If you’re struggling to cook meals for yourself at home, you might be eligible for funding that pays for home meal delivery costs.
There are lots of meal providers across Australia who are signed up to the government’s NDIS scheme. When ordering from these, you’ll only pay the cost of ingredients. A saving of up to 80% on the standard price.
This guide will help you understand whether NDIS can support you, and which providers will deliver prepared meals directly to your home.
What is NDIS?
NDIS stands for the National Disability Insurance Agency, which provides funding to eligible people with a disability so they can achieve greater independence and an improved quality of life.
NDIS also acts as a support network for disabled people across Australia, ensuring they are informed about the options and opportunities available to them. NDIS connect people to doctors, community groups, sporting clubs, support groups, libraries and schools.
The scope of NDIS is much greater than providing access to meals. They are able to help with any daily personal activities, transportation, household tasks, home modifications and many more types of support activity.
As of 2023, NDIS supports over half a million Australians with disabilities.
Who qualifies for NDIS support?
There are a few important criteria that someone must meet before qualifying for NDIS support. These include:
- Be younger than 65.
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia.
- Have an impairment that substantially impacts your ability to do daily life activities and is likely to be permanent.
If you believe you qualify for NDIS support, or you have a family member or friend that might qualify, it’s worth understanding the full guidelines from NDIS.
If you do not meet the NDIS guidelines, do not worry. There are other government services that can provide support. NDIS would be able to point you in the right direction.
Are NDIS likely to fund a meal delivery service for me?
NDIS is only able to cover meal delivery services in a scenario where it is not realistic to expect a participant to cook their own meals or have access to family members who can cook for them.
Instead of relying on prepared meals, it is likely that NDIS will recommend exploring other options such as funding a support worker to help prepare ingredients. Meal delivery services will only be considered if other options aren’t realistic.
To pull from the NDIS guidelines, they would expect participants to meet one of the following criteria:
- Your disability might mean you can’t shop, cook or clean up after preparing your meal. We may fund the cost of a support worker to help you shop for your food, prepare your meals, and to clean up afterwards.
- Your disability might mean you have trouble planning your meals or following multi-step instructions. If you can re-heat your meals, we may fund a support worker to help you shop for food and pre-prepare some meals for the week. We may also pay for delivery of pre- prepared ingredients.
NDIS also won’t fund meal delivery providers when the medical condition is purely related to food intake, such as:
- weight loss
- food allergies
- cardiovascular (heart) disease
- kidney disease
- polycystic ovary syndrome
- irritable bowel syndrome
Whilst this may seem strange, this is because other services exist to help people with these conditions.
What is covered from meal delivery services on NDIS?
Should a meal delivery service be an appropriate solution, NDIS will then cover the cost of preparing and cooking the prepared meals.
However, they won’t cover the cost of ingredients. This is because NDIS sees food as an everyday living cost that isn’t related to disability support needs.
On average, this means the participant will pay around 20 – 30 percent of the costs for a meal delivery service. NDIS would provide funding for the remaining cost.
How can I order prepared meals on NDIS?
Your ordering process will be a bit different depending on whether your NDIS funding is self-managed or agency-managed. However, for everyone the first step is to find a provider that is signed up to the NDIS scheme.
We have a handy list provided a little further down.
Once you have selected a provider, you would need to do the following:
Agency Managed Participants – If your plan includes meal preparation and delivery, you will be charged only for the cost of ingredients. Contact the service directly so they can set up an order and make sure you are charged the correct amount.
Self + Plan Managed Participants – When managing your own NDIS funding, you will need to pay for 100% of the upfront cost for your meals. The service provider will provide you with an invoice (usually after deliver) which you can upload to the myplace portal or via your plan manager for reimbursement.
All NDIS meal delivery providers
Not all meal delivery services are members of the NDIS scheme, and it isn’t always easy to spot if they are.
We’ve checked with all the major meal delivery providers in Australia and collated the following list. If you live in the Northern Territory, there are some local options for NDIS meals. Please contact your local NDIA support for options.