A guide on working as a support worker
Whether you’re looking for a new job that allows for more flexibility or you have a passion for helping others, choosing to be an independent support worker is a rewarding job.
No matter what your reason is for wanting to be a support worker, as is the case with commencing any new job, there are a few things you need to know first.
Although being a support worker is very rewarding, the job also comes with its challenges and it takes a certain type of person to thrive in this line of work.
The best individual support workers are people who enjoy a job where every day can be different from the last, must be compassionate and empathetic, detail-focused and most importantly, patient.
If you think you might be a good fit for the job, you must first register for an Australian Business Number (ABN), have a current Yellow Card, Blue Card and police check. Independent support workers are self-employed and require these checks and registrations to ensure you can do your job without risking the safety of yourself and others.
As an independent support worker, you also need to consider insurance and setting your pay rate.
NDIS insurance for support workers
Working as an independent disability support worker means you are your own boss (a sole trader) and are required to have NDIS insurance for support workers which includes professional indemnity and public liability insurance at a minimum.
Being a sole trader means you are self-employed and you are responsible for covering yourself for accidental damages, either to yourself or those you work with.
The NDIS insurance for support workers required is listed under the NDIS terms of business for registered providers and includes an adequate level of public liability and professional indemnity insurance.
To cover you for personal accidents that may result in loss of income, such as if you are ill or injured, it is recommend that you also take our personal accident insurance.
To learn more about NDIS insurance for support workers, visit the finder website.
If you’re looking for a job as a support worker within an agency or disability support organisation, you may not be required to take out insurance as the organisation will already have this. It’s best to check with your potential employer first before making any assumptions.
NDIS hourly rates for support workers
Being your own boss almost means you can set your own hourly rate. If you’re providing assistance to NDIS participants however, their funding is subject to cap rates set by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
The NDIA apply cap rates so that participants are receiving services that are value for money and to ensure the cost of supports delivered are consistent.
If you are providing supports to an NDIS participant that are part of their plan, you must not charge more than the cap NDIS pay rates for support workers as set by the NDIA. If you exceed the NDIS cap rate for service, a participant utilising their NDIS funding will not be able to pay this cost.
To learn more about price limits for supports, visit the NDIS website here.
If you’re providing disability supports to clients who are not using NDIS funding, the cap rates do not apply, and you should discuss your desired pay rate with your client.
Start your journey today
Here at Disability Plan Services our team of Support Coordinators help our clients by matching them with the best support workers to suit their needs. We’re passionate about helping our local community and are always committed to ensuring your safety and security is the number one priority.
We work with a wide range of trusted disability support providers and independent support workers to ensure we can always offer the best possible supports to our clients.
We are focused on improving the quality of life of people with disabilities because we believe everyone has the right to receive the support they need.