hours’ notice, but the fee charged remains at 100% as opposed to 90% cancelation rate (prior COVID-19).

There’s been a $0 increase to the standard therapy rate. After a significant increase to therapeutic support rates last year (2019-2020), the NDIS has chosen to keep many of the CB Daily Activities rates the same, specifically, Psychology, Physiotherapy, Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Exercise Physiology and Early Intervention Services.

The discussion paper released with the price guide noted, that NDIS therapeutic rates were driving up costs for services across non-disability sectors. The NDIS rates were noticed to be significantly higher in comparison to other government funded systems and free market enterprise. The review board decided to keep the rates on hold and review every two years. The next review is due to commence in July 2021.

There has however, been an increase to the ‘Individual skills & development’ rate. This decision was based on feedback from providers using the same support workers for both daily care activities and 1:1 (non-therapy) capacity building supports. This rate is now in line with 1:1 daily care social & community services ($54.30/hour), which is great news for flexibility within plans!

An indexation, based on the Fair Work Commission Annual Wages Review 2019-20, has been applied to support items in Daily Activities & Social & Community services (Core Supports). Previously based at $52.85/hour for 1:1 supports (weekday), the new capped rate is now $54.30/hour (weekday). Please note, this is only the capped rate, providers can charge less for services as negotiated by you or your family member.

Meal prep and delivery is now a quote required support. If you’re receiving ‘Meals on Wheels’ or another meal preparation and delivery service, this now needs to be re-approved and written into your plan.

How do you get meal prep & delivery in your plan?

  • Choose your provider (eg, Meals on Wheels, Gourmet Meals, etc) and request a quote for the period of your plan
  • Email that quote either to your LAC, Support Coordinator or TCPM
  • The LAC, support coordinator or TCPM will email the quote to the NDIS for approval
  • The NDIS can grant provisional approval for you to receive these services until full approval is granted, you can give them a call on 1800 880 110 or we can on your behalf

Group rates have been simplified. Instead of set rates and line items for 1-5 people in a group, the 1:1 support rate is now divided by the number of people in a group. This change allows providers to claim services under one line item, no matter how many people are in the group. Providers have until 30 Jun 21 to adopt the new rates. Until then, you may still be charged the old set rates for group services.

With the introduction of the new simplified rate system, providers can charge a ‘centre-based’ charge on top of the set rate.

Eg. You (your family member) is involved in a centre-based group with two other people. The new fee states you will be charged $54.30 divided by 3 = $18.10/hour plus $2.15 (centre capital cost). Your total charge per hour is $20.25/hour.

If you engage in group activities within the community (not in-house), you will not be charged the centre-based fee. However, the simplified system still applies.

Providers delivering social & community services can now also charge for ‘non face to face’ time, to design, implement and evaluate services delivered. These services are charged per hour at the rate applicable to the group or at a 1:1 support rate. These services should be itemised on invoices separately.

The Establishment fee (based on 10 times the standard hourly rate $54.30) can only be claimed once, throughout consecutive plans. Providers who deliver more than 20 hours/month of Core supports can claim the fee. This includes services for Self-care support (Daily Activities) and Social & Community supports (including group activities).

The fee is designed to cover the costs of non-ongoing and not otherwise claimable costs that providers incur in establishing arrangements and assisting participants in implementing their plan, including assessing the participant’s needs, agreeing on a service agreement with the participant and setting up service bookings in the NDIA system. (Page 109 ) Annual Price Review 2020-21

Previously, providers could charge a $250 Establishment fee for subsequent plans, however, the new price guide only allows the charge once.

Points to note about the Establishment fee:

  • Each provider can only charge the Establishment fee once. If you’re already with an organisation delivering over 20 hours Core services, they can not charge you another fee for later plans.
  • If you change providers, the new provider can charge the Establishment fee to implement new services.

‘Program of Supports’ is a new initiative of the NDIS this year. Provider feedback suggested pain points in income, when participants cancelled group services at short notice. Providers were finding it difficult to fill the cancelled space and left out of pocket when ratio’s dropped.

Participants were also disadvantaged when asked to pay for higher group ratios. Instead of being charged 1:3 rates, participants were being asked to pay 1:2 rates when cancelations occurred.

The NDIS has responded by introducing ‘program of supports’.

Points to note about ‘Program of Supports’:

  • Can not be longer than 12 weeks
  • A service agreement stating the goals of the program and duration is encouraged
  • You (your family member) should be able to exit the program without cost (subject to agreed notice period, that can be no longer than two weeks)
  • The program should be monitored in support of your goals
  • Cancelations will not be claimed as cancelled services within the 12 week period
  • You will be charged as normal for cancelations

This is a super cool initiative that safeguards both you and the provider. It gives you a clear idea of what services will be delivered and that services are guaranteed for the duration of the agreement. It also provides certainty for the provider to secure long term staff and income protection.

Psycho-social coaching services are now available through Support Coordination funding. These services are designed to build capacity and resilience through strong and respectful relationships for participants with psychosocial disability. The key focus is to support participants suffering mental illness to live a full and contributing life.

Points to note about Psychosocial Recovery Coaches:

  • They much have tertiary qualifications (minimum Cert IV in Mental Health/Peer Work)
  • Or, minimum two years of experience in mental health-related services
  • Services come from the Support Coordination support category. If you don’t have this support category in your current plan, you’ll need to call the NDIS and request a review to access the services.

WOW, that just about wraps up the changes to the NDIS price guide for 2020-2021!! If you made it through all the sections, YOU’RE AWESOME!!!!

As promised, we’ve created an updated ‘Quick Look Price Guide’. Click here to download your copy.

Now, I’d love to hear from you! Do you have any feedback to share about the new changes? Do you feel the changes are reasonable? Please leave a comment below and share your valued opinion. I look forward to hearing from you!

Love Jude x


  1. Barb Sherry

    Very clear.
    Thank you for being so thorough.

  2. Lunar

    As a private support worker can I charge an establishment fee? And what is the minimum pay rate as a private support worker to work on a Saturday and Sunday

    • Jude

      Hi Lunar

      Yes, you can. You just need to made sure your client has sufficient funds to accept the claim, and that you intend to provide at least 20 hours/month or more ‘personal care’ or ‘participation supports’ for three or more consecutive months.

      Love Jude x

  3. Kaz

    Can a private support worker charge a client(participant) for travel cost from their home to the clients home $25 i.e 1/2hr under provider travel plus travel during the shift at $0.85 cents per km?

    • Jude

      Hi Kaz
      Yes, as a support provider you can charge up to 1/2 hour ‘provider travel’ to travel to your client for service delivery. You can also charge $0.85/km ‘participant transport’ if you transport the client to and from community or self-care activities (participant transport is when your client is in the car with you). Just a heads up, if you travel between clients you should split the ‘provider travel’ between the two clients. I hope that helps! Love Jude x

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