Assistive Technology… Will the NDIS Fund it?

At times, it can feel a little overwhelming navigating the intricacies of the NDIS. Especially when it comes to knowing whether you can use your funding on specific items. To help you understand what types of assistive technology the NDIS can fund, we’ve pulled together case study examples based on some of the most common categories that participant’s ask about.

Young woman with hearing impairment using assistive technology

What does the NDIS fund?

When it comes to the NDIS, funding is provided if the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) consider it to be reasonable and necessary. If you’re unfamiliar with reasonable and necessary under the NDIS, funding, support or assistive technology are typically categorised as reasonable and necessary if it:

  • Relates to your disability needs

  • Helps your individual goals and aspirations

  • Helps you social/economic participation

  • Is value for money

  • Is effective and beneficial for you

  • Helps to maintain your informal supports

  • Is the responsibility of the NDIS to fund

The NDIS won’t provide funding if any harm will come to you or other, it is not related to your disability, it provides the same benefit as another support already funded in your plan or it relates to a day-to-day living cost such as rent, groceries, or utility costs that are not related to your disability.

Case Study: Vehicles and Vehicle Modifications

Having a vehicle can be a great way to increase independence. However, it depends on your circumstances as to whether the NDIS can fund this support.

An example where funding won’t be approved:

Sue would like to buy a vehicle to increase her independence and requests funding for this in her NDIS plan.

Why the NDIS won’t fund this:

The NDIS won’t fund this because a vehicle is considered a day-to-day living cost outside of Sue’s disability. For the NDIS to fund a vehicle or modifications, the cost needs to relate specifically to your disability.

An example where funding would be approved:

Anna would like a vehicle to increase her independence. She would like to modify a vehicle to suit her disability related needs.

Why the NDIS would fund this:

The NDIS can approve modifications to a vehicle as long as the modifications are considered to be value for money. Another option to ensure value for money, would be for Anna to purchase a vehicle that has already been modified to suit her needs. The NDIS may fund the pre-existing modifications at a rate equal to their depreciated value.

For more information on this case study, click here.

Case Study: Wheelchair Modifications

Wheelchair modification will typically be funding by the NDIS as long as evidence is provided to show this is reasonable and necessary. This NDIA will look out for a number of supporting criteria as evidence. They may ask:

  • Why you need the wheelchair modification

  • How it relates to your disability support needs

  • If the modification can be properly installed and safely operated

  • How the modification is value for money

  • How the modifications are effective and beneficial in assisting you to live your life as independently as possible

  • How the modifications can help you to participate in social and economic activities

An example where funding won’t be approved:

Dan would like to purchase a particular model and design of wheelchair with extra features.

Why the NDIS won’t fund this:

The NDIS typically won’t fund extra items that are not considered reasonable and necessary, such as particular brands or models or specialty features that don’t relate to your disability.

An example where funding would be approved:

Gemma needs a power assist system added to her wheelchair to allow her to travel medium/long distances, increasing her independence and mobility.