In-kind supports for participants

In-kind explained

Before the NDIS was established, state, territory and Commonwealth governments pre-paid a lump sum amount to service providers so they could provide supports to people with disability. When the NDIS started, this changed.

Under the NDIS, funding is given to a participant so they can choose who delivers their supports and when and where.

In some cases providers are still being paid a lump sum and delivering pre-paid supports to NDIS participants. Participants use these supports but don’t buy the supports with funds in their plans. These supports are known as ‘in-kind’ supports. 

This is changing, and gradually in-kind supports will transition to the NDIS. Then the participant will use the funding from their NDIS plan to pay for supports.

If you are an NDIS participant who currently uses in-kind supports, the following information may help you to understand:

  • how in-kind supports work in your NDIS plan now
  • how in-kind funding arrangements are changing
  • how to get ready for these changes.

In-kind services in your NDIS plan

There are many types of pre-paid in-kind supports delivered right across Australia. If you get an in-kind support, its value should be included in your plan if it is reasonable and necessary.

If you already get in-kind supports remember they have been pre-paid. You don’t need to pay for them with your NDIS plan funds.

If you are still unsure about your in-kind supports, contact your NDIS Planner or Local Area Coordinator (LAC). In particular, you should contact them if:

  • you believe your planner didn’t consider your in-kind supports when your current plan was made
  • you have started using an in-kind support where the value is not already in your plan.

Your NDIS planner or LAC will then help you make sure the value of your in-kind supports is included your plan.

Who will provide your in-kind supports?

State, territory and Commonwealth governments have paid certain providers to deliver in-kind services. If you use an in-kind service, one of these pre-paid providers will deliver your in-kind supports.

If you are not happy with your services or provider you should talk to the provider. You can also talk to your NDIS planner or LAC. They will help you resolve any support issues.

In some cases you can choose to stop using your in-kind service and start using your NDIS plan funds to pay a new provider for supports. You can talk to your NDIS planner or LAC about whether this is an option for you.

Plan management for in-kind supports

You can choose who manages your NDIS plan but the NDIA must manage all your pre-paid in-kind supports because they have been pre-paid.

In-kind service bookings

The NDIA may set up a service booking to show your in-kind supports clearly. 

An in-kind service booking is set up so you don’t pay for your in-kind supports out of your NDIS plan. The service booking amount only represents the reasonable and necessary in-kind supports you get. Your in-kind provider doesn’t claim payment from this booking because they have already been paid.

Some participants’ plans have in-kind supports included as items and a service booking. If your plan includes an in-kind item, it is there to show the reasonable and necessary in-kind supports you get.

Access to in-kind services for new NDIS participants

If you find an in-kind service you don’t currently use, contact the in-kind provider if you wish to use the supports they deliver.

In-kind programs

There are many in-kind programs delivered right across Australia.

More information is available for participants who currently use or wish to use the following in-kind programs:

Important changes to in-kind funding arrangements

In coming years, state, territory and Commonwealth governments will stop pre-paying in-kind supports. This means participants will use their NDIS plan funding to pay for the reasonable and necessary services they choose. These changes give participants more choice and control over their supports.

View changes per state / territory:

This change is happening gradually. Some pre-paid arrangements may change soon and others may take a few more years.

The NDIA will let you know when any of your pre-paid arrangements are going to change. You can also talk to your provider.

How this change will affect you

When your in-kind supports stop being pre-paid, you will instead get funding in your NDIS plan for these supports. You can then choose your supports and pay for them from your plan funds.

This means you will be able to choose who provides your supports. You can change your service provider or stay with your current provider if they are going to continue delivering supports. It is up to you.

You will also be able to choose who manages your supports. You, your nominee or a Plan Management provider may be able to manage them, or we can continue to manage them.

How to get ready for the change

You should take the following steps to get ready for when your pre-paid arrangements finish.

  • At your next plan reassessment or when you are getting ready for your initial plan, think about all the supports you get now. Make sure you let your planner know about these supports so that they can be considered in your plan.
  • Think about the supports you may need to pursue your goals and which providers can deliver these supports.
  • Talk to your existing provider (or new provider) to make sure you have a new Service Agreement ready for when your in-kind supports stop being pre-paid. More information on service agreements is available on the Making a service agreement page.

If you feel your planner didn’t consider your pre-paid in-kind supports when your current plan was developed, or you are still unsure about how these in-kind support changes will affect you, contact your Support Coordinator, Local Area Coordinator or NDIS Planner.

Continuing with your current in-kind provider

You should speak to your provider if you want to continue getting their supports after the in-kind supports stop being pre-paid.

If you think you don’t have enough funding in your plan to pay for continuing support after your in-kind pre-paid supports end, contact your Support Coordinator, Local Area Coordinator or NDIS planner.

View in-kind supports page for provider information on these supports.

This page current as of
18 May 2023