If you are living with a disability you may have to modify certain areas of your life but you  should not have to give up the things you love doing. 

For many people, working in their garden and watching things grow is an enjoyable and relaxing pastime. Even if you’re not physically able to work in your garden as a result of your disability, you may still enjoy having a well kept garden as part of your home.

NDIS funding for gardening services

If your disability makes it difficult for you to maintain your garden or manage tasks around your yard, you may be able to use your NDIS funding to pay for gardening services.

The NDIS will fund support it considers reasonable and necessary and are directly related to your disability and to your goals. As each NDIS participant’s plan is unique, exactly what is covered varies from person to person.

As a general rule, if you’re unable to maintain your garden on your own because of your disability, the gardening services are considered reasonable and necessary for you to live a normal life and relate to your NDIS goals, funding should be available. However, if a task requires a specialist, such as a landscape gardener to install a water feature, for instance, it won’t be covered by the NDIS, regardless of your disability.

Core Supports and gardening

The NDIS ‘Core Supports Budget’ includes a category called ‘Assistance with Daily life’. This category is designed to help you with regular daily tasks that support you to live as independently as possible. Support for garden maintenance is included under this category, regardless of whether you are renting or own your own home.

Core support funding is reasonably flexible so once you have funding approved in this category you can choose how it is spent, providing it meets NDIS guidelines.

As each NDIS plan is tailored to the individual, services vary depending on your circumstances but typically include the following:

  • Lawn mowing
  • Pruning
  • Weed removal
  • Mulching
  • Trimming and edging
  • Gutter cleaning

Although you can use your NDIS funding to cover the cost of a gardening service, you will still have to cover the cost of things such as plants, mulch and soil if needed.

How to set up your gardening service

If you want to ensure that your garden is tended throughout the year, work out what services you think you need and how often. If you already have a service provider, ask them to help you work out a garden maintenance schedule, according to your needs and requirements. List the tasks you want completed and how often. Depending on the size of your garden, you may need basic or more complete services, including one-off clean-up services or periodic regular maintenance.

If you are self-managing your NDIS plan you can use your own preferred gardener, as long as they have an  Australian Business number and can provide you with an invoice for any work completed. It’s a good idea to work out  a service agreement with them, outlining a schedule and cost and see if they’re willing to offer a discount for a regular service. Bear in mind, there is a limit to how much the NDIS will pay per hour for gardening services.

Caring for your own garden

The NDIS is designed to help you become as independent as possible so if one of your goals is to do your own lawn and garden care, just let your service provider know. You may be able to obtain some funding from your ‘Capacity Building Budget’ to help you develop the skills you need. This may include training to help you build your knowledge and skills so you feel more confident managing your garden.