Updated: Nov 16
A Letter of Support is, as the name suggests, a letter that provides the NDIA with supporting evidence that a purchase or additional support is required within a participant’s NDIS funding.
Providers within certain fields, especially therapists, may frequently be asked to produce letters of support by their clients or their representatives. These letters provide a link between the qualified support providers and the administration teams of the NDIA and the plan managers. They differ from other written evidence some providers may need to document, such as AT Assessments or reports.
There are times when letters of support are required by the NDIA, and other times when they are recommended.
Items that require a letter of support include:
Mid and High-Cost Assistive Technology.
High Risk Assistive Technology, regardless of cost. A risk assessment may also be a requirement for these items.
Tablets and computer-based assistive technology.
Low-Cost Assistive Technology for support continuity (not just smart devices for telehealth).
Times when letters of support are recommended or advised can include when a participant wishes to engage with a support that is not directly linked to their stated goals or allocated within their funding. These letters are not strictly for First2Care, or indeed any other Plan Manager, but they do allow us to process invoices with greater efficiency as we do not need to discuss the NDIS Reasonable and Necessary criteria with the participant.
To provide an effective letter of support, these should be written by a relevant allied health professional based on their observations and understandings of the participant from consultations or other methods of engagement with the participant. Some supports or purchases may have stricter requirements on who can provide the necessary documentation. High-cost Assistive Technology (over $15,000) requires a written assessment from an AT Assessor as well as a quote.
The information provided on a letter of support is important, as insufficient information may result in the letter not providing the intended evidence and may result in the participant having to repeat consultations to get new letters. To avoid any unwanted repetition and wasted time, it is recommended that the following information is included in a letter of support:
The participant’s name and NDIS number.
The relationship between the participant and the provider writing the letter of support.
The observations made by the provider about the participant’s disability and the circumstances that require the additional support/purchase.
Why the purchase/additional support will benefit the participant when relating to their disability.
Any specific recommendations or quotes for a purchase/additional support that would most benefit the participant.
These letters are not intended to cast doubt on the judgement or recommendations passed on by qualified professionals. As a Plan Manager, we are usually not in a position to know more about a participant and their needs, nor about the diagnosis and treatment recommended by their service providers. These letters are instead intended as justification and evidence for these decisions in a manner that is easily understandable for those without the qualifications and detailed knowledge held by the service providers. They are also used to link a recommended service/purchase clearly and simply with a participant’s disability.
As Plan Managers, it is beneficial for us to have copies of these documents so that we can quickly and efficiently process invoices as they are received. We can also retain these documents to pass on to the NDIA should they be required.
Written by Jacob Coates