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Getting respite under the NDIS

Respite provides a short break for both you and your child. It usually means that someone else cares for your child.

Why is respite important?

Respite is important for a number of reasons, but mainly because it gives you and your family a break from the physical and emotional demands of caring.

What does respite look like?

NDIS-funded respite can be for a few hours or can involve your child going away overnight. It all depends on your child’s age, stage and the needs of your child and family.


  • A Support Worker who spends time with your child and helps them to enjoy social activities and participation in the community.
  • A Support Worker who helps your child with self-care
  • Your child participating in activities during the day as part of a group or going away on camp

What NDIS support line items can fund respite?

Respite is funded out of Core Support. A number of support categories can be used, depending on the goals for your child.

These can include:

  • Assistance with daily life
  • Improved health and wellbeing
  • Improved daily living skills
  • Improved relationships
  • Improved life choices
  • Assistance with social and community participation
  • Increased social and community participation
  • Assistance with daily living at home, in the community, in education and at work
  • Short-term accommodation (covers camps)
  • Specialised home-based assistance for a child
  • Night time sleepover support

How do I get respite in my child’s NDIS Plan?

You need to provide evidence of:

  • How much more support you provide to your child compared with a similar aged child without disability
  • What support is required to help you continue to care for your child. For example, the number of support hours needed during school holidays, on weekends or for overnight care
  • How the support will benefit your child, such as increased independence and helping your child participate in the community
  • How the support will benefit you and your family, such as the capacity to work or study, catch up on sleep, maintain health and friendships, and continue to care
  • What respite support you have received in the past

Good evidence for respite

It’s important to provide evidence of why you need respite care.

You can:

  1. Document what caring for your child involves and why you need respite to help you to continue to care. This can include:
  • A spreadsheet recording how much time you spend caring for your child. Make sure you include all the administrative tasks involved with your child’s care
  • A detailed diary describing the care you provide over 24 hours or over one week
  • A video of how caring for your child is different from caring for a child without disability
  • A timetable of what a week looks like, including appointments

2. Ask your child’s therapists to include in their reports information about the additional care your child needs compared with a similar aged child without disability.

3. Write a Carer Statement that talks about the impact of caring for your child. It can also include information about your family situation, such as having more than one child with disability.

What are the costs relating to respite?

If a Support Worker is taking your child out for an activity, you will need to cover the ticket or entry costs for your child. If a Support Worker is accompanying your child, you need to pay for their ticket or entry costs as well, unless your child has a Companion Card and the Support Worker can get in for free.

Companion Card
Carer Gateway