It is vital that people living with disability, clients of disability services organisations, their families and carers have clarity about the options available to them when it comes to respite support services – particularly in advance of the holiday season.

Ask anyone who lives with disability or their families what respite services they can access, and you will get various answers.

The first thing to know is that the NDIS refers to respite supports as: Short-Term Accommodation (STA). It is one of the home and living supports the NDIS might fund for participants.

Secondly, many people are of the understanding that short-term accommodation is only provided in a purpose-built home run by a disability services organisation. Other people are of the understanding that a support person can come to your home or an accommodation venue of a family’s choice for an extended stay. Both options are true because where possible respite services can be tailored to clients and family’s needs.

Getting real about short-term accommodation / respite

“It’s only for two weeks”

The standard response people provide when you ask how long you can have respite support for is: 14 days (two weeks). In fact, you can have respite support for longer if your plan and NDIS funding allows for this. If you don’t have the correct NDIS funding for respite services you can also pay privately, or out of pocket, for respite or short-term accommodation if you want.

“You have to go and stay in a house with other people”

The standard response you may receive is that you have to move into a purpose-built home or facility where there are support people available 24/7. You will likely share this home with other people.

The above response is true, and there is definitely benefit and value in this arrangement, but it’s not for everyone.

Afford, just like many other disability services organisations, has purpose-built short-term accommodation homes in New South Wales where you can enjoy an extended stay.

But, you can also stay at a hotel or Airbnb. Or, you can stay in your home and support can come to you.

Your NDIS respite funding will apply for supports from the time you check-in, stay the night and check out. Any supports provided outside of the overnight stay can be funded as in-home support or community services supports. There are also different rates that apply for: Morning (6am – 8pm), Evening (8pm – 10pm), or Sleep over rate (a one-off rate from 10pm – 6am. There is also an active nights rate, depending on the individual’s short-term accommodation package.

You can also fund respite privately if you want to.

“All you get is a place to stay”

This is not true.

Respite or short-term accommodation can also include:

  • Personal supports available day and night, seven days a week.
  • Accessible, inclusive home environments.
  • Comfortable, furnished, self-contained places to stay.
  • All meals included.
  • Activities like games, sports, and social activities and events in the community with group support funding.
  • You can also ask for support in your own home if you would prefer.
  • Options to suit individual needs and preferences.

The options depend on the individual’s NDIS plan and funding, or what you can budget for respite privately.

Participate in community services activities in addition to STA






You can read more about short-term accommodation on the NDIS website, or you can also contact Afford for further information by phone on 1800 233 673, or you can complete this enquiry form and we will call you. 

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